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April 16, 2024

"50 States, 1 Goal: Examining State-Level Recidivism Trends in the Second Chance Act Era"

The title of this post is the title of this new report from the Council of State Governments Justice Center providing a positive accounting of recidivism trends in the states over the past 15 years. Here is how the report is briefly summarized:

This report highlights the significant progress made in reducing recidivism across the country over the past 15 years. Since its passage in 2008, the Second Chance Act has invested in state and local efforts to improve outcomes for people leaving prison and jail, with a total of nearly 1,200 grantees from 48 states and 3 territories administering programs that have served more than 400,000 people.

Here are some of the recidivism specifics from the full report:

Since the passage of the Second Chance Act in 2008, more and more state and local leaders have made recidivism reduction a public safety priority, pursuing a variety of strategies that are starting to show real results....  Our findings reveal that recidivism rates have dropped considerably in the past 15 years:

  • Three-year reincarceration rates have decreased by 23 percent nationally since the passage of the Second Chance Act.
  • Thirty-five percent of people exiting prison in 2008 were reincarcerated within 3 years, whereas 27 percent of people exiting prison in 2019 were reincarcerated within 3 years.
  • If this lower rate of recidivism is sustained for people released in 2022, it would mean that 33,500 fewer people will be reincarcerated compared with the rate from 2008.

Three-quarters of states experienced a reduction in reincarceration. Before the passage of the Second Chance Act, 11 states had 3-year reincarceration rates above 45 percent, compared to 6 states with similarly high reincarceration rates in the last few years.  Recidivism rates dropped by double digits in 9 states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, and South Carolina.

April 16, 2024 at 10:23 AM | Permalink


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