While fewer ex-offenders are coming back to Ohio prisons, the state's inmate population remains near a record high, says the Columbus Dispatch. Recidivism — the rate at which former offenders return to prison — hit 27.1 percent in 2010, an all-time low. The previous low was 28.7 percent. The recidivism rate, which is calculated over a three-year period, is 40 to 44 percent nationally. The most recent prisoner count was 50,440, creeping up to the record high of 51,273 in 2008.
There were 24,284 people who left Ohio prisons, 87 percent of them men. Women do a better job than men of staying out of prison once they leave. The return rate for women was 15.6 percent, compared with 28.8 percent for men. Most ex-offenders, men and women, return to prison because they commit new crimes. However, some are returned for “technical violations,” which are violations of terms of their release, such as not reporting to a parole officer or failing a drug test. Prisons chief Gary Mohr called Ohio a national leader in reducing the recidivism rate.