The roughly 175,000 convicted robbers currently serving time in the U.S. eventually will be released. Over half of them will have been there before. Locked up as mostly young men and women, they will return to the communities they left behind, possessing little more than a criminal record and the clothes on their back. Many will find themselves owing supervision fees to the state; almost all will face legal barriers to employment, decent housing, political participation, and other sources of social inclusion. What can the criminal justice system—a system designed to prevent and deter lawbreaking— realistically do to keep them from returning to prison? This Article explores that question by drawing on published accounts from a sample of 86 individuals actively involved in committing armed robberies, many of whom have returned to crime after being released from prison. The emphasis throughout is on the ways in which pervasive social exclusion, both a cause and a consequence of their lawbreaking, challenges our ability to “reintegrate” such offenders who in reality were not integrated to begin with.
Richard Wright, William J. Sabol, and Thaddeus L. Johnson,
Robbery, Recidivism, And The Limits Of The Criminal Justice System,
103 Marq. L. Rev. 1179
Available at: https://scholarship.law.marquette.edu/mulr/vol103/iss3/19