April 15, 2011

State of Recidivism: the Revolving Door of America's Prisons

More than four in ten offenders nationwide return to state prison within three years of their release despite a massive increase in state spending on prisons, according to a Pew report.

States today spend more than $50 billion a year on corrections, yet recidivism rates remain stubbornly high. As the slumping economy forces states to do more with less, policy makers are looking for a better public safety return on their corrections dollars.

While overall figures are discouraging, the report highlights the strategies that three states— Michigan, Missouri and Oregon— have employed to reduce returns to prison.