Components of Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence (EI) refers to one’s ability to understand and manage personal emotions and that of others with whom he or she interacts. However, the wider content and limits of emotional intelligence are not well defined. Mayer and Salovey pioneered the use of the term EI and constructed its definition as the ability of a person to discern emotions, conceptualize the emotion trigger thought, understand the emotions, and control the emotions to ensure personal development. (McDonald, 2013) The two researchers found out two areas of emotional intelligence, which include experiential and strategic EI (Ackley, D. (2016). Experiential EI means the ability of an individual to perceive reason and translate psychological reactions without a need to understand it first (Pena-Sarrionandia, Mikolajczak & Gross, 2015). On the other hand, strategic EI entails the ability conceptualizes and control emotions without having to perceive feelings or fully experience them. Goleman (2006) provides a more functional perspective of emotional intelligence by stating that its benefits are to inspire people, help in the management of impulses and mood regulation. It enables individual persistence in situations that present barriers to a much-needed success.
Goleman’s structure outlines four basic constructs of EI. The first aspect is self-awareness. Self-awareness entails the ability perceive other people’s emotional dispositions and identifying their potential impacts while using such emotions to make decisions (McDonald, 2013). Self-management, which is the second aspect, includes moderating one's emotions, impulses, and contending with the realities of changing situations (Stephens & Nel, 2014). The third dimension of the model is social awareness the sensitivity to other people’s emotions, understanding them and reacting to them while at the same time comprehending existing social relations. The last aspect of Goleman’s model of EI is relationship management, which entails the competency of motivating, influencing, and improving the capacity of other people while in the same context managing conflict (Stephens & Nel, 2014). These four constructs collectively help individuals to function optimally in their daily activities including making choices and executing them.
Emotional intelligence model
The four-tier model of emotional intelligence developed by Goleman is essential in understanding the concept of emotional management and recidivism. For instance, it generates a fundamental concept of the influence of emotional states on the social functioning of people. It may also be a more predictive value for practical consequences than cognitive intelligence or intelligence quotient (Gardner, 1983). Recent studies on criminals indicate that most of them have low emotional intelligence. Moreover, proximate research shows that some of the offenders are deficient in some of the components of EI including empathy, critical thinking, problem solving impulse control, and self-concept (Megreya, 2013).
Policy makers, program evaluators, and practitioners in the field of criminal justice require a proactive assessment of the risk factors that can be best applied in predicting recidivism in adult offenders. The actuarial parameters used in the determination of the possibility of adult reoffending must be suitable for all stakeholders in the system. Based on the need for cost efficient and human operations of prisons in the era of increasing incarceration rates, it is logical that the maximum-security prisons be expressly reserved for the high-risk criminals (Mauer, 1994). The establishment of an effective program for the treatment of offenders highly depends on the information available about predictors of recidivism (Gendreau et al., 1994).
According to Andrews and Bonta (1994), there are two main categories of predictors including static and dynamic factors. The static factors are those that are part of the offenders past but cannot be changed. They include age and previous cases of arrests. On the other hand, dynamic risk factors for recidivism are those criminal needs, which can be changed through proper treatments. The dynamic factors include values, antisocial mentality, and behavior patterns. Despite the essence of risk predictors in dealing with offenders, there is no universal consensus on the best mechanisms to measure the specific risk factors for criminals.
The Cost of Recidivism
Recidivism of criminals and juvenile delinquency has multiple effects on the socio-economic and political activities of any state. It may appear a less significant occurrence when viewed through the narrow lens of offenders being freed from cells, committing new offenses and facing a re-incarceration (Zoukis, 2014). However, the underneath is enormous. In a society whereby the focus is more on policing and criminal justice than changing the life of wrongdoers to become productive members of the community, the United States risks suffering many financial constraints due to the effect of recidivism. Various entities suffer from the challenge on the victims of crime, the economy, and the correctional facilities.
The communities that are vulnerable to different kinds of crime are among the immediately affected by relapsing offenders. One of the reasons that make the victims of crime more susceptible to the effects of recidivism is that they are not only unsuspecting but also defenseless. The main aim of restricting inmates to the cells is to offer them with necessary life skills to change from a criminal lifestyle, prevent future victimizations, and reduce the general vulnerabilities of the public (Zoukis, 2014). However, whenever a former detainee re-offends and is re-arrested, a new victim is created and increased victimization of the offenders thus the role of jails as correctional facilities is undermined.
Recidivism rate in the US
The high rate of recidivism in the United States is on the verge of crippling its economy. Zoukis (2014) affirms that the cost of maintaining operations of the prison system in most states of the US is so high. In fact, he notes that by 2007, the funds used in annually in maintaining correctional facilities within the entire nation amounted to more than $60. The enormous expenditure leads to the redirection of funds from vital programs such as elementary education and other social services, which are essential in preventing crime in the first place to meet the cost of re-incarceration from other activities (Zoukis, 2014). Whenever funds are challenged towards rehabilitating inmates, it is befitting that they assume a productive life upon release to engage in activities such as businesses that generate back the used dollars during their time in prisons (Copestake, Gray & Snowden, 2013). However, relapses to crime lead to a loss of taxes to unproductive criminal restoration processes.
The prisons face the challenge of accommodating the increasing number of recidivists; they have to seek legal authority to allow them to accept back the re-offenders to their already congested facilities. Overpopulated cells attract some of the dangerous aspects of incarceration such as unrest and violence among the inmates. A returning offender imposes an extra burden on the prison management regarding increased need for space and finances to cater for food without any additional funds being allocated for the same (Zoukis, 2014). On a broader sense, recidivism is a significant challenge within the American community as it not only contributes to increased financial burden on the state but also reduces the productive value of the prisoner’s lives. It reduces the efficacy of correction services and increases civilian vulnerability to the effects of crime as every new recidivist creates a new victim.
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