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Recidivism

The reduction of recidivism by state judiciaries utilizing six principles of evidence-based practice (EBP) is explained. Seven sections follow an executive summary: introduction; current state sentencing policies and their consequences; drug courts -- the state judiciary's successful experiment with EBP; the principles of EBP; local sentencing and corrections policy reforms; state sentencing and corrections policy reforms; and conclusion. "[C]arefully targeted rehabilitation and treatment programs can reduce offender recidivism by conservative estimates of 10-20%" (p. 72).

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“As information technology has increased the accessibility of criminal-history records, and concern for negligent-hiring lawsuits has grown, criminal background checking has become an important part of the hiring process for most employers. As a result, there is a growing concern that a large number of individuals are handicapped in finding employment because of a stale criminal-history record. The current study is an extension of a NIJ-funded project intended to provide the empirical estimates of what we call “redemption time,” the time when an individual with a prior arrest record has stayed clean of further involvement with the criminal justice system sufficiently long to be considered “redeemed” and relieved of the stale burden of a prior criminal-history record. In the current study, we address new issues that that are important in moving the research on redemption forward and making the findings applicable to relevant policy” (p. ii). Sections following an abstract include: introduction; robustness of redemption patterns; concern about the “next crime”; race and recidivism risk in the context of redemption; conclusions and next steps; and outreach—dissemination of these robust findings.

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Little is known about youth who were previously placed in a detention facility and what factors predict a subsequent recidivism to placement. This study of a two-county juvenile offender population (one urban and one rural) investigates what demographic, educational, mental health, substance dependence, and courtrelated variables predict recidivism to detention placement. Findings from logistic regression analysis indicate that seven variables significantly predict juvenile offenders’ recidivism placement, some expected and some unexpected. Predictors that made recidivism more likely include youth with a previous conduct disorder diagnosis, a self-reported previous suicide attempt, age, and number of court offenses. Conversely, predictors that made recidivism less likely include race (Caucasian), a previous attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder diagnosis, and a misdemeanor conviction. These findings indicate that the use of a community-based suicide and mental health screening and referral approach may help to identify and assist these high-risk youth in receiving needed services prior to juvenile court involvement or during delinquency adjudication (p. 1).

"Hawai'i’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE) Hawai'i’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement probation relies on a regimen of regular, random drug testing tied to swift and certain, but modest, sanctions to motivate probationer compliance. In two 2007 studies in Hawai'i, a comparison-group quasi-experiment and a randomized controlled trial, HOPE was demonstrated to improve compliance with terms of probation at 12-month followup, with large reductions in drug use, recidivism, and overall incarceration for offenders assigned to the program … This study extends the original HOPE evaluations to an almost ten-year followup, addressing whether the improvements in criminal-justice outcomes observed during the active HOPE intervention persist after the term of probation. The study also documents changes in HOPE practices and ongoing implementation fidelity to the model … HOPE probationers performed better than those supervised under routine supervision. They were less likely to be revoked and returned to prison" (p. 2-3).

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An introduction to an integrated model for the implementation of evidence-based principles in community corrections is provided. This document contains the following sections: overview; the project; the challenge of implementation; the Integrated Model; and conclusion.

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Outcome and process measures used to gage the effectiveness of the Integrated Model in reducing offender recidivism are presented. Each component found within a measure has information regarding its definition, tool/data source, description, frequency, and individual who collects the data. Components are organized into the following measures: recidivism; risk; proxy risk; supervision length; dosage; revocation and violation; program effectiveness; assessment; case plan; workload; violations; organizational climate; and collaboration.

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Principles of effective evidence-based intervention are presented. Topics discussed include: evidence-based practice (EBP); term clarification; eight principles for effective interventions -- assess actuarial risk/needs, enhance intrinsic motivation, target interventions, skill train with directed practice, increase positive reinforcement, engage ongoing support in natural communities, measure relevant processes/practices, and provide measurement feedback; components of correctional interventions; implementing EBP principles; applying the principles at the case, agency, and system levels; seven recommended strategies for implementing effective interventions; and levels of research evidence.

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The use of collaboration to implement an integrated system reform model is explained. This publication has sections regarding: the need to collaborate; who should be included; the need for structure; sustaining collaboration; a collaborative model for implementing change; essential elements of collaboration; chartering; and consensus decision-making.

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Organizational development (OD) concepts and strategies that foster organizational change and reform are described. Sections of this publication include: changing the way business is done -- the integrated model; organizational case management; the leadership challenge; the influence of infrastructure; step by step; the literature; the integrated organizational change process model; the importance of a healthy organization; leadership styles and leading change; managing transitions; and structural supports for change.

Implementing Evidence-based Practice

"Performance measurement—establishing metrics for success and assessing results—is a crucial first step in making informed decisions in all areas of government, including criminal justice policy. Understanding the outcomes of funding and policy decisions is critical to improving government performance and providing the best return on taxpayer investments … Recidivism, the most commonly used definition of correctional success, is one example of a performance measure that many states use. Broadly defined as reengaging in criminal behavior after receiving a sanction or intervention, recidivism is an important performance measure for justice agencies and should be at the heart of any effort to evaluate JRI outcomes. Unfortunately, recidivism is most frequently reported as a single, statewide rate, which is too imprecise to draw meaningful conclusions and insufficient for assessing the impact of changes to policy and practice" (p. 2). This brief shows how your agencies can use recidivism data to make better decisions beyond the system-level. The four steps explained are: definition—use multiple measures of success; collection—develop protocols to ensure data are consistent, accurate, and timely; analysis—account for the underlying composition of the population; and dissemination—package the findings to maximize impact and get the results into the hands of decision-makers.

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