- The Washington Times - Monday, June 3, 2002

The Justice Department yesterday said 67 percent of the inmates released from state prisons in 1994 were arrested in at least one new, serious crime within three years a rate 5 percentage points higher than among prisoners released during 1983.
According to the department's Bureau of Justice Statistics, those prisoners with the highest rearrest rates had been jailed for stealing motor vehicles (79 percent), possessing stolen property (77 percent), larceny (75 percent), burglary (74 percent), robbery (70 percent) or those using, possessing or trafficking in illegal weapons (70 percent).
Those felons with the lowest rearrest rates, the BJS said, were those who had been in prison for homicide (41 percent), sexual assault (41 percent), rape (46 percent) or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (51 percent).
The BJS, in the report released yesterday, said about 1 percent of the released prisoners who served time for murder were arrested for another homicide within three years, and about 2 percent of the rapists were arrested for another rape within that period.
Within three years, the report said, 52 percent of the 272,111 released prisoners were back in prison either because of a new crime or because they had violated their parole conditions.
The report said men were more likely than women to be rearrested (68 percent to 58 percent), blacks more likely than whites (73 percent to 63 percent) and non-Hispanics more than Hispanics (71 percent to 65 percent). Younger prisoners and those with longer records were also more likely to be rearrested.
Post-prison recidivism, the report said, was strongly related to the number of previous arrests the inmate had.
Among prisoners with one arrest before their release, 41 percent were rearrested. Of those with two prior arrests, 47 percent were rearrested and those with three earlier arrests, the rate was 55 percent.
The report said the 272,111 inmates accumulated more than 4.1 million arrest charges before their current imprisonment and acquired an additional 744,000 arrest charges in the three years after their 1994 discharge an average of about 18 criminal arrest charges per offender.
These charges included almost 21,000 homicides, 200,000 robberies, 50,000 rapes and sexual assaults and almost 300,000 assaults.
Nearly 8 percent of all released prisoners were rearrested for a new crime in a state other than the one that released them, the report said.
The information the latest available comes from the largest recidivism study ever conducted in the United States. It tracked prisoners discharged in 15 states representing two-thirds of all state prisoners released in 1994. The inmates were 91 percent male, 50 percent white, 48 percent black, and 24 percent Hispanic (of any race), and 44 percent were younger than 30 years old.

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