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prison bars

Long View of Ex-Prisoners Finds 83% Recidivism Rate

A vast new study of recidivism by the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics finds that 44 percent of the 400,000 men and women released from state prisons in the U.S. in 2005 were arrested again during their first year of freedom. Sixty-eight percent were arrested within three years, 79 percent within six years, and 83 percent within nine years.

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Charles Rivers

‘The Day I Came Out of the Shadows’

Former parolees in a Syracuse, N.Y. pilot program lead efforts to help individuals returning from prison adjust to civilian society and reunite with their families. It’s an uphill task that often starts with finding a place to live.

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Recidivism Rates ‘Unacceptably High,’ says Sessions

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has named David Muhlhausen to head the Federal Interagency Council on Crime Prevention and Improving Reentry (FIRC), established last month as part of the administration’s efforts to bring down recidivism rates. Muhlhausen was appointed director of the National Institute of Justice last year.

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workers

Raising the Minimum Wage Can Reduce Recidivism: Study

Every one-dollar increase in minimum wage decreases recidivism rates by four percent, according to a study of six million state prisoners between 2000 and 2014. The working paper is written by two economists who say their findings support arguments that higher wages in unskilled jobs make former prisoners less likely to look for illegal sources of income.

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computer

New Research Casts More Doubt on Risk Assessment Tool

Two computer scientists, writing in the journal “Science Advances,” say the two-decade-old COMPAS system is no more accurate or fair than predictions made by people with little or no criminal justice expertise.” Over the past two decades, the program has been used to assess more than one million criminal offenders.

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protest

Public Safety Summit Draws Officials From 50 States

Pennsylvania corrections chief John Wetzel launched the two-day Washington meeting with an appeal to legislators, corrections administrators, police chiefs and health officials to work together on evidence-based solutions. Another speaker said the White House would back unspecified reforms.

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prison fence

‘The Nearly Perfect Recidivism Machine’

Texas criminologist William Kelly’s new book calls for a top-to-bottom transformation of a justice system that recycles thousands of Americans without offering them a way to change the behavior that sent them behind bars. He explains his recipe for “disruptive innovation” in a conversation with TCR.