BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
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Home | Corrections | Recidivism
Recidivism
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The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) collects criminal history data from the FBI and state record repositories to study recidivism patterns of various offenders, including persons on probation or discharged from prison.

The latest study of state prisoners estimated the recidivism patterns of about 400,000 persons released from state prisons in 30 states in 2005. The findings from the 2005 study cannot be directly compared to those from BJS's previous prisoner recidivism studies due to changes in the demographic characteristics and criminal histories of the U.S. prison population, an increase in the number of states in the study, and improvements made to the quality and completeness of the nation’s criminal history records since the mid-1990s. BJS has also used criminal history records to examine the recidivism of persons placed on federal community supervision in 2005.

In addition to recidivism statistics based on criminal history records, BJS collects administrative data through the Annual Surveys of Probation and Parole to examine the rate at which offenders are at risk of being incarcerated for a new offense or for violating the conditions of their supervision.

Data Collections & Surveys

Publications & Products


Recidivism of Sex Offenders Released from State Prison: A 9-Year Follow-Up (2005-14) This study compares released prisoners whose most serious commitment offense was rape or sexual assault to all other released prisoners, in terms of their characteristics and recidivism patterns.
  Press Release (90K) | Summary (PDF 460K) | Full report (PDF 635K) | Data tables (Zip format 46K)
Part of the Recidivism of Prisoners Released Series

Collecting and Processing Multistate Criminal-History Data for Statistical Analysis Presents methods used by Bureau of Justice Statistics to collect and process state and federal criminal-history data for reporting on criminal offending and recidivism patterns.
  Full report (PDF 344K)

2018 Update on Prisoner Recidivism: A 9-Year Follow-up Period (2005-2014) Examines the recidivism patterns of former prisoners during a 9-year follow-up period.
  Press Release (66K) | Summary (PDF 129K) | Full report (PDF 956K) | Data tables (Zip format 30K)
Part of the Recidivism of Prisoners Released Series

2018 Update on Prisoner Recidivism: A 9-Year Follow-up Period (2005-2014) - Press release 5 OUT OF 6 STATE PRISONERS WERE ARRESTED WITHIN 9 YEARS OF THEIR RELEASE
  Press Release (66K)

Recidivism of Offenders Placed on Federal Community Supervision in 2005: Patterns from 2005 to 2010 Examines the offending patterns of persons on federal community supervision in 2005 by offender characteristics and prior criminal history.
  Press Release | Summary (PDF 263K) | PDF (592K) | ASCII file (43K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 22K)
Part of the Recidivism of Prisoners Released Series

Multistate Criminal History Patterns of Prisoners Released in 30 States 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.
  Press Release | Summary (PDF) | PDF (612KB) | ASCII file (26KB) | CSV (Comma Separated Values) (Zip format 26KB)

Multistate Criminal History Patterns of Prisoners Released in 30 States 11 PERCENT OF PRISONERS RELEASED IN 30 STATES IN 2005 WERE ARRESTED IN ANOTHER STATE WITHIN 5 YEARS
  Press Release

Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 30 States in 2005: Patterns from 2005 to 2010 3 IN 4 FORMER PRISONERS IN 30 STATES ARRESTED WITHIN 5 YEARS OF RELEASE
  Press Release
Part of the Recidivism of Prisoners Released Series

Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 30 States in 2005: Patterns from 2005 to 2010 - Update Examines the 5-year post-release offending patterns of persons released from state prisons in 2005 by offender characteristics, prior criminal history, and commitment offense.
  Supplemental Tables (PDF 223K) | Supplemental Tables (CSV) (Zip format 5K) | Press Release | PDF (1.5M) | ASCII file (35K) | Delimited-comma format (CSV) (Zip format 44K)
Part of the Recidivism of Prisoners Released Series

Recidivism of Sex Offenders Released from Prison in 1994 "5 Percent of sex offenders rearrested for another sex crime within 3 years of prison release"
  Press Release | More information about this release
Part of the Recidivism of Prisoners Released Series