U.S. flag

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

Recidivism and Reentry

Protasov AN/Shutterstock.com (see reuse policy).

The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) collects criminal history data from the FBI and state record repositories to study recidivism patterns of various offenders, including persons on probation or discharged from prison.

The latest study of state prisoners estimated the recidivism patterns of about 400,000 persons released from state prisons in 34 states in 2012. The findings from this study cannot be directly compared to those from BJS's previous prisoner recidivism studies due to changes in the demographic characteristics and criminal histories of the U.S. prison population, an increase in the number of states in the study, and improvements made to the quality and completeness of the nation’s criminal history records. BJS has also used criminal history records to examine the recidivism of persons placed on federal community supervision in 2005.

In addition to recidivism statistics based on criminal history records, BJS collects administrative data through the Annual Surveys of Probation and Parole to examine the rate at which offenders are at risk of being incarcerated for a new offense or for violating the conditions of their supervision.