[Opinion] Can People Change for the Better in Prison?

The Crime Report

By Lila Kazemian

There is an abundance of evidence on the negative consequences of incarceration, but what is less understood is how individuals can thrive and change for the better in prison. The scarcity of research in this area may be due to the concern that this type of work would be interpreted as an endorsement of imprisonment. There are 2.3 million individuals held in our prisons and jails in the United States. Despite valiant efforts to reimagine justice and reduce our over-reliance on incarceration, the notable increases in imprisonment rates that occurred over nearly four decades are unlikely to be reversed overnight. For this reason, it is essential to turn (at least part of) our attention to the well-being of the men and women who find themselves behind bars.

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