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Recidivism: tracking, methodology and reporting. (Survey Summary).

Based on responses from 47 U.S. and five Canadian jurisdictions to the survey on recidivism practices, formally tracking recidivists after release from correctional institutions is undertaken by 62 percent of U.S. systems and by three Canadian systems. "Return to prison" is the primary tracking measure for 29 percent of the U.S. respondents. Three U.S. systems identified "rearrest" as their measure and seven systems indicated "reconviction." Tennessee provides information based on the needs and interests of their requesters. Several systems stated that the return to prison with a new felony conviction or for a technical revocation also were measures they instituted.

The length of time released inmates are tracked varies considerably among the systems. In Canada, the average length is two years, while in the United States, it ranges, from one month to indefinitely, as

reported by Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Tennessee. Louisiana continues tracking for eight years, depending on the circumstances. Florida tracks from one to 60 months, but a longer period is possible, while Michigan follows up until parole is terminated, for up to four years. The average reported time frame for tracking released inmates in U.S. systems is three years.

Sixty-seven percent of the U.S. departments of correction developed their own tracking methods and 10 percent used systems developed by other agencies. The remaining 23 percent of the systems have no tracking systems in place, but 11 of them have plans to implement them in the future.

Tracking Methods

Formal tracking systems were developed internally in 70 percent of the participating U.S. systems. Illinois and Texas use the CCH (Computerized Criminal History) system developed by their respective state police departments. All other computerized systems are specifically stated in Table 2 and vary widely. Manual file checking continues to be used in Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Rhode Island and West Virginia.

When asked if a separate analysis of recidivism among releasees who had been incarcerated for sex offenses was provided within their current tracking systems, 50 percent of the U.S. respondents answered yes. Sex offenders usually are not tracked separately in Canada, but Manitoba is in the implementation stage. In the United States, Kansas and Rhode Island will track former sex offenders by special request.

Reporting/Findings

Thirty-six percent of U.S. and 32 percent of Canadian systems provide information on recidivism by including results in departmental publications available to the public and by posting them on the Internet. Eight systems report their figures in intradepartmental publications only, while Illinois makes its information available upon request and by publication in an annual statistical presentation. Recidivism information is not published in Rhode Island, but it is available upon request.

Findings become part of formal research studies in only nine of the reporting U.S. systems and none in Canada. Of the formal studies, most were developed by a state agency or in conjunction with a university. A private consulting firm conducted the study reported by Florida. The majority of systems were unable to provide information regarding whether recidivism rates among male or female offenders had increased during the past year. Eight U.S. systems noted an increase in males and nine systems noted an increase in females.

Systems were asked if they keep records of programs in which inmates have participated while incarcerated that might affect their rate of return. Forty-seven percent of the reporting U.S. systems keep such records, but in varying degrees, and include in those reports at least a portion of programs (i.e., treatment, education, etc.). Regarding the systems that compare the types of crimes for which recidivists had been incarcerated with the types of crimes for which they are returned to the systems, 51 percent do not conduct such a study, but five systems are planning to implement the practice. Again, as with general recidivism information, Rhode Island will provide pertinent analysis details upon request.

In a June 2002 Bureau of Justice Statistics special report titled Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 1994, by statisticians Patrick A. Langan, Ph.D., and David J. Levin, Ph.D., 272,111 former inmates were tracked for three years following their release. The information was gathered from 15 DOCs (from which the offenders had been released), 15 criminal history repositories and from FBI records and it noted that 67.5 percent (or 183,675) of those 272,111 former inmates were rearrested within the three years. The data-gathering systems that responded to this Corrections Compendium survey indicated that they were using expanded, sophisticated analysis methods for determining recidivism rates. Perhaps this will reflect a change in the results of future BJS and other reports.
RECIDIVISM--TABLE 1: TRACKING

 FROMAL LENGTH OF
SYSTEM TRACKING TRACKING METHOD TRACKING

ALABAMA No response
ALASKA No N/A N/A
ARIZONA Yes Return to prison 3 years
 with a new felony
 conviction
ARKANSAS No N/A N/A
CALIFORNIA Yes Return to prison 1-2 years
COLORADO Yes Return to prison 3 years
CONNECTICUT No N/A N/A
DELAWARE No N/A N/A
DISTRICT OF No Return to prison 5 years
COLUMBIA
FLORIDA Yes Rearrest, 1-60 months;
 reconviction, longer follow-
 recommitment up is possible
GEORGIA Yes Reconviction 3 years
HAWAII No N/A N/A
IDAHO No N/A Not defined
ILLINOIS Yes Return to prison 3 years
INDIANA No Return to Indiana 3 years or
 DOC more depend-
 ing on project
IOWA No Study completed in 1-time study
 2001 on inmates
 released in 1996
 covered multiple
 issues
KANSAS Yes Return to prison 5 years
KENTUCKY Yes Return to prison 2 years
LOUISIANA Yes Return to prison Since 1994
 with a new felony
 conviction or
 technical
 revocation
MAINE No N/A N/A
MARYLAND Yes Repeat 5 years
 incarceration and
 supervision
 cycles, measured
 for a new offense
MASSACHUSETTS Yes Reconviction and 3 years
 return to
 prison (1)
MICHIGAN Yes Return to prison Until parole
 term is
 expired, up to
 4 years
MINNESOTA Yes Reconviction and 3 years
 return to
 prison (2)
MISSISSIPPI No Return to a state Indefinitely
 DOC facility
MISSOURI Yes Return to prison 2, 3, 5 or 10
 years
MONTANA Yes/No Return to prison 3 years
NEBRASKA Yes 3 years
NEVADA No N/A N/A
NEW HAMPSHIRE No N/A N/A
NEW JERSEY Yes Rearrest, 3 years
 reconviction and
 return to prison
NEW MEXICO No response
NEW YORK Yes Return to prison 3 years
NOTH CAROLINA No N/A N/A
NORTH DAKOTA Yes Return to prison 3 years
 connected to a
 new crime
OHIO Yes Return to prison 1, 3, 5 or 10
 years
OKLAHOMA Yes Return to prison Indefinitely
OREGON Yes New felony 3 years
 conviction
PENNSYLVANIA Yes Return to state 6 months, 1
 DOC year or 3
 years
RHODE ISLAND Yes Resentenced within 3 years
 2 years of release
 from a period of
 incarceration
SOUTH CAROLINA Yes Return to prison 3 years
SOUTH DAKOTA Yes Return to Indefinitely
 prison (3)
TENNESSEE No Depends on need/ Indefinitely
 interest of the
 requester
TEXAS Yes Return to prison 3 years
UTAH Yes Return to prison 3 years
VERMONT No response
VIRGINIA No response
WASHINGSTON Yes Return to prison 5 years
 for a new felony
 conviction or
 parole violation
WEST VIRGINIA No Return to prison 3 years
 for a new felony
WISCONSIN No N/A N/A
WYOMING No N/A N/A
FEDERAL BUREAU No response
OF PRISONS

CANADIAN SYSTEMS
MANITOBA No Reconviction was 2 years
 studied on a
 1-time basis in
 2000
NOVA SCOTIA Yes Readmission to Indefinitely
 probation and
 return to prison
ONTARIO Yes (4) Reconviction 2 years
YUKON TERRITORY No Each admittance N/A
 is recorded
CORRECTIONAL Yes Return to prison 2 years
SERVICE CANADA after expiration
 of a previous
 federal sentence;
 also looking at
 revocation of
 parole
 (revocation with
 offense or with
 an outstanding
 charge)

 RETURNING RECIDIVISTS DEVELOPING
SYSTEM Own System Other Systems FUTURE SYSTEM?

ALABAMA
ALASKA N/A N/A Yes, by 6/30/03
ARIZONA Yes No N/A
ARKANSAS N/A N/A Yes, within 1 year
CALIFORNIA N/A N/A N/A
COLORADO Yes
CONNECTICUT N/A N/A N/A
DELAWARE N/A N/A No
DISTRICT OF Yes Yes, currently
COLUMBIA in progress
FLORIDA Yes N/A
GEORGIA Yes N/A
HAWAII N/A Computerized No
 database
IDAHO Yes N/A Yes, no time frame
 established
ILLINOIS Yes N/A
INDIANA Yes No Yes, by October
 2002
IOWA No Interstate Yes, by January
 Identification 2003, estimated
 Index
KANSAS Yes N/A
KENTUCKY Yes N/A
LOUISIANA Yes N/A
MAINE N/A N/A Yes, draft policy
 by December 2002
MARYLAND Yes N/A
MASSACHUSETTS No Inmate Board N/A
 of Probation
 and county
 correctional
 facilities
MICHIGAN Yes N/A
MINNESOTA Yes N/A
MISSISSIPPI Yes Yes
MISSOURI Yes N/A
MONTANA Yes
NEBRASKA Yes N/A
NEVADA N/A N/A No
NEW HAMPSHIRE N/A N/A Yes, possibly in
 2003
NEW JERSEY No Interstate NA
 Identification
 Index
NEW MEXICO
NEW YORK Yes N/A
NOTH CAROLINA N/A No
NORTH DAKOTA Yes N/A
OHIO Yes N/A
OKLAHOMA Yes N/A
OREGON Yes N/A
PENNSYLVANIA Yes N/A
RHODE ISLAND Yes N/A
SOUTH CAROLINA Yes N/A
SOUTH DAKOTA Yes N/A
TENNESSEE No State bureau Yes, within 2
 of investiga- years
 tion and other
 agencies
TEXAS Yes N/A
UTAH Yes N/A
VERMONT
VIRGINIA
WASHINGSTON Yes N/A
WEST VIRGINIA Yes No
WISCONSIN N/A No
WYOMING No Yes, by March 2003
FEDERAL BUREAU
OF PRISONS

CANADIAN SYSTEMS
MANITOBA No Yes, by 2003
NOVA SCOTIA Yes Yes
ONTARIO Yes
YUKON TERRITORY N/A No
CORRECTIONAL Yes Yes, still in
SERVICE CANADA pilot stage

SYSTEM COMMENTS

ALABAMA
ALASKA Trying to agree on a definition
ARIZONA
ARKANSAS Source: inmate tracking system
CALIFORNIA
COLORADO
CONNECTICUT
DELAWARE
DISTRICT OF Source: departmental database and historical
COLUMBIA records
FLORIDA
GEORGIA
HAWAII Occasional studies are conducted by the
 Department of Attorney General
IDAHO
ILLINOIS
INDIANA Formulated by committee
IOWA Sources: existing studies and personal
 experience
KANSAS
KENTUCKY
LOUISIANA
MAINE Source: DOC policies from ACA-accredited
 states
MARYLAND
MASSACHUSETTS
MICHIGAN
MINNESOTA
MISSISSIPPI Currently storing data for retrieval with
 increasing capacity
MISSOURI
MONTANA Formal tracking is only by movements
NEBRASKA
NEVADA Tracking is used to ensure that inmates are
 managed under appropriate laws
NEW HAMPSHIRE Source: outside sources
NEW JERSEY
NEW MEXICO
NEW YORK
NOTH CAROLINA State Sentencing and Policy Advisory
 Commission completes biennial studies
NORTH DAKOTA
OHIO
OKLAHOMA
OREGON
PENNSYLVANIA
RHODE ISLAND
SOUTH CAROLINA
SOUTH DAKOTA
TENNESSEE Sources: Other state models, current
 research meetings with relevant individuals
TEXAS Tracking is conducted by the Criminal Justice
 Policy Council
UTAH
VERMONT
VIRGINIA
WASHINGSTON
WEST VIRGINIA
WISCONSIN
WYOMING Source: Other agencies' policies and reports
FEDERAL BUREAU
OF PRISONS

CANADIAN SYSTEMS
MANITOBA Source: contract with University of Winnipeg
 for 1 study
NOVA SCOTIA
ONTARIO Currently working with Correctional Service
 Canada to obtain a national rate
YUKON TERRITORY
CORRECTIONAL Source: working with provinces and territories
SERVICE CANADA (responsible for those convicted for a
 sentence of less than 2 years) to track
 offenders not returning to CSC (offenders
 sentenced to 2 or more years) and who are
 convicted at the provincial level using a
 sample of former federal offenders.

(1) MASSACHUSETTS: Beginning with the 1997 recidivism report currently
being written, reconviction and recommitment to prison were used; prior
to the 1997 report, only recommitment to prison was used.

(2) MINNESOTA: Rearrest date is collected by the Minnesota Bureau of
Criminal Apprehension and is available, but may be incomplete and,
therefore, unreliable.

(3)SOUTH DAKOTA: Tracking based on a percentage of prison admissions
previously in the state DOC.

(4) ONTARIO: Tracking stopped in July 2001 due to programming of a new
system to work in conjunction with the Offender tracking Information
System.

RECIDIVISM--TABLE 2: TRACKING METHODS

 SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT
SYSTEM IN PLACE Internal External

ALABAMA No response
ALASKA System being
 developed
ARIZONA Yes Yes
ARKANSAS Yes Yes
CALIFORNIA Yes Yes
COLORADO Yes Yes
CONNECTICUT No
DELAWARE No
DISTRICT OF Yes Yes
COLUMBIA
FLORIDA Yes Yes
GEORGIA Yes
HAWAII No
IDAHO Yes No
ILLINOIS Yes Yes
INDIANA Yes Yes
IOWA Yes Yes
KANSAS Yes Yes
KENTUCKY Yes Yes
LOUISIANA Yes Yes
MAINE System being
 developed
MARYLAND Yes Yes
MASSACHUSETTS Yes Yes
MICHIGAN Yes Yes
MINNESOTA Yes Yes
MISSISSIPPI Yes Yes
MISSOURI Yes Yes
MONTANA Yes Yes
NEBRASKA Yes Yes
NEVADA No
NEW HAMPSHIRE No
NEW JERSEY Yes Yes
NEW MEXICO No response
NEW YORK Yes Yes
NORTH CAROLINA No
NORTH DAKOTA Yes Yes
OHIO Yes Yes
OKLAHOMA Yes Yes
OREGON Yes Yes
PENNSYLVANIA Yes Yes
RHODE ISLAND Yes Yes
SOUTH CAROLINA Yes Yes
SOUTH DAKOTA Yes Yes
TENNESSEE System being
 developed
TEXAS Yes Yes
UTAH Yes Yes
VERMONT No response
VIRGINIA No response
WASHINGTON Yes Yes
WEST VIRGINIA Yes Yes
WISCONSIN No
WYOMING System being
 developed
FEDERAL BUREAU No response
OF PRISONS

CANADIAN SYSTEMS

MANITOBA System being
 developed
NOVA SCOTIA Yes Yes
ONTARIO Yes Yes
YUKON TERRITORY No
CORRECTIONAL Yes Yes
SERVICE CANADA

SYSTEM COMPUTERIZED SYSTEM

ALABAMA
ALASKA Power Builder on the front end
 and informing on the back end;
 system being developed SAS
ARIZONA SAS
ARKANSAS System being developed using
 EOMIS, SPSS,
 ACCESS, EXCEL
CALIFORNIA MVS
COLORADO Colorado DOC Offender-Based
 Tracking System; pc databases
CONNECTICUT
DELAWARE
DISTRICT OF Jail and Community Corrections
 System and Crystal
COLUMBIA Reports
FLORIDA Florida DOC Offender-Based
 Information System; Florida
 department of Law Enforcement
 OBTS; SAS
GEORGIA UNISYS 2200 mainframe
 application developed
 internally approximately 20
 years ago
HAWAII No system in place
IDAHO Colorado DOC OBTS; Reflections
ILLINOIS Illinois DOC OBTS; SPSS
INDIANA ACCESS; SAS
IOWA ACCESS; ICON; data from DOCs,
 Department of Public Safety,
 Interstate Juvenile Delinquency
 Index and the justice data
 warehouse
KANSAS AS400 system; Offender
 Management Information System
KENTUCKY Mainframe application developed
 in-house in 1977
LOUISIANA CAJUN (Correction and Justice
 Unified Network)
MAINE
MARYLAND COBOL programs match OBSCIS
 cases monthly and are transferred
 to spreadsheets for analysis
MASSACHUSETTS Massachusetts DOC VAX
 computer system
MICHIGAN Corrections Management
 Information System
MINNESOTA BCA data, along with the
 department's offender
 management system; SPSS
MISSISSIPPI Automated offender files and
 VSAM files
MISSOURI DOC database of offender activity
MONTANA Queries are run against a
 Movement Table file
NEBRASKA Inmate database
NEVADA
NEW HAMPSHIRE
NEW JERSEY State police Computerized
 Criminal History and Interstate
 Identification Index for
 out-of-state arrests
NEW MEXICO
NEW YORK SPSS on mainframe
NORTH CAROLINA
NORTH DAKOTA EXCEL
OHIO DOC Offender Tracking System
OKLAHOMA DOC Offender Information System
OREGON DOC Corrections Information System
PENNSYLVANIA In-house application
RHODE ISLAND N/A
SOUTH CAROLINA Offender management system
 developed in-house using an IDMS
 database
SOUTH DAKOTA State's mainframe-based inmate
 records system on new admissions
 with prior incarceration records
TENNESSEE
TEXAS Texas Department of Public Safety
 CCH; Texas Department of Criminal
 Justice--Admission; on-hand project
 files
UTAH OTRACK
VERMONT
VIRGINIA
WASHINGTON OBTS; DOC electronic file system
WEST VIRGINIA
WISCONSIN
WYOMING
FEDERAL BUREAU
OF PRISONS

CANADIAN SYSTEMS

MANITOBA DOC offender management system
NOVA SCOTIA Justice-oriented information
 system and community corrections
 information system
ONTARIO SPSS, OTIS, SRS
YUKON TERRITORY
CORRECTIONAL Pilot system being considered
SERVICE CANADA

 SEPARATE SYSTEM USED
SYSTEM OTHER METHODS FOR SEX OFFENDERS?

ALABAMA
ALASKA Manual tracking with
 information kept by program
 administrators Involves
 collection of data from the
 FBI
ARKANSAS
CALIFORNIA No
COLORADO Yes
CONNECTICUT
DELAWARE No
DISTRICT OF
COLUMBIA
FLORIDA No
GEORGIA Yes
HAWAII Yes
IDAHO No
ILLINOIS Yes
INDIANA Consult with probation Developing a tracking system
 department
IOWA Hard copy files; a Yes
 review is needed for
 this process
KANSAS Yes, if by special request
KENTUCKY Yes
LOUISIANA Yes
MAINE N/A
MARYLAND No
MASSACHUSETTS Inmate Board of No
 Probation, data from
 county correctional
 facilities, inmate
 files, state parole
 board
MICHIGAN Manual offender files Yes
MINNESOTA Yes, by the sex offender
 services unit, including
 impact of treatment on
 recidivism
MISSISSIPPI Prerelease No
 information, manually
MISSOURI Yes
MONTANA No
NEBRASKA Yes
NEVADA N/A
NEW HAMPSHIRE No
 Yes
NEW JERSEY
NEW MEXICO
NEW YORK Yes
NORTH CAROLINA N/A
NORTH DAKOTA No, but considering
 implementing
OHIO Yes; studies have been
 completed
 in the past and posted
 on the Internet,
 net, but not routinely
OKLAHOMA Yes
OREGON Yes
PENNSYLVANIA Yes
RHODE ISLAND Data files are Yes, but only upon request
 electronic but
 recidivism rates
 are generated
 manually by
 tracking each
 offender for a
 return to prison
SOUTH CAROLINA No
SOUTH DAKOTA Recidivism No
 studies based on
 releases, using
 downloaded data
 from mainframe
 records system
 manipulated
 through ACCESS
TENNESSEE Will be available in the
 system being developed
TEXAS Yes
UTAH Yes
VERMONT
VIRGINIA Yes
WASHINGTON Manually checking No
 release lists to
WEST VIRGINIA Manually checking No
 release list to
 determine past
 recidivism activity
WISCONSIN In-house programming No
WYOMING
FEDERAL BUREAU
OF PRISONS
CANADIAN SYSTEMS
MANITOBA Yes, will be included
NOVA SCOTIA Periodic data No
 extracts
 (micro-data)
 to pc system
ONTARIO Manual checking Ability for separate
 tracking, but not
 used to date
YUKON TERRITORY Sentenced admissions No
 through a manual log
 tracking system
CORRECTIONAL Sample lists are No
 distributed to the
 provinces for data
 maintenance
SERVICE CANADA

Table 2: Logistic Regression Coefficients
For Probability of Fine Imposition

 Coefficient Odds Ratio
 Offense Type *
 (Drug)
 Violent .088 1.092
 Property .474 1.607
 Public Order ** 1.200 3.320
 Offense Degree
 (Third)
 First/Second -.341 .711
 Fourth .776 2.173
 Race
 White -.005 .995
 Hispanic -.061 .941
 County Type ***
 (Urban)
 Suburban .602 1.825
 Rural *** 1.271 3.565
 Age **
 (17-25)
 26-35 -.047 .954
 36 and over ** 1.076 2.933
 Married -.032 .968
 Children -.523 .593
 Sex 1.53 1.165
 Education .040 1.041
 Prior Conviction .420 1.521
 Prior Incarceration -.620 .538
 Employment ** .737 2.090
 Pretrial Incarceration -.054 .948
 Incarceration * -.603 .547
 Mitigating Conduct * .982 2.670
Mitigating Circumstance .228 1.256
 Constant -2.931 .053

* p<.5, ** p<.01, *** p<.001


For information on monthly surveys featured in this or past issues of Corrections Compendium, please contact Cece Hill, CEGA Services Inc., P.O. Box 81826, Lincoln, NE 68501; (402) 420-0602.
COPYRIGHT 2002 American Correctional Association, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Corrections Compendium
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2002
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