Federal Offender Recidivism and Prior Arrests


Federal Offender Recidivism

Editor’s note: A full report on major offender recidivism studies is available on this site at https://www.crimeinamerica.net/2014/11/24/released-prisoners-arrested-or-returned-to-incarceration/

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Of the nearly 43,000 federal offenders who were placed on federal community supervision in fiscal year 2005, an estimated 43 percent were arrested at least once within five years of their placement per the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

During their criminal careers prior to being placed on federal community supervision in 2005, these offenders were arrested approximately 210,000 times.

Federal law enforcement agencies accounted for approximately 24% of all prior arrests. State and local law enforcement agencies were responsible for the other 76% of prior arrests.

Almost 45% of federal offenders placed on community supervision in 2005 had 4 or more prior arrests.

An estimated 18 percent of these offenders were arrested at least once within one year of placement on community supervision and 35 percent were arrested at least once within three years of placement.

An estimated 80 percent of offenders who were placed on federal community supervision in 2005 were male. More than a third (41 percent) were white and nearly a third (31 percent) were black.  An estimated 28 percent were age 29 or younger and about 42 percent were age 40 or older.

Among federal offenses, public order offenses, such as probation violations, accounted for 90 percent of first arrests of federal offenders after placement on community supervision, compared to 33 percent of first arrests for nonfederal offenses.

In comparing federal and state prisoners placed on community supervision, almost half (47 percent) of federal prisoners were arrested within five years, compared to more than three-quarters (77 percent) of state prisoners.

Nearly a third (32 percent) of federal prisoners returned to prison within five years of their release to community supervision, compared to more than half (59 percent) of the state prisoners.

Nearly a quarter (23 percent) of federal offenders on community supervision were directly sentenced to probation, while more than three-quarters (77 percent) began a term of community supervision following release from prison.

An estimated 70 percent of federal offenders on community supervision had at least one prior nonfederal arrest, and more than a third (35 percent) had four or more prior nonfederal arrests.

The report, Recidivism of Offenders Placed on Federal Community Supervision in 2005: Patterns from 2005 to 2010 is available at http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/ropfcs05p0510.pdf


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