Prison Furlough Programs

In the field of criminal justice, a furlough is defined as a temporary leave of absence from a prison term and it can take place voluntarily or involuntarily (Carlson & Garrett, 2008). Americans have shown an interest in preparing the incarcerated crime offenders for re-entry into their respective societies. Those individuals who are allowed to leave prison without resources, employment prospects, firm networks of support, and without the necessary knowledge regarding their communities of destination, have a higher likelihood of failure (Cole, 1995).

In most cases, offenders undergo recidivism because they believe that they cannot be able to merge into society as the normal citizens (Carlson & Garrett, 2008). Even if not all offenders that can be considered for a furlough, it has been found that furloughs are very important in preparing offenders for improved lives after they finish their prison terms (Champion, 1994).

Criminal justice administrators give encouragement to those wrongdoers who show dedication to reconcile with their societies and show aspiration to become law-abiding individuals in their respective societies. These adjustments are shaped by use of the furlough program. Due to the furlough program, prisoners are able to obtain certificates and therefore qualify for employment opportunities upon release (Carlson & Garrett, 2008). Those offenders with multiple talents get a chance to express them and therefore will benefit the society as a whole.

The furlough program also strengthens the prisoners’ community ties before they finish their terms (Cole, 1995). These reduce the rate of recidivism for the released offenders. The main disadvantage of furlough program is that it does not guarantee the society that the released offenders will not repeat their offences. It has been found that some offenders revert into their criminal activities after few days of release (Champion, 1994). This has therefore made some prison administrators to discourage the application of the furlough program.

Even if the furlough program cannot guarantee societies that the offenders will not revert into their previous criminal offences, it has enabled many individuals to lead good lives upon their release. This reduces recidivism rate among the released offenders. It is, therefore, necessary for the furlough program to be brought back in prison systems and its application should be emphasized in order to improve the behaviors of offenders and enable them to live well with the accepted citizens in their respective societies. Those offenders with multiple talents get a chance to express them and therefore will benefit the society as a whole.

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