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Ex-offender Reentry Program Statistics

FAST RESEARCH FACTS:

EX-OFFENDER REENTRY PROGRAMS

 

Recidivism Statistics

 

Note: Arrest rates may not be the best way to measure recidivism.  Take into consideration that someone may be arrested for a crime that they did not commit.  At the same time, it is believed that criminals commit many crimes for which they are never arrested.

 

Demographic Characteristics of Prisoners Released from Prison in 1994 and Recidivism Rates of those Prisoners by Characteristic

 

% of released prisoners

% rearrested within 3 years

% reconvicted within 3 years

% returned to prison*

Total

100

67.5

46.9

51.8

Gender

Male

91.3

68.4

47.6

53.0

Female

8.7

57.6

39.9

39.4

Race

White

50.4

62.7

43.3

49.9

Black

48.5

72.9

51.1

54.2

Other

1.1

55.2

34.3

49.5

Ethnicity

Hispanic

24.5

64.6

43.9

51.9

Non-Hispanic

75.5

71.4

50.7

57.3

Age at release

14-17

0.3

82.1

55.7

56.6

18-24

21.0

75.4

52.0

52.0

25-29

22.8

70.5

50.1

52.5

30-34

22.7

68.8

48.8

54.8

35-39

16.2

66.2

46.3

52.0

40-44

9.4

58.4

38.0

50.0

45 or older

7.6

45.3

29.7

40.9

Most serious offense for which the inmate was serving

Violent

22.5

61.7

39.9

48.8

Property

33.5

73.8

53.4

56.4

Drugs

32.6

66.7

47.0

49.2

Public-order

9.7

62.2

42.0

48.0

Other

1.7

64.7

42.1

66.9

*Those returned to prison with or without a new prison sentence.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 1994 by Patrick A. Langan and David J. Levin, June 2002.

 

 

Criminal History

·        93.1% of prisoners had been arrested at least once prior to the crime for which they were being released in 1994.

·        81.4% had prior convictions.

·        43.6% had served prior prison sentences.

·        The prisoners with the highest re-arrest rates were those who had been serving time for motor vehicle theft (78.8% rearrested within 3 years), possessors/sellers of stolen property (77.4%), larceny (74.6%), and burglary (74.0%), all of which are considered crimes for money.  In contrast, the prisoners with some of the lowest re-arrest rates had been serving time for homicide (40.7%), sexual assault (41.4%), rape (46.0%), and driving under the influence (51.5%).

 

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 1994 by Patrick A. Langan and David J. Levin, June 2002.

 

Recidivism Among Prisoners Released in 1994

 

Cumulative % of released prisoners

 

Rearrested

Reconvicted

In prison under a

new sentence

Within 6 months

29.9

10.6

5.0

Within 1 year

44.1

21.5

10.4

Within 2 years

59.2

36.4

18.8

Within 3 years

67.5

46.9

25.4

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 1994 by Patrick A. Langan and David J. Levin, June 2002.

 

Arrest Charges

·        The 272,111 prisoners released in 1994 had been arrested for about 4.1 million offenses prior to their release and about .8 million during the 3 years after their release for a total of about 4.9 million, an average of about 17.9 charges each.

·        In actuality, a small number of high offenders (accounting for about 6.4% of the prisoners released in 1994) were responsible for almost 14% of the arrest charges, each being responsible for 45 or more offenses.

·        Of the 4.1 million offenses committed prior to their release, 13.3% were violent crimes, 35.8% were property-related crimes, 22.3% were drug related, and 17% were public-order offenses.

·        Of the arrest charges accumulated during the three years after their release in 1994, 13.5% were for violent crimes, 28.0% were for property-related crimes, 25.7 were for drug-related offenses, and 20.9 were for public-order offenses.

 

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 1994 by Patrick A. Langan and David J. Levin, June 2002.

 

 

Criminal History of Inmates in 2002

 

% with no prior sentence

% who were violent recidivists

% who were nonviolent recidivists

Total

38.1

28.3

33.6

Gender

Male

36.8

29.9

33.3

Female

48.7

16.0

35.3

Race/Ethnicity

White*

33.3

26.5

40.2

Black*

39.3

30.4

30.3

Hispanic

46.7

24.4

29.0

*Non-Hispanic

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Profile of Jail Inmates, 2002 by Doris J. James, July 2004.

 

·        Parole violators accounted for 36.6% of all state prison admissions in 1998.

 

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners in 1999 by Allen J. Beck, August 2000.

 

 

Realities About Ex-offenders for Consideration by Leaders of  Reentry Programs

 

Alcohol/Drug Use

·        66.0% of prison inmates in 2002 drank alcohol regularly and 33.4% drank alcohol at the time of the offense.

·        82.2% of prison inmates in 2002 had used drugs at least once during their lifetime, 68.7% used drugs regularly, and 28.8% of convicted inmates had used drugs at the time of the offense.

·        49.7% of convicted inmates were using either drugs or alcohol at the time of their offense.

 

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Profile of Jail Inmates, 2002 by Doris J. James, July 2004.

 

Education

·         In 1997, 26.5% of federal prison inmates and 39.7% of state inmates did not have a high school diploma or the equivalent.

·         In 1997, 12.0% of federal inmates and 14.2% of state inmates had only an 8th grade education or less.

 

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Education and Correctional Populations by Caroline Wolf Harlow, 2003.

 

Employment

·         In 2002, 57.4% of prison inmates reported that they had been working full-time at the time they were arrested and 10.9% had been working part-time.  The rest had only been working occasionally or were unemployed.

 

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Profile of Jail Inmates, 2002 by Doris J. James, July 2004.

 

·         Up to 60% of ex-offender do not hold legitimate employment one year after being released from prison.

·         65% of employers will not knowingly hire an ex-offender.

·         30-40% of employers report having checked the criminal records of most of their recent hires.

 

SOURCE: Russell Sage, What Employers Want: Job Prospects for Less-educated Workers by H. Holzer, 1996.

 

Physical/Mental Health

·         In 1997, 16.2% of state prison inmates said they had a mental or emotional problem or had spent a night in a mental health facility.  Sixty percent of these said they had received some sort of treatment since being admitted to prison. 

·         That same year. 18.9% of state prison inmates reported that they were taking medications for mental or emotional disorders.

 

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Mental Health and Treatment of Inmates and Probationers by Paula M. Ditton, 1999.

 

Housing

·          In 1997, it is estimated that 10% of all parolees in the state of California were homeless.

·          In 1997, it is estimated that 30% to 50% of parolees in Los Angeles and San Francisco were homeless. 

 

SOURCE: California Department of Corrections, Preventing Parolee Failure Program: An Evaluation, 1997.

 

 

For Further Reading

 

The Federal Bureau of Prisons Inmate Release Preparation and Transitional Reentry Programs

U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, March 2004

http://www.usdoj.gov/oig/audit/BOP/0416/intro.htm

 

HIV in Prisons and Jails

by Laura M. Maruschak

U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, December 2004

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/hivpj02.pdf

 

Mental Health and Treatment of Inmates and Probationers

by Paula M. Ditton

U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, July 1999

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/mhtip.pdf

 

Offenders Returning to Prison, 1986-97

by William J. Sabol, William P. Adams, Barbara Parthasarathy, and Yan Yuan

U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, September 2000

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/orfp97.pdf

 

Profile of Jail Inmates, 2002

by Doris J. James

U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, July 2004

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/pji02.pdf

 

Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 1994

by Patrick A. Langan and David J. Levin

U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, June 2002

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/rpr94.pdf

 

Recidivism among Federal Prisoners Released in 1987

by Miles D. Harer

Federal Bureau of Prisons, Office of Research and Evaluation, August 1994

http://www.bop.gov/orepg/oreprrecid87.pdf

 

When Prisoners Return to the Community: Political, Economic, and Social Consequences

by Joan Petersilia

U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, November 2000

http://www.ncjrs.org/pdffiles1/nij/184253.pdf

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