Inquiry on Recidivism

This post was written by Martin Braun. He is currently a junior at WIU in the School of Law Enforcement and Justice Administration and minoring in pre-law. Martin reports he has always wanted to work in service to the community and hopes to advocate for people who have been impacted by serious crimes. He hopes to fulfill this through a career with the FBI.

The following information is a synopsis from a larger manuscript Martin wrote for his Research Methods course at WIU.

When asking how we reduce prison recidivism, we first must find out the who contributes to recidivism the most and how we can change their actions. Recidivism is defined as an arrest and conviction for an offense committed within two years after release from a previous conviction. Studies have found that the person most likely to contribute to the recidivism rate is an African American male, age 18-25 that has had prior prison convictions, is or was under government surveillance, has or has had a high use of narcotics, was never strongly employed, has no close family or spouse, has a high participation in prison misconduct, and a lack of participation in educational programs. State by state recidivism rate did differ but average recidivism rate is about 50%. Studies did find however that lower populated states had a lower recidivism rate. Some implementations onto the corrections system that have attempted to reduce recidivism are correctional programs, prison privatization, and prison misconduct procedure. Educational programs within institutions have seen to reduce recidivism rate from 49% down to 20%. Prison privatization, as seen to reduce cost to taxpayers, has seen average higher recidivism rates, an average prison privatization recidivism rate is about 57% according to studies. Prior criminal history has been seen as a factor that contributes to recidivism. Particularly juvenile with prior criminal activity with seven or more changes are Eight percent more likely to contribute to recidivism in the future. While recidivism is widespread and common among many inmates, the reason for recidivism is almost never the same. There is no one solution to recidivism and what works for one individual may not work for another