Healthy Approaches To Reducing Recidivism

January 14th, 2019

The corrections industry faces many challenges, but one of the most prevalent is recidivism. How do we reduce the amount of inmates who return to prison following a recent release? Several years ago the thought was to make life in prison so minimal that those who are incarcerated think twice about coming back. Now, our industry is seeing a shift in focus towards rehabilitation. 

The commitment of crimes is inevitable, but there are things we can do while they’re inside that will help shape them into more positive members of our society upon release.  Some industry trends that we are seeing today include the increasing availability of family connection through video visitation, increased educational opportunities through tablets, furniture designs that create a more “home-like” environment, and fitness equipment to help combat feelings of anger and depression. 

California based TriActive USA hopes to contribute to the reduction of recidivism through physical and mental education. TriActive USA’s outdoor (or indoor) fitness equipment is designed and manufactured to be tamper-resistant with no removable parts.  Currently, TriActive USA offers 18 pieces of equipment with a focus on fitness, not strength. All of the equipment is designed for use against one’s own body weight; there are no adjustable weight features such as cables or hydraulics for increased resistance.  TriActive USA Fitness Equipment is constructed of 11-gauge steel and powder coated using a 5 coat process that allows its surfaces to stand up extremely well to vandalism and the harshest weather conditions.  The equipment is shipped fully assembled using tamper resistant hardware, which is concealed by the use of no-break, polyethylene plastic caps. The concealed, prison grade assembly hardware adds an additional level of safety and comfort to front line staff knowing the equipment is tamper-resistant and prevents inmates from attempting to remove parts to make potential weapons. Understanding how harsh a correctional environment can be, TriActive USA aims to produce equipment that is extremely durable and reliable. In order to ensure the highest quality, TriActive USA Fitness Equipment is 100% made in the USA.

TriActive USA has proudly served over 200+ correctional facilities nationwide. Customers are finding that the therapeutic qualities TriActive USA Fitness Equipment offers, fosters personal and physical development and is being used as an incentive for behavior management within a correctional facility. In a study by Wagner, McBride, and Crouse, researchers found that a group of inmates who participated in training “indicated significantly lower levels of aggression variables, increased morale, and were careful not to break any prison rules so as not to lose access to fitness equipment.” Giving inmates access to fitness equipment on a regular basis could arguably improve the prison setting overall. Similar to televisions and tablets, inmates are reluctant to do anything that might upset other inmates or the staff, which may result in the loss of such amenities.

Life in a correctional facility can be highly stressful with many inmates suffering from physical and mental health conditions. Obviously, the more inmates that require medical attention the more money, which typically comes from tax-payer money, will be spent treating these inmates. Fitness equipment may not be the sole answer, but there is no denying that it would positively contribute to the reduction of these costs.

Generally speaking, exercise and recreation are a means of coping with feelings of stress, depression, frustration, anger, and more. Exercise is a common practice in alleviating these negative feelings, helping us channel negative energy into positive energy. Those who are convicted of a crime are also often times suffering from drug abuse and addiction, which is directly associated with  mental health conditions. According to an article written by DJ Williams, Gordon Walker, and William Strean titled Correctional Recreation on Death Row, “regular physical activity has been shown to reduce psychosocial stress, reduce rates of depression, and can even be a helpful part of treatment for individuals struggling with substance abuse.”

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