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

Tennessee Recidivism Study: Strange definitions

Tennessee August 2007:

Recidivism study of offenders released in 2001 and followed for three years.

Two sections in report:
Sec 1) Covers just sex offenders released;
Sec 2) Covers all other offenders released.

The definition of "recidivism" causes figures to be inflated.

Recidivism: A return to criminal habits, including persons recommitted for a new offense or for a technical violation. Recidivism does not include persons who have been rearrested.

Recommit: To return to jail or DOC after being released, due to a new offense or technical offense.

Recommitment Offense: A new offense in which the offender is sent back into the criminal justice system after being released for a period of time.

Technical Violation: Failure to comply with the conditions of supervised release from incarceration.

Purpose of the Study:
The (TSAC) was one of eleven state SAC’s chosen to participate in a multi-state study. The study focused on all male sex offenders who were released from incarceration during calendar year 2001. The offenders were tracked for three years after their release to determine the recidivism rate of the group. A stratified sample based on primary incarceration offense of non-sex offenders released was also tracked for three years as a comparison. State and national criminal histories were generated for both groups of offenders. Additionally, data was obtained from the Tennessee Department of Correction’s Tennessee Offender Management Information System (TOMIS) to identify offenders recommitted for technical violations of supervised release.

Description of the Study:
A database was obtained from the Tennessee Department of Correction that contained all felony offenders released from Tennessee jails and prisons during the year of 2001. All sex offenders were studied and a stratified sample was generated of released offenders with other offenses. For both studies only male subjects were tracked. The offenders studied were released from prison or jail to parole, probation, community corrections, or released after the expiration of their sentence. The study did not include offenders who were initially sentenced to community correction or probation without serving a period of incarceration.

Recidivism is defined as the return to criminal habits, including recommitment for new offenses or a technical violation of supervised release. To determine the rate of recidivism, the records of 557 Sex Offenders were examined for a three year period following the date of their release from custody. A stratified sample of 559 male felons based on proportion of the offense group within all releases was studied for comparison purposes.

The study includes information on offenders who were rearrested and recommitted as well as those who had no further known contact with the criminal justice system. For the purpose of this study "recommitted" was defined as offenders who were committed for a new conviction or recommitted as a result of a technical violation of the rules of their supervision within three years of their release from incarceration. “Rearrested” was defined as offenders who were arrested for a new offense, but were not recommitted within three years following the date of their release. Recommitment and rearrest information was obtained from the Tennessee Offender Management Information System (TOMIS) of the Tennessee Department of Correction and from criminal history information obtained from the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and the Tennessee Criminal History System (TCHS). The recommitment and rearrest may have occurred in Tennessee or in any other jurisdiction and are noted if the arrest occurred outside Tennessee.

For the purpose of this study, technical violations were counted for those offenders who did not commit a new offense and were only committed for a technical violation of supervision the three year period. If the offender returned on a technical violation because of a new offense conviction the new sentence would have been counted and the technical violation would have been disregarded.

Of the 557 Sex Offenders released in 2001:

The study included all males with the following racial breakout: 318 - White, 188-Black

The following released offenders were excluded from the study: 12 females; one offender released to federal detainer before being deported; 9 offenders who died of natural causes; 1 who was a homicide victim; 15 offenders released to detainer; and 13 offenders released to Court / Administrative Discharge. The remaining 506 offenders were tracked for three years.

223 Offenders (44.1%) had no known contact with the criminal justice system.

141 (27.9%) Offenders were arrested one time but were not readmitted in the TDOC prison system.

142 (28.1%) Offenders were recommitted into the TDOC prison system. The most frequent recommitment type was Crimes Against Society violations with 41 offenses (28.9%).

Arrest offense types that were similar to the offense resulting in the original incarceration and release in 2001 were ranked as similar, lesser or higher. 20 offenses were similar, 4 were lesser and 4 were higher.

Average number of days between release and readmission to the TDOC prison system was 460 days.

Average age at readmission was 38.

Average number of offenses committed by those readmitted was 2.8.

Average number of days between release date and arrest date was 375 days.

Average age of single arrest category was 32.
22 (7.8%) offenders were rearrested and 31 (11.0%) recommitted between zero and six months of their release.

50 (17.7%) offenders were rearrested and 27 (9.5%) recommitted between six months and one year of their release.

46 (16.3%) offenders were rearrested and 48 (17.0%) recommitted between one and two years of their release.

24 (8.5%) offenders were rearrested and 35 (12.4%) recommitted between two and three years of their release.

Sex offenders with the highest rearrest rates were statutory rapists (30.7%), offenders who committed sexual battery (17.9%) and rapists (15.0%).

Sex offenders with the lowest rearrest rate were those in prison for attempted rape of a child (0.0%), criminal exposure to HIV (0.0%), criminal sexual conduct–1st degree (0.0%) and incest (0.0%).

Within 3 years, 3.5% of released rapists were rearrested for another rape, and 4.7% of released statutory rapists were rearrested for another statutory rape.

A total of 18 sex offenders crossed state lines and were either rearrested or recommitted. Of that number, 16 were arrested with no incarceration while 2 were incarcerated in Georgia. Five (5) bordering states showed arrests of Tennessee sex offenders with Oregon being the greatest distance traveled. The incarceration offenses in Georgia were failure to register as a sex offender and indecent exposure.

Race: whites were more likely than blacks to be –
o Recommitted (51.4% verses 48.5%)
o Rearrested without incarceration (55.3% verses 44.7%)
o Neither recommitted or arrested (70.1% verses 29.5%)

Offenders released due to death, detainer and administrative / court release were noted in the appendix but were not included in the analysis. ..more.. by TBI Crime Statistics Unit

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