Felons released from Nevada prisons return in smaller percentages than in most other states, says a study reported by the Las Vegas Sun. Researchers found no relationship between the length of stay in a Nevada prison and an inmate's success in staying out of trouble after being paroled. The study by the Grant Sawyer Center for Justice Studies at the University of Nevada Reno, showed 29.2 percent of paroled inmates ended up behind bars again within three years, either for violating parole terms or for committing another crime.
Supreme Court Justice James Hardesty questioned whether longer sentences dissuade convicts from returning to a life of crime. Because longer sentences are more costly to taxpayers, he wants the commission to examine how effective they are. One prosecutor said that prisons in the states in which fewer inmates return might be tougher on inmates than prisons in places with higher rates of recidivism – such as California (53.4 percent), Alaska (66 percent) and Utah (64 percent). Arizona had the nation's lowest rate of recidivism, at 24.5 percent.