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Ellis Archuleta

Document Type

Restricted CORE Hall of Fame Paper

Publication Date



[Excerpt] America’s prison system is built on retributive justice, on the idea that those who break the law must be punished to “pay their debts” to society and to teach the offender not to repeat their actions. However, with released offenders committing crimes at significantly higher rates, many are left wondering why this penal system is not working as intended. Some have said that it is because those who commit crimes naturally have low self-control, while others claim that social disadvantages and poor living situations upon being released are at fault. By examining recidivism and prisoner reentry on a small and large scale, it becomes evident that offenders and the communities they return to must be kept accountable, so they do not return to the circumstances that drove them to crime. This essay will offer a brief history of prisoner reentry and past attempts to reduce the rate of repeat offenses (also known as recidivism) and use an example from the competitive Super Smash Bros. gaming community to discuss points of concern from both sides on a larger scale.