Sentencing/Post Conviction

How often are ex-prisoners rearrested? The answer is linked to criminal history and age, study says


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Almost half of federal offenders released in 2005 were rearrested within the next eight years, according to a study by the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

The study confirms the conventional wisdom that older offenders and those with more education are less likely to be rearrested, the Marshall Project reports. Criminal history is also linked to recidivism, according to the report (PDF). The Sentencing Commission has a press release here and highlights here.

The study followed more than 25,000 federal offenders who were released from prison or put on probation in 2005. Among the findings from the eight-year follow-up period:

• 49.3 percent were rearrested for a new crime or rearrested for a violation of supervision conditions, while 31.7 percent were also reconvicted and 24.6 percent were reincarcerated. The median time to rearrest was 21 months.

• The chances of rearrest correlate with criminal history, as measured by points in the Sentencing Guidelines. Rearrest rates range from 30.2 percent for offenders with no criminal history to 80.1 percent for offenders in the highest criminal history category. But there was not a strong correlation between the final offense level under the guidelines and recidivism.

• Offenders released before age 21 had the highest rearrest rate, 67.6 percent, while those who were over 60 at the time of release had a 16 percent rate.

• Rearrest rates ranged from 60.4 percent for those without a high school diploma to 19.1 percent for college graduates.

• Offenders convicted of crimes involving guns have a 68 percent rearrest rate.

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