Joe Biden believes in pivoting the prison system towards reform, rather than punishment. One example of this is his belief that anyone who serves time in prison, must be able to receive any program offered by the federal government.
If we reduced reincarceration through rehabilitation, it would result in reduced crime, as well as both direct and indirect financial benefits.
But, this is an uphill battle as some officials view the main goal of prisons to currently be the storage of criminals, not rehabilitation.
For example, in a survey by the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, about 30 percent of felons had no high school diploma.
Yet, the funding for education programs in prison is inconsistent between states.
Prisoners face even more roadblocks, after release, because they often suffer from a lack of government support to get them back on their feet. In California, 46 percent of prisoners released in 2012-2013 ended up convicted of another crime within three years.
Many experts say the first 72 hours after release are the most important to signify if they will lead away from, or back towards prison. Most states give prisoners "gate money" when released, this ranges from the most money, $200 in California, to no money in New Hampshire.
If they can make this money or lack of money, last 72-hours, next they have to worry about finding a job, and a place to sleep. Yet, many employers and landlords refuse to employ or rent to felons.
Both of these can cause homelessness, which leads to a higher chance of reincarceration.
With the lack of rehabilitation or aid provided to prisoners and recently released prisoners, Biden has a good reason for this stance.