By Clarice Silber and Jake Kara
After years of state-backed efforts to reduce recidivism, a new report made public today by the Office of Policy and Management shows Connecticut has made steady if modest progress on how many released inmates wind up committing new crimes.
The report found that of 11,245 inmates who left state prisons during 2014, 60 percent were arrested for a new offense within three years of their release. That’s ticked down steadily from 66 percent of the cohort of inmates released in 2005.
Another measure of recidivism, returns to prison, has been more stubborn than the new arrest category. Returns to prison dropped to 53 percent, just one percentage point below 2008 and 2011 cohort levels and three points below 2005. Unlike the other categories of recidivism, returns to prison does not exclusively focus on new crimes, and it can include technical parole violations.
New-arrest recidivism and return-to-prison recidivism are two of the four ways the report counts recidivism rates. It also counts two other categories related to new crimes — new convictions and new sentences. These categories overlap since, for example, anyone who is sentenced also has been arrested and convicted.
The OPM Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division (CJPPD) examines recidivism patterns among release cohorts every three years. This is the first report examining the 2014 cohort’s post-release outcomes. It takes a broad look at the entire group of prisoners, and it will be followed up over the next two years with data on specific subgroups, said Ivan Kuzyk, the report’s principal author.
CJPPD interviewed about 120 returning prisoners to learn more about why they ended up back in prison, Kuzyk said.