We now have added "Informational Posts" which are tidbits of information that may come in handy at some point.

Recidivism Among Federal Prisoners Released in 1987

August 1994:

Within 3 years of their release from the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) in 1987, 40.8 percent of the former inmates had either been rearrested or had their parole revoked, that is, recidivated. This finding is based on a representative sample of 1,205 BOP inmates released to the community during the first 6 months of 1987.

Since at least the late 1950's, the BOP has conducted several recidivism studies regarding recidivism risk prediction indexes and prison program effectiveness. The BOP has worked closely with the United States Parole Commission (USPC) in the development and revalidation of the Salient Factor Score (SFS), a statistical instrument used by the USPC in actual decision making (Gottfredson, Wilkins and Hoffman 1978; Hoffman and Beck 1974; Gaes 1986). The BOP has conducted recidivism studies to evaluate halfway house release (Beck, Seiter, and Lebowitz 1978); large scale rehabilitation programs, such as those at the Robert F. Kennedy Youth Center at Morgantown, West Virginia (Cavior, et al. 1972; Gerard, et al. 1969), and at Butner, North Carolina (Federal Bureau of Prisons 1987); and prison industry (UNICOR) and vocational training programs (Saylor and Gaes 1992).

Presently, the BOP is conducting comprehensive recidivism studies to evaluate its intensive confinement centers (i.e., Federal prison boot camps, Klein-Saffran 1991) and expanded drug treatment programs (Federal Bureau of Prisons 1992). In line with these past and ongoing recidivism studies, the current study will update our understanding of recidivism among Federal prison releasees by examining the association between pre-prison, prison, and post-release characteristics and experience and recidivism rates; revalidating the U.S. Parole Commission's Salient Factor Score and the U.S. Sentencing Commission's Criminal History Score; and testing the effectiveness of several BOP policies, operations, and programs aimed at reducing recidivism.

The study report is presented in five parts.

Part I summarizes the study's findings and defines its sources. It also describes the release population and sample and the two-way, or bivariate, associations between each of the background, prison experience, and community variables and recidivism. Recidivism is also compared among 1970, 1978, 1980, 1982, and 1987 release cohorts.

Part II defines the concept of normalization and uses multivariate statistical models to test hypotheses about the normalizing effects of social furloughs and education programs and reviews the independent effects of individual characteristics, prison experience, and post-release living arrangements. By multivariate models, I mean statistical models that describe the simultaneous and independent (or relative) effects of many variables on recidivism rates.

Part III uses multivariate statistical procedures to assess the predictors of recidivism frequency among those releasees who recidivate.

Part IV uses multivariate statistical procedures to assess the effect of halfway house release on post-release employment.

Part V summarizes the study's findings and suggests future research and data collection efforts to help confirm and deepen our understanding of what pre-prison, prison, and post-release individual and environmental variables predict recidivism and which prison operations, policies, and programs are most effective for reducing recidivism.

For the remainder of this paper: by Miles D. Harer Ph.D., Research Analyst

Hidden value in this report....

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