One half of federal drug trafficking offenders were rearrested within eight years of their release, the U.S. Sentencing Commission reported today. The median time until rearrest was a little over two years. The federal offenders were rearrested at a much lower rate than a group of state drug offenders who were tracked by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics.
More than two-thirds of drug offenders who were released from state prison (76.9 percent) were rearrested within five years, compared with 41.9 percent of federal drug trafficking offenders released over the same five-year period. Nearly one-fourth of the federal drug trafficking offenders who were rearrested had assault as their most serious new charge, followed followed by drug trafficking and public order offenses. Crack cocaine offenders were rearrested at the highest rate of any drug type, 60.8 percent. Rearrest rates for other drug types ranged from 43.8 percent to 50 percent, the commission said.