The term is frequently used in conjunction with
According to the
Beginning in the 1990s, the
While the US justice system has traditionally focused its efforts at the front end of the system, by locking people up, it has not exerted an equal effort at the tail end of the system: decreasing the likelihood of reoffending among formerly incarcerated persons. This is a significant issue because ninety-five percent of prisoners will be released back into the community at some point.
A cost study performed by the Vera Institute of Justice found that the average per-inmate cost of incarceration among the 40 states surveyed was $31,286 per year . Educational programming costs significantly less and is proven to decrease the rate of recidivism. While there is an up front cost associated with paying for prison based education, there is a larger cost avoidance by reducing the likelihood the offender will return to incarceration.
According to a national study published in 2003 by
There are many other factors in recidivism, such as the individual's circumstances before
One of the main reasons why they find themselves back in jail is because it is difficult for the individual to fit back in with ‘normal’ life. They have to reestablish ties with their family, return to high-risk places and secure formal identification; they often have a poor work history and now have a criminal record to deal with. Many prisoners report being anxious about their release; they are excited about how their life will be different “this time” which does not always end up being the case.
At the most direct and personal level, those who have the greatest stake in recidivism are: the formerly incarcerated person; their family (especially children); the victim of the crime for which they were re-incarcerated (if there was one); and those employed by the justice system (from police, to parole officers, to jail guards, to those who build and profit from prisons, etc.). More broadly, however, recidivism affects everyone. Crime is a problem in every community (though some more so than others) and anyone can be a victim. Victimization can take many forms—from being directly injured in a violent crime, to being robbed, to having your sense of safety violated as result of living in an area where crime exists. Furthermore, all taxpayers are greatly impacted by the economic costs of crime.[
Of US federal inmates in 2010, about half (51%) were serving time for drug offenses and many others likely committed crimes under the influence of one or more drugs, over drug-related disputes (turf battles, etc.), or in order to obtain money to buy drugs—factors which were not necessarily cited in their charges.
It is estimated that three quarters of those returning to prison have a history of substance abuse. Over 70 percent of
Those involved in the criminal justice system have rates of substance abuse and dependence that are more than four times higher than the general population and fewer than 20 percent of federal and state prisoners who meet the criteria receive treatment.
Effectiveness studies have shown that inmates who participate in residential treatment programs while incarcerated have 9 to 18 percent lower recidivism rates and 15 to 35 percent lower drug relapse rates than their counterparts who receive no treatment in prison. Furthermore, inmates who receive aftercare (treatment after imprisonment) have an even greater chance of not recidivating. When combined with treatment that was given during incarceration aftercare can be a very useful tool in recidivism reduction. Some offenders have had a reduced risk of recidivism of up to eighty percent after undergoing aftercare treatment.
As reported on
- Released prisoners with the highest rearrest rates were robbers (70.2%), burglars (74.0%), larcenists (74.6%), motor vehicle thieves (78.8%), those in prison for possessing or selling stolen property (77.4%) and those in prison for possessing, using or selling illegal weapons (70.2%).
- Within 3 years, 2.5% of released rapists were arrested for another rape, and 1.2% of those who had served time for homicide were arrested for homicide. These are the lowest rates of re-arrest for the same category of crime.
- The 272,111 offenders discharged in 1994 had accumulated 4.1 million arrest charges before their most recent imprisonment and another 744,000 charges within 3 years of release.
Former criminals rose to become some of America's greatest leaders in law, industry and politics.[
An accused's history of convictions are called
There are organisations that help with the re-integration of ex-detainees into society by helping them obtain work, teaching them various societal skills, and by providing all-around support. One organization that works on meeting inmates at their point of entry (in jail) is JUST of DuPage in IL. Another organization that is currently based in New York City is the
In an effort to be more fair and to avoid adding to already high imprisonment rates in the US, courts across America have started using
The TRACER Act is intended to monitor released terrorists to prevent recidivism. Nevertheless, rates of re-offending for political crimes are much less than for non-political crimes.
With regard to the
African Americans comprise a majority of the prison reentry population, yet few studies have been aimed at studying recidivism among this population. Recidivism is highest amongst those under the age of 18 who are male and African American, and African Americans have significantly higher levels of recidivism as compared to whites.
The sheer number of ex-inmates exiting prison into the
Most research regarding recidivism indicates that those ex-inmates that obtain
African Americans are disproportionately represented in the American prison system, representing approximately half the prison population. Of this population, many enter into the prison system with less than a high school diploma. The lack of
For African American ex-inmates, their race is an added barrier to obtaining employment after release. According to one study, African Americans are more likely to re-offend because employment opportunities are not as available in the communities they return to in relation to whites.
A cultural re-grounding of African Americans is important to improve self-esteem and help develop a sense of community.
Culturally specific programs and services that focus on characteristics that include the target population values, beliefs, and styles of problem solving may be beneficial in reducing recidivism among African American inmates;[
For example, research shows that treatment effectiveness should include cognitive-behavioral and social learning techniques of modeling, role playing, reinforcement, extinction, resource provision, concrete verbal suggestions (symbolic modeling, giving reasons, prompting) and cognitive restructuring; the effectiveness of the intervention incorporates a relapse prevention element. Relapse prevention is a cognitive-behavioral approach to self-management that focuses on teaching alternate responses to high-risk situations. Research also shows that
Several theories suggest that access to low-skill employment among parolees is likely to have favorable outcomes, at least over the short term, by strengthening internal and external social controls that constrain behavior toward legal employment. Any legal employment upon release from prison may help to tip the balance of economic choice toward not needing to engage in criminal activity. Employment as a turning point enhances attachment and commitment to mainstream individuals and pursuits. From that perspective, ex-inmates are constrained from criminal acts because they are more likely to weigh the risk of severing social ties prior to engaging in illegal behavior and opt to refuse to engage in criminal activity.
In 2015 a bipartisan effort, headed by
There is greater indication that education in prison helps prevent reincarceration.
Many studies have shown a correlation between prisoners attending rehabilitation programs while incarcerated and their likelihood of recidivism. Most have no significant results, although, some studies have shown a positive correlation. There are studies showing that boot camp combined with aftercare with juveniles has a recidivism rate of 74%. So-called "green prison programs" providing horticultural therapy and green jobs post-release have shown positive effects on recidivism and rehabilitation as well and are increasing in popularity across the United States. When coupled with "green reentry jobs" these outcomes appear to have an even stronger positive effect on reducing recidivism rates.
In a study conducted by the Massachusetts Department of Correction in the year 2011, prisoners having drug related arrests were monitored after their release. Furthermore, the recidivism rates of former prisoners that entered the Massachusetts Department of Correction Correctional Recovery Academy program upon release would be compared with the recidivism rates of prisoners who did not enter the program. The Correctional Recovery Academy program is a six-month substance abuse treatment program. The studies findings were that those who completed the program had a 46.9% recidivism rate after 3 years, while those who did not use the program had a 52.9% recidivism rate.
The Minnesota Department of Corrections did a study on criminals who are in prison to see if rehabilitation during incarceration correlates with recidivism and/or saved the state money. They used the Minnesota's Challenge Incarceration Program (CIP) which consisted of three phases. The first was a six-month institutional phase followed by two aftercare phases, each lasting at least six months, for a total of about eighteen months. The first phase was the “boot camp” phase. Here inmates had daily schedules sixteen hours long where they participated in activities and showed discipline. Some activities in phase one included physical training, manual labor, skills training, drug therapy, and transition planning. The second and third phases were called “community phases.” In phase two the participants are on intensive supervised release (ISR). ISR includes being in contact with your supervisor on a daily basis, being a full-time employee, keeping curfew, passing random drug and alcohol tests, and doing community service while continuing to participate completely in the program. The final phase is phase three. During this phase one is still on ISR and has to remain in the community while maintaining a full-time job. They have to continue with community service and their participation in the program. Once phase three is complete participants have “graduated” CIP. They are then put on supervision until the end of their sentence. Inmates who drop out or fail to complete the program are sent back to prison to serve the rest of their sentence. Information was gathered through a quasi experimental design. This compared the recidivism rates of the CIP participants with a control group. The findings of the study have shown that the CIP program did not significantly reduce the chances of recidivism. However CIP did increase the amount of time before rearrest. Moreover, CIP early release graduates lower the costs for the state by millions every year.
A study was done by Robert Stanz in Jefferson County, Kentucky which discussed an alternative to jail time. The alternative was "
A study was conducted regarding the recidivism rate of inmates receiving MMT (
Male prisoners are exposed and subject to sexual and physical violence in prisons. When these events occur, the victim usually suffers emotionally and/or physically. Studies suggest that this leads the inmate to accept these types of behaviors and value their lives and the lives of others less when they are released. These dehumanizing acts, combined with learned violent behavior, are implicated in higher recidivism rates. Two studies were done to attempt to provide a “national” recidivism rate for the US. One was done in 1983 which included 108,580 state prisoners from 11 different states. The other study was done in 1994 on 272,111 prisoners from 15 states. Both studies represent two-thirds of the overall prisoners released in their corresponding years. An image developed by Matt Kelley indicates the percent of parolees returning to prison in each state in 2006. According to this image, in 2006, there was more recidivism in the southern states, particularly in the Midwestern region. However, for the majority, the data is spread out throughout the regions.
The recidivism rate in the
A study by the
The recidivism rate in
A study conducted in
In 2001, the