Bureau of Justice Statistics

A recent report examines the recidivism patterns of former prisoners during a nine-year follow-up period. The report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2018 Update on Prisoner Recidivism: A 9-Year Follow-up Period (2005-2014), provides data on the number and types of crimes prisoners commit after release, by offender characteristics, commitment offense, whether the arrest was within or outside the state of release, and whether released prisoners had no subsequent arrests during the follow-up period.

It also shows how recidivism and desistance patterns change when using longer or shorter follow-up periods, including cumulative and annual arrest percentages, year of first arrest following release from prison, and the total number of arrests of released prisoners. The longer follow-up period shows a fuller picture of offending patterns and criminal activity of released prisoners than is shown by prior studies that used a three- or five-year follow-up period.

Findings include that five out of six (83 percent) of state prisoners released in 2005 across 30 states were arrested at least once during the nine years following their release. The percentage of prisoners arrested following release declined each year during the follow-up period, with 44 percent of prisoners arrested during the first year after release, 34 percent arrested during the third year and 24 percent arrested during the ninth year.

To read the report, go here.


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The Justice Technology Information Center is a component of the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center System, a program of the National Institute of Justice. JTIC serves as an information resource for technology and equipment related to law enforcement, corrections and courts, and hosts the NIJ Compliance Testing Program, a voluntary equipment standards and testing program for ballistic- and stab-resistant body armor and other officer safety equipment, which conducts equipment testing, reviews and analyzes testing data and disseminates results.

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