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A team of researchers from the University of California, the University of Michigan, Kaiser Permanente Colorado Institute for Health Research, the State University of New York and the University of Colorado School of Medicine has found evidence that incarcerating people who commit serious crimes does not prevent them from committing more crimes once they are released. In their paper published in the journal Nature Human Behavior, the researchers describe a study they conducted using statistics from people incarcerated in Michigan prisons for committing violent crimes, and what they found.
Locking people up when they have been convicted of a crime is an age-old form of punishment. In the short term, it prevents the offender from committing more crime—at least against those outside the prison gates. But jailing people has also been espoused as a means of teaching the offender a lesson—being locked up is supposed to make them think twice about committing future crimes once they are released. But does it? That is what the researchers sought to find out.
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