The Consequences of Measuring Recidivism in Different Ways

recidivismdata922When looking for ways to evaluate the nation’s penal system, recidivism is often a statistic used to determine how things are going inside and outside prisons across the country. However, there is no universal metric for measuring how a prisoner fares when returning to society, and this problem is even more compounded when you consider juvenile inmates.

A new report argues that recidivism figures and what they mean vary from institution to institution. Some facilities only monitor if an offender has returned to their specific location. As juvenile offenders age out into the adult penal system, the transgressions of their youth do not always carry over. These factors contribute to incomplete and inaccurate data, and in a society where laws, sentencing, and prisons are rated on recidivism figures, it means that the current systems of evaluation may not provide a full picture of the effects of one’s incarceration. Are there better ways to track how prisoners and prisons themselves are performing as reformers?

Learn more at jjie.orgarrow1