2013 PA Recidivism Report

Source: Nicolette Bell, Kristofer Bret Bucklen, Kiminori Nakamura, Joseph Tomkiel, Angelo Santore, Lorraine Russell, Robert Orth, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, Recidivism Report, 2013

One in 200 adult Pennsylvanians is currently incarcerated in a Pennsylvania State Correctional Institution. Ninety percent of the inmates currently in a Pennsylvania state prison will eventually be released. According to findings in this report, a large proportion of those released will return to some sort of offending behavior. This report presents recidivism statistics for offenders released from the custody of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. Recidivism is measured by three different methods in this report: rearrest, reincarceration, and overall recidivism …

Highlights:
▪ Approximately 6 in 10 released inmates recidivate (are rearrested or reincarcerated) within three years of release from prison.
▪ Overall recidivism rates have been stable over the last ten years.
▪ Rearrest rates have been slowly increasing over the last ten years.
▪ Reincarceration rates peaked around 2005 and began to decline in the most recent years.
▪ Despite a drop starting in 2005, reincarceration rates were slightly higher in the most recent years than they were in 1990.
▪ Offenders returning to urban areas are more likely to be rearrested, however those returning
to rural areas are more likely to be reincarcerated.
▪ Dauphin County reports the highest overall recidivism rates.
▪ Released inmates do not appear to heavily specialize in the same crime type when they reoffend. The most specialized type of recidivist is the property offender. The least specialized type of recidivist is the violent offender.
▪ Released inmates are more likely to be reincarcerated (mostly for technical parole violations) than rearrested during the first 18 months after release from prison, and thereafter are significantly more likely to be rearrested….
▪ Inmates who are released under parole supervision are more likely to be reincarcerated, however, less likely to be rearrested for a new offense than their counterparts who complete their maximum sentence (max outs).
▪ Nearly two-thirds of all reincarcerations within three years of release from prison are for technical parole violations.
▪ Those released inmates who are paroled after failing parole at least once in the past have a recidivism rate of about 12 percentage points higher than those who are released onto parole for the first time.
▪ PA DOC can save approximately $44.7 million annually by reducing its 1-year reincarceration rate by 10 percentage points.
▪ PA DOC can save approximately $16.5 million annually by reducing admissions to state prison who are recidivists by 10 percentage points….
▪ Overall recidivism rates for released inmates who transition through a Community Corrections Center (CCC) have generally declined since 2005.
▪ In most recent years, the rearrest rates for released offenders who are paroled to a Center are lower than for those who are paroled directly home (“to the street”), whereas reincarceration rates and overall recidivism rates are higher for those who are paroled to a Center compared to those who are paroled directly home (“to the street”).
▪ After accounting for other important differences which may affect whether a released inmate is paroled to a Center versus paroled directly home, those paroled to a Center still demonstrate a higher overall recidivism rate than those paroled directly home (65.7% vs. 61.2% respectively, for the most recent 3-year overall recidivism rates).
▪ Among those released offenders who survived at least six months in the community without recidivating, those who spent their first 3 to 6 months in a Center had a significantly lower 1-year overall recidivism rate than those who were paroled directly home (15% vs. 18%).