Poster Title

The Effects of Culture and Punishment Philosophies on Recidivism: Comparing Prison Systems in the United States and Scandinavia

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Criminal Jusicte

Minor

Political Science

Institution

Eastern Kentucky University

KY House District #

60

KY Senate District #

11

Department

Justice and Saftey

Abstract

Abstract

Overcrowding in prisons is a huge problem in America and one that we have yet to deal with successfully. A key factor is recidivism, which is defined as offenders returning to prison or jail post-release. America has one of the highest recidivism rates in the world, especially when compared to Scandinavian countries which have the lowest. The socioeconomic historical development and cultural characteristics of both the United States and Scandinavian countries affect the culture of their prison systems and in turn, this affects the prison populations and recidivism rates. Comparing the history, cultural attitudes, and prisons of America to Scandinavia shows a gap in the literature of not connecting what really affects the prison systems and the recidivism rates. Is it the history, the culture, the prisons themselves, or a combination?

Keywords: recidivism, Scandinavia, prisons

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The Effects of Culture and Punishment Philosophies on Recidivism: Comparing Prison Systems in the United States and Scandinavia

Abstract

Overcrowding in prisons is a huge problem in America and one that we have yet to deal with successfully. A key factor is recidivism, which is defined as offenders returning to prison or jail post-release. America has one of the highest recidivism rates in the world, especially when compared to Scandinavian countries which have the lowest. The socioeconomic historical development and cultural characteristics of both the United States and Scandinavian countries affect the culture of their prison systems and in turn, this affects the prison populations and recidivism rates. Comparing the history, cultural attitudes, and prisons of America to Scandinavia shows a gap in the literature of not connecting what really affects the prison systems and the recidivism rates. Is it the history, the culture, the prisons themselves, or a combination?

Keywords: recidivism, Scandinavia, prisons