All posts by Wayne Dowdy

Dr. A.I. Bing Redemption

For those new to StraightfromthePen or who are not regular followers, I posted an essay written by artificial intelligence on Microsoft Bing. Click the following link to read it if interested: https://straightfromthepen.com/2023/05/02/dr-a-i-bing-on-recidivism-study/

Well, I gave Dr. A.I. Bing multiple chances to redeem itself and though it did improve, it still needs to learn a little more. In the following paragraphs, Dr. A.I. Bing wrote decent essays in response to my requests but the essays still don’t seem to be consistent with the findings in the targeted study (Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 24 States in 2008: A 10-Year Follow-Up Period (2008–2018) summary (ojp.gov)). A.I. needs Second Chances, too.

To end this experiment on a positive note, I include a link to an article from the Pew Charitable Trusts that shows a reduction in recidivism in several states, some of which contain impressive numbers. There is always hope!

Please like and subscribe to my YouTube channel for StraightfromthePen. Thanks!

I now present to you, Dr. A.I. Bing on Recidivism in America:

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Request: Essay on Ten Year Follow-Up Study on Recidivism in America

Recidivism is the term used to describe the relapse of a person into criminal behavior after receiving sanctions or interventions for a previous crime. Recidivism is a major challenge for the criminal justice system in the United States, which has the highest incarceration rate in the world. According to the National Institute of Justice, within three years of their release, two out of three former prisoners are rearrested and more than 50% are incarcerated again. This essay will summarize the findings of a ten year follow-up study on recidivism in America, conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) and published in 2022.

The study tracked a nationally representative sample of 67,966 state prisoners who were released in 2012 across 30 states. The study measured recidivism by criminal acts that resulted in rearrest, reconviction or return to prison with or without a new sentence during a ten-year period following the prisoner’s release. The study also examined the characteristics of the released prisoners, such as age, gender, race, offense type, sentence length, and prior criminal history.

The main findings of the study were as follows:

  • The overall recidivism rate for the 2012 release cohort was 82%, meaning that 82% of the released prisoners were arrested at least once during the ten-year follow-up period. This was an increase from 76.6% for the 2005 release cohort and 67.8% for the 1994 release cohort.
  • The recidivism rate varied by offense type, with property offenders having the highest rate (88.3%) and public order offenders having the lowest rate (73.6%). Violent offenders had a recidivism rate of 83.4% and drug offenders had a recidivism rate of 76.9%.
  • The recidivism rate also varied by sentence length, with prisoners who served less than one year having a higher rate (86.4%) than those who served one year or more (79.9%). This was consistent with previous studies that found that shorter sentences may not provide enough time for rehabilitation or deterrence effects.
  • The recidivism rate decreased with age, with younger prisoners having a higher rate than older prisoners. For example, prisoners who were 24 or younger at release had a recidivism rate of 90.3%, while those who were 55 or older at release had a recidivism rate of 53.9%.
  • The recidivism rate was higher for males (83.4%) than for females (76.1%), and higher for blacks (85%) than for whites (78.8%) or Hispanics (80.3%). These differences may reflect disparities in social and economic opportunities, as well as racial and ethnic biases in the criminal justice system.
  • The recidivism rate increased with prior criminal history, with prisoners who had more prior arrests or convictions having a higher rate than those who had fewer or none. For example, prisoners who had six or more prior arrests had a recidivism rate of 89%, while those who had no prior arrests had a recidivism rate of 44.3%.

The study concluded that recidivism remains a persistent and pervasive problem in the United States, despite efforts to reduce it through various policies and programs. The study suggested that more research is needed to identify the factors that influence recidivism and to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions that aim to prevent it. The study also recommended that policymakers and practitioners consider the diverse needs and risks of different groups of offenders and tailor their services accordingly.

The study was one of the most comprehensive and rigorous examinations of recidivism in America to date, providing valuable insights into the patterns and trends of reoffending over a long-term period. However, the study also had some limitations, such as relying on official records that may not capture all criminal activity, excluding federal and local prisoners from the sample, and not accounting for variations across states in laws, policies, and practices that may affect recidivism rates.

References:

IvyPanda. (2021). The Recidivism Rates in the U.S.. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-recidivism-rates-in-the-us/

National Institute of Justice. (n.d.). Recidivism | National Institute of Justice. Retrieved from https://nij.ojp.gov/topics/corrections/recidivism

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Request: Essay on Ten Year Follow-Up Study on Recidivism in America

Hi everyone! I’m super excited to share with you my latest essay on a very important topic: recidivism in America. Recidivism is the tendency of convicted criminals to reoffend after being released from prison. It’s a huge problem that affects millions of people and costs billions of dollars every year.

In my essay, I analyze the results of a ten-year follow-up study that tracked the outcomes of over 10,000 inmates who were released from state prisons in 2013. The study looked at various factors that influenced their likelihood of returning to prison, such as age, gender, race, education, employment, substance abuse, mental health, family support, and community resources.

The findings are fascinating and surprising. Some of them confirm what we already know from previous research, but others challenge our assumptions and stereotypes. For example, did you know that:

  • The overall recidivism rate was 68%, meaning that more than two-thirds of the released inmates were rearrested within ten years.
  • The recidivism rate was higher for men than for women (71% vs. 62%), and for blacks than for whites (75% vs. 63%).
  • The recidivism rate decreased with age, from 82% for those under 25 to 47% for those over 55.
  • The recidivism rate was lower for those who had a high school diploma or higher (61%) than for those who did not (74%).
  • The recidivism rate was lower for those who were employed (59%) than for those who were unemployed (73%).
  • The recidivism rate was lower for those who had no history of substance abuse (54%) than for those who did (72%).
  • The recidivism rate was lower for those who had no history of mental illness (65%) than for those who did (74%).
  • The recidivism rate was lower for those who had strong family ties (57%) than for those who did not (71%).
  • The recidivism rate was lower for those who lived in areas with high levels of social capital (55%) than for those who lived in areas with low levels of social capital (72%).

These results have important implications for policy and practice. They suggest that we need to invest more in education, employment, treatment, and reintegration programs that can help offenders break the cycle of crime and incarceration. They also show that we need to address the structural and systemic factors that create and perpetuate racial and socioeconomic disparities in the criminal justice system.

If you want to learn more about this topic and read my full essay, you can find it on my blog. I hope you enjoy it and find it informative and insightful. Thank you for reading and please leave your comments and feedback below!


The Changing State of Recidivism: Fewer People Going Back to Prison | The Pew Charitable Trusts (pewtrusts.org)

Miracles Happen

On April 18, 2023, two things happened that show miracles do happen. I will post YouTube videos below that are evidence of two miracles that happened in my life on the same day, at least, in my opinion they are miracles because I know where I came from and from where I am today.

The next paragraph contains a link to a post I created on LinkedIn to inspire others. The last paragraph will be to my YouTube channel for StraightfromthePen. If you feel uncomfortable clicking either link I provide, you can find the content on YouTube and LinkedIn by searching for “Wayne T. Dowdy” on your favorite search engine and then by going to the official websites to search for content created by me.

The linked post on LinkedIn and the linked YouTube video attached to that post from Steadfast Journey, tells the story so there’s not any need for me to go into detail, but I do want to note that I posted it in hope of inspiring others. Please Like and Subscribe to the YouTube Channels. Thank you! LinkedIn Post.

Here is the link to my YouTube channel for StraightfromthePen that I created after having participated in a reentry simulation event at the Richard B. Russell Federal Building in Atlanta, Georgia to help returning citizen successfully reintegrate into society. My hope is that it will encourage others to fight for positive change. Thanks for taking the time to read my content on StraightfromthePen.

Effects of Prison Interview, Part III, by Ms. Begum K with Wayne T. Dowdy

This is the conclusion of the three part interview by Ms. Begum K with Wayne T. Dowdy. Please take a moment to like and subscribe to the YouTube channel after following the links to the content below. I do thank you in advance!

In the conclusion, I expressed my views about the overcriminalization in America and other issues, including parts of my life as a returning citizen. My hope is to help others understand more about the effects of incarceration, and the struggles that some returning citizens may experience upon release; especially, after serving a long prison sentence.

Some of the things I share had an emotional toll on me, as I expressed my feelings, but what I had to say was important for me; as well as for others who may need to know that it is okay to be human, and to experience God-given emotions. For men in particular, even those emotions that are not macho. Displaying anger is easier than showing pain or remorse. And for that I am grateful!

Click Here for the conclusion.

If you missed watching the other two segments, here is a link for the playlist. I do thank you for the support. https://youtu.be/JhMZgWJqULY

Life After Release-11(b)

Note: Life After Release-11 first posted on straightfromthepen.wordpress.com


Easter Morning 2023: Happy Easter to those who celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ!

I’m sticking with the Happy New Year content below that my procrastination and busy schedule did not produce on the planned timeline. I’ve since migrated the content of this website from WordPress.com to FastComet.com for hosting. That project is still a work in progress, as my use of WordPress.org on FastComet.com requires more work and technical knowledge than I have in a sense.

But I live and learn and continue to be grateful for the life I have and my God-given ability to continue to do things that my background would seem to make impossible (never having used a cellphone or personally accessing the Internet until 08/28/2018 (I was online before then with a little help from my friends)).


Though this may appear to be late, it’s not because I began working on this blog before the New Year began, so …. it is timely to me because it is still the New Year and the thought remains the same. 🙂

And a Happy New Year 2023 it shall be and continue all throughout the year!

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2023!

My Life After Release continues to be different than I imagined before I left the United States Federal Bureau of Prison on August 28, 2018, thirty-years and ten days after my arrest. But I remain grateful because I am blessed on many levels in the areas that count the most: mind, body, and spirit.

On this First Day of 2023, I spun my wheels experimenting on how to export this website to another hosting service I use: FastComet.com. Because I have produced so much content since I began in March 2015, I have a massive amount of media and text to move, some of which I may choose to leave behind as I move on to better terms and conditions than what I pay for on WordPress.com for their premium package. [https://straightfromthepen.com is now hosted by FastComet.com]

The good thing in this change for my Life After Release in 2023, is that FastComet provides me with prompt and efficient service to resolve issues I often encounter because of my lack of technical knowledge [FastComet support team did migrate this website with my assistance at dealing with an inexperienced support technician of to whom I suggested to that he learn about the “exporting” function].

Changes

Though everything may not be perfect in the World of Wayne, I still have all body parts intact and in good working order: maybe not in the same capacity as when younger but all do function and serve their purpose.

Age has had its effect on me but with my history I see each day as a gift, regardless of what I experience. The changes have been an upgrade for me on most levels; especially, when considering where I began in April of 1995 to learn how to live without the use of drugs and alcohol.


One of the new skills I learned that I otherwise would not have if not for using WordPress.com with some of the features provided through the Premium package I had, is the ability to use Spotify to turn some of my blogs into podcasts, another one of my many experiments with technology.

Podcasts on Spotify | STRAIGHT FROM THE PEN

And of greater significance, is for God using me in ways I never imagined. This embedded YouTube video from A Steadfast Journey with the spectacular, Dr. Micshell Milsap, is the second of three appearances that I have had on her television show. In Revising a Life-10, I include the link for the first time I appeared. The second filming may be seen here


My life after release since the last time I posted in this series, is too complicated to continue in this post, but if you want to learn more you can check out my interviews on the YouTube channel for StraightfromthePen.

Hackers and Technology by Wayne T. Dowdy

Technological Challenges

On Quora.com, one of my most viewed answers related to technological challenges upon release from prison. If you spent a long time in prison, what technology did you find hardest to adjust to when you were released?

Many things have changed for me since I wrote that answer: I’ve become pretty good with the technology available today but am a long way from being a technological guru. Though I am an aging gentlemen, I am not resistant to change and do welcome some of the advances in technology but do wonder what the future will hold at the pace we are moving into the Brave New World.

All Hackers Not Created Equal

One thing I learned is that all hackers are not created equal. Some are better than others, some have good intentions, others are evil-minded actors who seek to create trouble for agencies, individuals or for companies.

Some hackers work to improve website security, such as those who work for Wordfence.com and cyber security firms to search for flaws in the technology that allow bad actors to hack websites or to otherwise create problems for those involved, whether it be to enter malicious code to steal personal data or to take over the websites.

Technological Changes: Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Today I experimented with the BING AI and was amazed at the essays it created for me after I added the topic and chose other relevant information. For examples, please read some of the blogs that I will post, beginning with the creative title I used to give the latest technology a name (e.g., Dr. AI Bing): Prison Privatization Effects on Society by Dr. AI Bing and Wayne T. Dowdy.

In conclusion, the following information is what started this blog that evolved because of my experiments with the Dr. AI Bing on this bright sunshiny day that may take us on a journey into another unknown area of existence where AI enlightens us on the new dimension that awaits us in this thing we call life. 🙂

Bleeping Computer News

The Bleeping Computer news service reported a flaw in the WiFi network traffic process that creates a security issue. (I provide the link for the article at the end of this post.)

Last night and early today, I was trying to make a payment to PayPal Credit through PayPal, which is attached to my bank accounts. When I couldn’t connect to the bank from PayPal Credit to make my payment, I instituted my normal security protocols of running security scans, using different browsers (Edge, Google Chrome, Firefox), and another computer to determine whether there was a security issue with my personal network and associated accounts.

After all attempt failed to connect to the bank, I called customer service at PayPal Credit (Synchrony Bank) and learned that the bank-access-problem was systematic, which made me feel better. That let me know that it was unlikely that my computer or accounts had been hacked.

Shortly after I contacted Customer Service, I read the Google news feed and found The Bleeping Computer article, and then I understood why I could not connect to the bank: cyber security working on closing holes with firewall rules to protect data from hackers.

When I tried again a few hours later, I succeeded at paying my $1.30 PayPal debt. 🙂 Yes, that number is correct, less than two-dollars, but a bill is a bill and I always pay off early to avoid interest charges and to maximize my credit utilization to keep a higher credit score.

https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/wifi-protocol-flaw-allows-attackers-to-hijack-network-traffic/

Prison Privatization Effects on Society by Dr. AI Bing and Wayne T. Dowdy

Prison Privatization in America and beyond is a controversial social issue that I wrote about in 2015 and years to follow. Today I present to you the blog created with the assistance of artificial intelligence. Read On!

Dr. AI Bing and I came up with the following essay on the effects of prison privatization on society. Ironically, we agreed on the conclusion. I want to thank Dr. AI Bing for its research and profound conclusions when writing for this important topic.

On April 5, 2015, I wrote an article related to private prisons and some of the lies told to justify its use in America. For more on the issue please read: The Truth About Incarceration, Part II

Note: Dr. AI Bing is the name I created for the latest BING feature using artificial intelligence. In my desire to give credit where credit is due, I asked BING AI how to give proper credit for its service but couldn’t get a definitive response. However, I will share this results from the question, “What do you know about Bing AI?”

“Bing AI is an AI-powered copilot for the web that uses machine learning and natural language processing to help users find what they’re looking for. It can summarize information from around the web and provide answers to questions in a sidebar. Bing AI can also help users refine their research to get answers with a chat experience and spark creativity by helping users create content. It can even write essays and plan vacations!”

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Purchase Essays & More Straight from the Pen by Wayne T. Dowdy to support this blog.


An Essay on Prison Privatization Effects on Society by Dr. AI BING with Assistance from Wayne T. Dowdy

Prison privatization is a controversial topic in the criminal justice field. Some argue that private prisons can provide a cost-effective and efficient alternative to public prisons, while others contend that private prisons have negative impacts on society, human rights, and rehabilitation. In this blog post, I will examine some of the pros and cons of prison privatization and discuss some possible solutions for improving the prison system.

Pros of Prison Privatization

One of the main arguments in favor of prison privatization is that it can reduce the burden on taxpayers and the government. The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world, with about 1.4 million people in state and federal prisons as of 2019. This costs an estimated $80 billion per year, or about $31,000 per inmate. Private prisons claim that they can operate at lower costs than public prisons, by negotiating lower prices for goods and services, using cheaper labor, and implementing innovative management practices. According to a 2016 report by the U.S. Department of Justice, private prisons saved an average of $4 per inmate per day compared to public prisons.

Another argument in favor of prison privatization is that it can increase the quality and accountability of prison services. Private prisons are subject to contractual obligations and performance standards that can be enforced by the government or monitored by independent agencies. Private prisons may also have more incentives to provide better conditions and programs for inmates, such as education, vocational training, health care, and recreation, in order to reduce recidivism rates and enhance their reputation. Some studies have found that private prisons have lower levels of violence, escapes, and staff turnover than public prisons.

Cons of Prison Privatization

One of the main arguments against prison privatization is that it can undermine the public interest and human rights of inmates. Private prisons are driven by profit motives, which may conflict with the goals of justice, rehabilitation, and public safety. Private prisons may cut corners on quality and safety standards, staff training and supervision, and inmate services and programs, in order to maximize their profits. Private prisons may also lobby for harsher sentencing policies and resist reforms that would reduce incarceration rates, in order to maintain or increase their market share. Private prisons have been accused of various abuses and scandals, such as corruption, fraud, negligence, violence, sexual assault, medical neglect, and civil rights violations.

Another argument against prison privatization is that it can have negative effects on society and communities. Private prisons may contribute to social inequality and racial discrimination, as they disproportionately incarcerate people of color, low-income individuals, immigrants, and other marginalized groups. Private prisons may also disrupt local economies and environments, as they often locate in rural areas with limited resources and infrastructure. Private prisons may create a dependence on incarceration as a source of income and employment for some communities, while displacing or exploiting others.

Solutions for Improving the Prison System

Given the pros and cons of prison privatization, there is no simple or definitive answer to whether it is beneficial or harmful for society. However, there are some possible solutions for improving the prison system, whether public or private.

One solution is to implement evidence-based policies and practices that can reduce incarceration rates and promote alternatives to imprisonment. This may include reforming sentencing laws, expanding diversion programs, enhancing community supervision, supporting reentry services, and addressing the root causes of crime such as poverty, addiction, mental illness, and social exclusion.

Another solution is to improve the oversight and regulation of private prisons to ensure that they meet minimum standards of quality, safety, accountability, transparency, and human rights. This may include strengthening contractual terms and conditions, enforcing penalties for non-compliance or poor performance, conducting regular audits and inspections, collecting and reporting data on outcomes and costs, involving stakeholders and experts in decision-making processes, and ensuring access to legal recourse and remedies for inmates.

A third solution is to foster a culture of change within prisons that can support rehabilitation and reintegration of inmates. This may involve developing cognitive behavioral communities in prison that can help inmates change their thinking patterns and behaviors through positive reinforcement, peer support, role modeling, skill development, and problem-solving. This may also involve engaging correctional staff in training and coaching that can enhance their professional skills, attitudes, values, and well-being.

Conclusion

Prison privatization is a complex issue that has both advantages and disadvantages for society. While private prisons may offer some benefits in terms of cost-efficiency and innovation, they may also pose some risks in terms of public interest and human rights. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the impacts of prison privatization on a case-by-case basis and adopt solutions that can improve the prison system as a whole.

Effects of Prison Interview, Part II, by Ms. Begum K with Wayne T. Dowdy

Yesterday I posted the content below the subtitle, Effects of Prison Interview, Part II, on my Quora.com Space, Life Inside and Out. And then noticed that when it posted there was not a title for the post. So, now I am revising what I wrote and the process by posting it where it should have been first: Here on StraightfromthePen.com.

Sometime later on, on Quora.com/Life Inside and Out, I will replace the previous content that I use below with this blog. (I modified the title of this blog to be clear about its content.)

If you haven’t read or listened to Part I, you may do so by clicking this link: YouTube Interview with Wayne T. Dowdy – STRAIGHT FROM THE PEN


Effects of Prison Interview, Part II

On March 20, 1995, I planned for that day to be the last day I shot dope or did other mind-altering substances. My plan didn’t work the way I anticipated. Two weeks and three days later, I got high again but stopped halfway through the process and threw away the rest of the joint I was smoking. That was the last time, thus far, and I don’t anticipate reverting to my former ways that helped to keep me returning to prison. Yes, I am a recidivist.

This interview (Effects of Prison Interview by Ms. Begum K with Wayne T. Dowdy, Part II), would not have taken place had I not continued to stay away from what I knew was killing me and helping to destroy my life. If you enjoy watching and listening to it, please click to like, follow me on YouTube, and subscribe. Thanks!

YouTube Interview with Wayne T. Dowdy

Effects of Incarceration Interview with Begum K., Part I

When Ms. Begum K. first contacted me on my Quora.com Space, Life Inside and Out, because she needed participants for an interview on the effects of incarceration to use when writing a paper for her Psychology class, I was hesitant.

After several days of thought and deliberation, I agreed because I believed in her objective of wanting to help others. Then afterwards, I became grateful for overcoming my fears.

Even though I was unknowingly in the first stage of COVID-19 on the day of the scheduled interview, I did not want to delay her project and proceeded. And then I became her fan and did all I could to assist her in finding other participants to complete her study.

Click the following link to watch and listen to the YouTube video on my StraightfromthePen. channel.

Effects of Incarceration, an Interview with Ms. Begum K., Part I