CSG Justice CenterCSG Justice Center

The Changing State of Recidivism: Fewer People Going Back to Prison

Pew-Charitable-TrustsThis study from The Pew Charitable Trusts analyzes data showing that the share of people who return to state prison three years after being released—the most common measure of recidivism—dropped by nearly a quarter over a recent seven-year period. Pew analyzed publicly accessible data from the 23 states that reported reliable prison admissions and release data to the Bureau of Justice Statistics from 2005 through 2015. Among prisoners released in 2005, 48 percent returned to prison by the end of 2008. By comparison, among those released in those states in 2012, 37 percent had at least one new prison admission by the end of 2015. That translates into a drop of 23 percent. The states included in the analysis accounted for about two-thirds of those released from state prisons nationwide each year.