International Alliances

Pakistan - Mass Incarceration, Recidivism & Poverty


Written By: Abbas Khalid Ali

Former Banker In Pakistan

Global Power Of Change

The shift to tougher penal policies in America more than three decades ago was originally credited with helping people in poor neighborhoods by reducing crime.

But now that America’s incarceration rate has risen to be the world’s highest, many social scientists find the social benefits to be far outweighed by the costs to those communities and to local budgets.

This same social devastation is also taking place in just about every country worldwide. By working together not just locally but globally as well, provides a much broader base of support to enhance opportunity and create jobs in a global micro economy.

As people of different cultures, backgrounds and religions come together to support solutions for a common cause, this demonstrates the power of change that cooperation and participation can have to provide pathways of opportunity directly to those in need.

Viable Social Change

It is a blessing in disguise for the people of USA, Pakistan and rest of the world, that a group of dedicated individuals across the globe have joined hands to address this issue.

Working together in a combined effort to bring viable social change to their respective countrymen.

Incarceration In Pakistan

While the U.S. may have the highest population of incarcerated citizens, almost 2.2 Million behind bars; the high rate of recidivism is a worldwide phenomenon.

In Pakistan for example, prisons have become heavily overpopulated, understaffed and poorly managed. They are a fertile breeding ground for criminality and militancy, with prisoners more likely to return to crime than to abandon it.

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Economic Stimulation

Through technical training, job creation and other self-reliant programs, low level nonviolent prisoners can become vibrant and productive members of the society.

As members of this group enter the mainstream employment pool, their spending would increase the demand for products thus driving supply to new heights and more investment in industry and trade.

Dependency & Treatment

Drug abuse in Pakistan for this particular group is higher than the national average.

An estimated 5.8 per cent, or 6.45 million, of the population in Pakistan aged between 15 and 64 used drugs in the last 12 months.

Around 4.1 million drug users in Pakistan are thought to be dependent on substances. In other words, 64 per cent of people using a drug or misusing a substance in 2012 qualify as dependent and require specialist interventions.

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Benefits of Employment

This not only reduces recidivism but also turns the wheels of the economy.

Employment of large numbers from this group would to help stimulate economic growth, slow the tremendous drain on the national budget and improve the general wellbeing of the population of any country.

Economic Loss

The cost of mass incarceration in Pakistan is a tremendous national burden with millions of tax collected dollars going into keeping people behind bars for petty offences.

This deprives the country of a coherent program for channeling funds to more pressing issues such as lack of housing, education, health care, and infrastructure and job creation.

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