Recidivism is one of the most fundamental concepts in criminal justice. It refers to a person’s relapse into criminal behavior, often after the person receives sanctions or undergoes intervention for a previous crime.

National Statistics on Recidivism
Bureau of Justice Statistics studies have found high rates of recidivism among released prisoners. One study tracked 404,638 prisoners in 30 states after their release from prison in 2005. The researchers found that:
Within three years of release, about two-thirds (67.8 percent) of released prisoners were rearrested.
Within five years of release, about three-quarters (76.6 percent) of released prisoners were rearrested.
Of those prisoners who were rearrested, more than half (56.7 percent) were arrested by the end of the first year.
Property offenders were the most likely to be rearrested, with 82.1 percent of released property offenders arrested for a new crime compared with 76.9 percent of drug offenders, 73.6 percent of public order offenders and 71.3 percent of violent offenders.

Desistance from Crime

The research team theorizes that although offender services and programs may have a direct effect on desistance, individuals must decide independently to transform themselves into ex-offenders. Programs and services may facilitate transformation, just as individual transformation — or the lack thereof — may moderate the effects of re-entry assistance.

www.nji.gov