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National Recidivism and Reentry Data Program


BJS studies are the primary source of national statistics on recidivism and reentry for policymakers and practitioners. BJS has conducted recidivism research throughout its history, with the first publications released in the 1980s. Since then, BJS has expanded the program to include more data sources and improved data collection systems. 

BJS uses a combination of surveys and administrative records to study recidivism and reentry. The administrative data include criminal history, probation and parole, state unemployment insurance, wage, and death records. Some research includes linking survey data to administrative records.  

In 2008, BJS partnered with Nlets--the International Justice and Public Safety Network, which enabled queries of the FBI’s Interstate Identification Index (III) and state criminal history repositories to receive a single, uniform dataset of criminal history records from state and federal criminal justice agencies across the 50 states and the District of Columbia. For its primary recidivism studies, BJS links the criminal history data with prisoner records that contain demographics, dates of admission and release, commitment offenses, sentence lengths, and other prisoner characteristics.



Date Created: May 26, 2021