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IELTS essay, topic: The majority of former prisoners commit further crime after their release (reasons and solutions)

This is a model response to a Writing Task 2 topic from High Scorer’s Choice IELTS Practice Tests book series (reprinted with permission). This answer is close to IELTS Band 9.

Set 5 Academic book, Practice Test 22

Writing Task 2

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

It is a fact that the majority of people who are sent to prison commit further crime after their release.

What is causing this? What can be done to change this?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your knowledge or experience.

You should write at least 250 words.

Sample Band 9 Essay

It is a sad fact that criminals who leave prison go on to commit further crime. There are various reasons for this, but there are also some things that can be done to prevent it from happening.

One reason for this recidivism is due to a lack of legitimate income. Many people turn to crime as they cannot find an alternative to earn money. When such person comes out of prison, it is very often the case that they have the same few opportunities for a legitimate income. In fact, these opportunities will even be reduced, as employers are often less willing to give an ex-prisoner a job. Some people also return to crime, as they spend all the time of their prison sentence with other criminals. This is not a great environment for rehabilitation, and sometimes even a network of contacts can be made to help develop criminal activities on release.

One important way to help address this problem is education. Criminals who have turned to illegal activities because of no alternatives to earn a living need to learn a way to earn a wage, such as a trade or vocational skills. Computer skills, for example, are in high demand and someone trained in these could very possibly find work. In addition, governments can offer incentives to employers to attract them to give jobs to newly-released prisoners. This would help people who don’t really want to return to crime achieve a fresh start. As keeping people in prison is an expensive business, governments might find it cheaper to pay these incentives.

To sum up, people returning to crime is a tragedy that should be avoided if at all possible in today’s society. Education and incentives can directly address the reasons for it and could make society a happier and safer place.

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2 thoughts on “IELTS essay, topic: The majority of former prisoners commit further crime after their release (reasons and solutions)”

  1. It is a sad fact that individuals who are released from prison often go on to commit further crimes. There are various reasons for this, but there are also measures that can be taken to prevent it from happening.

    One primary cause of recidivism is the lack of legitimate income opportunities. Many people turn to crime because they cannot find alternative ways to earn money. Unfortunately, even after leaving prison, they often face limited options for legal employment. In fact, their chances may diminish as employers tend to be reluctant to hire ex-prisoners. Additionally, spending time in prison alongside other criminals hinders rehabilitation and can lead to establishing new criminal connections upon release.

    Effectively addressing this issue requires a focus on education. Individuals who have resorted to illegal activities due to limited alternatives need access to learn marketable skills or trades that enable them to secure lawful means of earning a living. For instance, providing training in high-demand fields like computer skills could significantly improve their prospects for finding employment opportunities. Furthermore, governments can incentivize employers by offering benefits or rewards for hiring newly-released prisoners. This approach would provide those who genuinely wish not returnto crime with an opportunity for a fresh start. Given the high costs associated with incarceration, governments might find investing in these incentives more cost-effective.

    In conclusion, minimizing the recurrence of criminal behavior among former offenders is crucial in our modern society.The solutions lie ineducation and incentives which directly address the root causes behind recidivism while contributing towards creating safer communities where individuals have better opportunities for productive lives.


  2. Here is a list of commonly used words and collocations based on this essay, along with their Chinese translations:

    1. Recidivism – 再犯率
    2. Commit further crimes – 再度犯罪
    3. Released from prison – 出狱
    4. Measures to prevent – 预防措施
    5. Lack of legitimate income opportunities – 合法收入机会的缺乏
    6. Turn to crime – 转向犯罪活动/走上犯罪道路
    7. Alternative ways to earn money – 赚钱的替代方法
    8. Limited options for legal employment – 有限的合法就业选择权
    9.Reluctant to hire ex-prisoners- 不愿雇佣前囚犯
    10.Spending time in prison alongside other criminals- 与其他罪犯一起在监禁期间度过
    11.Hinders rehabilitation- 妨碍康复
    12.Establishing new criminal connections- 建立新的罪恶联系
    13.Focus on education 专注于教育
    14.Resort to illegal activities 指向非法活动
    15.Learn marketable skills or trades 学习有市场价值技能或行业
    16.Secure lawful means of earning a living 获取合法谋生手段
    17.High-demand fields like computer skills 计算机技能等高需求领域
    18.Improve prospects for finding employment opportunities 提高找到就业机会前景
    19.Incentivize employers 给雇主提供激励措施
    20.Offer benefits or rewards 提供福利或奖励
    21.Newly-released prisoners 刚刚释放的囚犯
    22.Wish not return to crime 希望不再犯罪
    23.Provide an opportunity for a fresh start 提供重新开始的机会
    24.Given the high costs associated with incarceration 鉴于关押所带来的高成本
    25.Minimizing the recurrence of criminal behavior 减少犯罪行为再次发生
    26.Former offenders 前罪犯
    27.Crucial in our modern society 在我们现代社会中至关重要
    28.Address the root causes behind recidivism 解决再度回归原因
    29.Contribute towards creating safer communities 有助于创造更安全的社区
    30.Better opportunities for productive lives 更好地创造有意义生活的机会

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