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State of Recidivism: The Revolving Door of America’s Prisons

Anyone concerned with keeping ex-offenders out of prison or jail, be they correctional professionals or concerned community members, should read this publication. “This report seeks to elevate the public discussion about recidivism, prompting policy makers and the public to dig more deeply into the factors that impact rates of return to prison, and into effective strategies for reducing them” (p. 1). Sections following an executive summary are: introduction-recidivism as a performance measure, overview of the study, and what a recidivism rate is; a closer look at recidivism rates-new figures show steady national recidivism rate, states vary widely, and how recidivism rates have changed; unpacking the numbers-how sentencing impacts recidivism rate, how community corrections policy impacts recidivism rate, and examples of how three states dealt with recidivism; and improving public safety and cutting correctional costs-strategies for successfully reducing recidivism, resources for developing effective reentry and supervision strategies, and a promising start.