77 Percent of Prisoners Arrested For Another Crime-Few Are Specialists

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Subtitles

76.6% of state prisoners released in 30 states in were arrested for a new crime within 5 years of release.

Compared to other inmates, a higher percentage of those incarcerated for a violent offense were arrested for another violent crime during the 5-year period.

There are few criminal specialists. Released inmates were involved in a wide range of law-violating behaviors.

Author

Leonard A. Sipes, Jr.

Thirty-five years of speaking for national and state criminal justice agencies. Former Senior Specialist for Crime Prevention for the Department of Justice’s clearinghouse. Former Director of Information Services, National Crime Prevention Council. Post-Master’s Certificate of Advanced Study-Johns Hopkins University.

Article

The data below (December of 2016) provide more detailed offense categories for those arrested for a previous research project, Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 30 States in 2005: Patterns from 2005 to 2010.

The findings indicate that there are few, if any offenders who specialize in a particular type of criminal activity. Released inmates were involved in a wide range of law-violating behaviors. There was, however, some specialization in the offending behaviors of released inmates.

Overall, an estimated 76.6% of the 404,638 state prisoners released in 30 states in 2005 were arrested for a new crime within 5 years of release. Note that the majority of crime is not reported to law enforcement and two out of five reported crimes end in arrest, thus we understand the finding that 76.7 percent of released offenders were arrested is an undercount.

Among the 404,638 prisoners released in 30 states in 2005, 31.8% were in prison for a drug offense, 29.8% for a property offense, 25.7% for a violent offense, and 12.7% for a public order offense.

Note that current prison data indicates that most inmates are serving time for violent crimes and most are repeat offenders.

For a complete overview of recidivism data of multiple studies, most from the US Department of Justice, and the citation for research mentioned at the beginning of this article, see Recidivism Data-Crime in America. For a list of federal recidivism studies, see Federal Recidivism Studies.

Findings from the Current Study

Compared to inmates incarcerated for a property (28.5%), drug (24.8%), or public order offense (29.2%), a higher percentage of inmates incarcerated for a violent offense were arrested for another violent crime (33.1%) during the 5-year period.

An estimated 60.1% of prisoners released for rape or sexual assault in 30 states in 2005 were arrested for any type of crime within 5 years of release.

A higher percentage of released property offenders were arrested for a property crime (54.0%) than violent (29.7%), drug (33.1%), or public order (32.7%) offenders.

While these statistics suggest that there was some specialization in the offending behaviors of released inmates, the recidivism patterns also show that released inmates were involved in a wide range of law-violating behaviors.

Among prisoners released for rape or sexual assault in 30 states in 2005, an estimated 5.6% were arrested for rape or sexual assault within 5 years of release.

Within 5 years of release, an estimated 17.9% of prisoners released for rape or sexual assault were arrested for a property offense, and 13.0% were arrested for a drug offense.

During the 5-year follow-up period, the majority (51.4%) of prisoners released for rape or sexual assault were arrested for a public order offense.

Among prisoners released for assault in 30 states in 2005, an estimated 34.4% were arrested for assault within 5 years of release.

Within 5 years of release, an estimated 32.4% of prisoners released for assault were arrested for a property offense, and 32.5% were arrested for a drug offense.

An estimated 23.2% of prisoners released for burglary in 30 states in 2005 were arrested for burglary during the 5-year follow-up period.

Among prisoners released for burglary in 30 states in 2005, an estimated 30.1% were arrested for a violent offense, and 37.1% were arrested for a drug offense.

Note that the largest percentage of arrests are for public order offenses. The Department of Justice (Bureau of Justice Statistics) define these offenses as: Weapons offenses—Includes the unlawful sale, distribution, manufacture, alteration, transportation, possession, or use of a deadly weapon or accessory. Driving-related offenses—Includes driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving with a suspended or revoked license, and any other felony in the motor vehicle codeOther public order offenses—Includes flight/escape, parole or probation violations, prison contraband, habitual offender, obstruction of justice, rioting, libel, slander, treason, perjury, prostitution, pandering, bribery, and tax law violations.

Source: https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/rprts05p0510_st.pdf

Crime in America at http://crimeinamerica.net

Contact us at crimeinamerica@gmail.com. Media on deadline, use leonardsipes@gmail.com.


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  1. […] There is a December of 2016 study that re-examines arrest data from a study mentioned below to provide additional clarity as to the types of crimes those returning from prison are arrested for, see Few Criminals Are Specialists. […]

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