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Publication Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 1994

Patrick A. Langan, Ph.D., David J. Levin, Ph.D.

June 2, 2002    NCJ 193427

Reports on the rearrest, reconviction, and reincarceration of former inmates who were tracked for 3 years after their release from prisons in 15 States in 1994. The former inmates represent two-thirds of all prisoners released in the United States that year. The report includes prisoner demographic characteristics (gender, race, Hispanic origin, and age), criminal record, types of offenses for which they were imprisoned, the effects of length of stay in prison on likelihood of rearrest, and comparisons with a study of prisoners released in 1983.


  • Released prisoners with the highest rearrest rates were robbers (70.2%), burglars (74.0%), larcenists (74.6%), motor vehicle thieves (78.8%), those in prison for possessing or selling stolen property (77.4%), and those in prison for possessing, using, or selling illegal weapons (70.2%).
  • Within 3 years, 2.5% of released rapists were arrested for another rape, and 1.2% of those who had served time for homicide were arrested for homicide.
  • The 272,111 offenders discharged in 1994 had accumulated 4.1 million arrest charges before their most recent imprisonment and another 744,000 charges within 3 years of release.

Part of the Recidivism of Prisoners Released Series

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