Recidivism is a relapse into a previous condition or mode of behavior, most frequently used in conjunction with substance abuse and criminal behavior. Ultimately, the goal of The Correctional Work Center is to eradicate illegal and/or socially destructive behavior. Thus, our aim is a zero recidivism rate. Elimination, or at least reduction, of recidivism not only benefits the individuals involved, who are able to maintain a lifestyle that conforms to social norms, but also benefits society as a whole.

During incarceration, punishment alone is not always the best way to ensure inmates do not return to crime upon their release. Generally, support either in the form of educational programs during incarceration, or follow-up support programs upon release, are beneficial in reducing the likelihood of relapse.

Research has conclusively demonstrated that participation in a variety of programs that teach marketable skills helps to reduce recidivism. Additionally, institution misconduct can be significantly reduced through programs that emphasize personal responsibility, respect, and tolerance of others. Accordingly, the Correctional Work Center offers a wide variety of program opportunities for inmates that teach pro-social values and life skills.

While eliminating recidivism altogether may seem like an impossible task, the collection and evaluation of recidivism data can certainly help correctional facilities and substance abuse treatment programs to successfully rehabilitate prisoners and addicts. Not only does this benefit the individuals involved, but also lowering recidivism rates will benefit society as a whole. Ultimately, though, preventing the first offense, whether criminal or substance abuse, is the only sure way to end recidivism.