he United States Sentencing Commission issued a report on the recidivism of federal offenders. The study is groundbreaking in both its breadth—studying all 25,431 U.S. citizen federal offenders released in 2005, and in its duration—following the releasees over an eight year period. News release.
The Commission found that nearly half (49.3 percent) of offenders released from prison or placed on a term of probation in 2005 were rearrested within eight years
for either a new crime or for some other violation of the technical conditions of their probation or release. Summary and key findings.
The Commission also found that:
· Most offenders who recidivated did so within the first two years of the follow up period;
· Assault was the most common serious rearrest offense but most rearrest offenses were non-violent in nature;
· An offender’s criminal history as calculated under the federal sentencing guidelines was closely correlated with recidivism rates (rearrest rates ranged from 34 percent for offenders in the lowest criminal history category to 80% for offenders in the highest criminal history category);
· An offender’s age at the time of release was also closely correlated with recidivism (rearrest rates ranged from 67 percent for offenders younger than 21 to 16percent for offenders older than 60).