Friday, April 15, 2011

Do Prisons Make A Difference?

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

In a new Pew Center study, the three year recidivism rate for inmates released in 1999 was 45.4% and 43.3% for those released in 2004. Recidivism rates have been largely stable for well over a decade, although they vary widely among the states.

There are a number of potential explanations for the differences, such as interstate differences in how recidivism is measured and reported. If states could reduce their recidivism rates by just 10%, they could save more than $635 million combined in one year in averted prison costs.

To cut reoffending and corrections costs, states are taking concerted steps to put research on what works into practice. The report highlights the strategies that three states - Michigan, Missouri, and Oregon - have employed to reduce returns to prison.

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