The Career Within You

Finding the perfect job for your personality

What I Learned About Prisons at My School Reunion

Statistics say “Lifers” are the least likely of all released prisoners to commit another crime: .06%. But even though they may be deemed suitable for release, governors often refuse to release them for political reasons. Read More


I find it interesting you report the "good things" your examples have done in jail, but not the original crime that got them something to life.

And if so few are released, then how can the statistic you use (0.06% I believe) be valid on such a small sample?

It's clear that some people do well in a structured environment and not so good when released. Don't let anyone kid you into believing any aspect of prison life isn't structured by someone with power.

Lifer recidivism stats

The (non)recidivism stats on paroled life prisoners is indeed amazing. But it is not based on a small sample. The 0.6% number comes from 860 lifers (with murder cases) released from 1995 to March, 2011. The returns to prison for new crimes was 0.6% CUMULATIVE over those years, vs. the prison system's ANNUAL recidivism rate of 67%. This lifer data is published by the Department of Corrections, in its 2011 Adult Institutions Outcome Evaluation Report (Nov. 23, 2011), Appendix C (found on p. 66).

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Elizabeth Wagele is the co-author with Ingrid Stabb of The Career Within You: How to Find the Perfect Job for Your Personality.


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