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Report: California Recidivism Among Highest In Nation

November 08, 2010  | 

More than two-thirds of California's convicts return to crime within three years, according to a new state report that puts the state among the highest in the country for parolees returning to correctional facilities.

The report found that nearly 75 percent of ex-convicts who commit new crimes do it within a year of their release, according to the report by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Also, convicts who committ less violent crimes are more likely to return to prison that those who committ more violent crimes. Vehicle theft topped the list of crimes causing a parolee to return to prison.

Other key findings include:

  • Nearly three-quarters of felons who recidivate did so within a year of release.
  • Most recidivists returned to prison for parole violations.
  • After three years, re-released felons returned to prison at a rate 16.8 percentage points higher than those released for the first time.
  • Females have a three-year return-to-prison rate of 58 percent, which is approximately 10 percentage points lower than that of males.
  • In general, recidivism rates declined with age. Among inmates, ages 18 to 24 when released in fiscal year 2005/06, nearly 75 percent returned to prison within three years, compared to about 67 percent ages 40 to 44 and 46 percent of those 60 years of age and older.
  • Sex offenders recidivate at a slightly lower rate compared with other felons. Of the sex offenders who recidivate, 86 percent do so because of a parole violation.

More than 100,000 convicts are released from California prisons each year, according to the report. Read the full corrections report.


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