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Publication Multistate Criminal History Patterns of Prisoners Released in 30 States

Matthew R. Durose, Howard N. Snyder, Ph.D., Alexia D. Cooper, Ph.D., Bureau of Justice Statistics

September 24, 2015    NCJ 248942

Examines the multistate criminal history patterns of persons released from prisons in 30 states in 2005 and the characteristics of released prisoners whose criminal careers are in one or multiple states. This report also discusses the differences between prisoner recidivism rates based on national criminal history records and those rates based only on criminal history records from within the state that released the prisoner. In addition, the report looks at factors affecting the likelihood of prisoners being arrested in another state following release. Findings are based on prisoner records from BJS's National Corrections Reporting Program and on criminal history records from the FBI and state repositories.


  • A quarter (25%) of the released prisoners had at least one prior out-of-state-arrest. For the majority of prisoners (75%), pre-release criminal records did not include arrests outside the state where they served time.„„
  • The percentage of released prisoners who had prior arrests in multiple states varied widely across each of the study's 30 states.„„
  • The average age of multistate offenders prior to release was 39, while the average age of the pre-release single-state offenders was 34.„„
  • Within 5 years of release, 1 in 9 (11%) released prisoners were arrested at least once outside of the state that released them.„„
  • The likelihood of the prisoners being arrested out of state following release increased with the volume of out-of-state arrests in their prior criminal history.

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Recidivism of State Prisoners

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