U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library


NCJ Number
Date Published
58 pages
The population of 11,280 inmates released for the first time in 1986 from New York State correctional facilities was followed for 5 years to determine recidivism rates. Similar release cohorts for 1972-1985 were analyzed by rate of return for selected characteristics.
Out of the total number of 1986 releases, 49.8 percent were returned to custody within 5 years, 23.4 percent as new commitments and 26.4 percent for parole violations. Inmates released via parole had a lower rate of return (49.6 percent) than did conditional releases (52.3 percent). Over 62 percent of recidivists were returned to custody within the first 24 months following release. Women had a much lower rate of return (33 percent) than did men (50.5 percent), and exhibited an even lower rate of commitments for new felonies. Offenses with higher than average rates of return included robbery, burglary, stolen property, rape, grand larceny, and youthful offenses. Offenses with lower rates of recidivism included homicide, arson, sex offenses except rape, kidnapping, assault, drug law violations, forgery, and dangerous weapons. 23 tables, 15 figures, and 8 appendixes