Prison Failure: California Recidivism Rate At 67.5 Percent


San Francisco has one of the highest recidivism rates in the state; 78.3 percent go back to prison within three years of release–says a study from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation reported by KALW, public radio in San Francisco. The study tracked 108,000 inmates released from state prisons between 2005 and 2006 over the course of three years. Overall, the state recidivism rate, which has long been among the highest in the U.S., is 67.5 percent.

“The recidivism rates in general, while not surprising, are disheartening, and attest to the complete failure of our prison system in achieving deterrence, rehabilitation, or both,” says University California Hastings law Prof. Hadar Aviram. “It is telling that the statistics haven't changed significantly over time, despite increased punitive measures. Clearly, what we are doing under the title 'corrections and rehabilitation' does not correct or rehabilitate.” Says Barry Krisberg of UC Berkeley School of Law: “People can argue that California has more gang members, or that we lock up more serious offenders, and we can debate that endlessly. The fact of the matter is, these recidivism rates are way too high.”

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