The Effect of Horticultural Community Service Programs on Recidivism Numbers of Offenders
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The average cost of housing a single inmate in the United States is roughly $31,286 a year, bringing the total average cost states spend on corrections to an average of more than $50 billion a year. Statistics show 1 in every 34 adults in the United States is under some form of correctional supervision; and after 3 years, more than 4 in 10 prisoners return to custody. The purpose of this study was to determine the differences in incidences of recurrences of offenses/recidivism of offenders completing community service in horticultural versus non-horticultural settings. Data were collected through obtaining offender profile probation revocation reports, agency records, and community service supervision reports from the Hays County Probation Office in San Marcos, Texas. The sample included both violent and non-violent and misdemeanor and felony offenders. Offenders who completed their community service in horticultural or non-horticultural outdoor environments showed lower rates of recidivism when compared to offenders who completed their community service in non-horticultural indoor environments and those who had no community service. The results and information gathered support the continued notion that horticultural activities can play an important role in influencing an offender’s successful reentry into society.