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Why Re-Arrest Doesn’t Mean You’re a Failure

[ – 1/7/20]

The justice system traditionally uses a simple metric to determine whether an individual continues to be a threat to public safety after leaving prison: has the person been arrested for another crime?

Recidivism rates are also used as criteria for judging the success of intervention programs and policy reforms.

But a University of Wisconsin Law School professor argues that in both cases, the system too often gets it wrong.

Prof. Cecilia M. Klingele. Photo courtesy University of Wisconsin
In a recent essay for the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Cecilia M. Klingele suggested that recidivism rates produce a “one-dimensional” picture that not only skews the decisions of judges and parole boards, but prevents the development of effective policies that can reduce mass incarceration.

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Join the discussion

  1. Dan in IL

    “Klingele called on policymakers and private donors to stop using recidivism as their sole criteria…”

    That’s funny. I wish they’d START looking at recidivism rates.

    • David

      @ Dan: Funny how recidivism rates are relevant for all other crimes, but for sex offenses, no one
      seeks truth, they all accept urban myth instead.

      • Jamison

        Its even more astonishing when the LAW has their head up thier so called
        When your Wrong your Wrong and when your abusive your abusive…
        So, its a LIE to misrepresent or mislead or imply that RECIDIVISM has to do with reincarceration that is not correlated with sex offenses or that the LAWS/RULES are the mitigating/Litigating factors of re arrests and the RULE of Law is in Direct Opposition to Civil/Constitutional Rights to live FREE in Society without Penalties for Regular, Fundamental or Normal Vital Activities/Functions hence, to say that a person breaks a Restriction for borrowing a friends car is NOT THE SAME AS PROOF OF CRIMINAL CONDUCT BUT SIMPLY A RESTRICTION THAT IS LIFE DEBILITATING AN UNSUBSTANTIATED THEREFORE UNLAWFULL TO IMPOSE BASED ON PURE ASSUMPTION AND A PREVIOUS RECORD…does not show adequate need or Proof of a new Crime and new Punishment !!!
        Lets get REAL !!!
        YOU CANT LOCK PEOPLE UP, BECAUSE YOU CONTINUOUSLY BKMBARD THEM WITH MORE RESTRICTIONS THAN YOU HAVE INSIDE JAILS NOR CAN YOU SIMPLY USE ASSUMPTIONS, CONJECTURES OR HYPOTHETICAL RETORIC TO keep Individuals at bay from carryjng on with life after debt paid or using the what if relapse, or recidivism or look at damage that can happen..
        The Law must be held accountable by any means to stop INJUSTICE to previuous inmates !

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