News & Information

Parole and Prison's Revolving Door

Top of Mind with Julie Rose
  • Dec 5, 2017
  • 20:30

Guest: Shawn Bushway, PhD, Professor, Public Administration and Policy, University of Albany, State University of New York Prison has a revolving door. More than half of people released from prison in a given year in the US will return within five years. Why is that? Are felons just criminal by nature and inclined to reoffend no matter what? Or is there something about going to prison that makes it harder to keep on the straight and narrow after release? Both are explanations sociologists have looked into. Now a group of them has come up with a different answer – the parole system that prisoners enter when they leave prison is what drives the revolving door back behind bars.