Recidivism is the tendency of a convicted criminal to repeat or re-offend a crime after already receiving punishment or serving their sentence. The term is often used in conjunction with substance abuse as a synonym for “relapse” but is specifically used for criminal behavior.
According to the National Institute of Justice, almost 44% of criminals released return before the end of their first year out of prison. In 2005, about 68% of 405,000 prisoners that were released were arrested for a new crime within three years, and 77% were arrested within five years.
Recidivism affects everyone: the offender, their family, the victim of the crime, law enforcement, and the community overall. Crime can affect anyone in any community, and if a previously-incarcerated person is released only to repeat an offense or act out a new crime, there are going to be new victims. Furthermore, taxpayers are impacted by the economic cost of crime and incarceration as the average per-inmate cost of incarceration in the U.S. is $31,286 per year.
The formerly incarcerated need ongoing support from a good peer group, as repeat offenders who were in gang culture have the greatest challenge to stay away from that behavior.
Facts reported by World Population Review