Source: (2000) Relational Justice Bulletin. July (7): 1-3. Downloaded 15 May 2003.

A significant factor in the high recidivism rate nationally is the emotional distance that separates the incarcerated from the general citizenry. While the general population believes that they are removed from the crimes of the incarcerated, the prison population often believes they are not welcome in society and continue to rebel once they are released. As a result, the reintroduction of offenders into society is often difficult and many times unsuccessful. In this article, Professor Hans Toch asserts that finding commonality between prisoners and the free public helps to create a stronger sense of identity between these groups and ultimately improve prisoner esteem and re-socialization. Toch cites programs in which veterans of the Vietnam War, from both the general and prison populations, are brought together for counseling and to raise donations to support children and the town’s poor and needy, and a community and another in which female prisoners work to create an AIDS awareness program with members of the outside community. The increased recognition and respect each group acquired for the other supports Toch’s argument that finding commonality allows for better reintroduction of the prison population into general society, beneficial outreach for those in need, and an improvement of the overall human condition for all involved.

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