Recidivism a term used to mean people who are the repeaters of crime. If someone
has committed robbery & does the same crime again after getting punishment &
after coming out of prison that person is termed as Recidivist. Basically
recidivist are often characterized as anti social, aggressive & indifferently to
well being of others. These are those person who have embraced criminality as a
mode of life & commits crime with huge courage. Apparently there are lesser
chances of rehabilitation of such offenders as they commit crime deliberately in
a calculated manner. For them imprisonment is the only way that gets left to
prevent them from being the repeaters of crime. The main causes of recidivism
1.Education- The lack of education of a person leads him to become a
recidivist. As lack of education makes him unskilled & the person cannot stand
in competition with the society so he chooses to indulge in criminal activity
the punishment for which he gets imprisonment & since prison life is non
competitive he gets adjusted to it.
2.Poverty-The lack of education results into unemployment which further
leads to poverty. An investigation shows that most of the released prisoners
face unemployment & poverty.The stigma of being an offender also at most of the
time results in rejection of employment & which ultimately forces them to be
3.Insanity-Some offenders due to their mental depravity or due to the
insanity cannot understand the nature & gravity of the crime & ultimately that
leads them to be recidivist.
Sometimes inadequacy of correctional measures in treatment of offenders is
yet another cause of recidivism. A large number of failures in parole, probation
& reformatories certainly reflect upon the ineffectiveness of correctional
methods in cases of hardened & habitual offenders.
Prevention-Recidivism can only be stopped if after the release of a
prisoner adequate after care treatment is provided to him. Secondly recidivist
offenders should be kept under 24/7 surveillance so that the society is fully
protected & lastly they should be provided education so that after getting
released they find a way to earn their livelihood.
Conclusion-No crime can be stopped in the name of punishment if such a
concept would have existed then there would have been no recidivism. An offender
can only be stopped from being a recidivist only if the society changes attitude
towards the offenders as criminal always gets born from the society & such a
thing can only be made possible through proper understanding & education.
Books Referred-Criminology & penology by prof N.V.Paranjape,14th edition,
Central law publication.