Nearly 600,000 people are released from state and federal prisons annually. Whether these individuals will successfully reintegrate into their communities has been identified as a critical measure of the effectiveness of the criminal legal system. However, evaluating the successful reentry of individuals released from prison is a challenging process, particularly given limitations of currently available data and the complex set of factors that shape reentry experiences.
The Limits of Recidivism: Measuring Success After Prison finds that the current measures of success for individuals released from prison are inadequate. The use of recidivism rates to evaluate post-release success ignores significant research on how and why individuals cease to commit crimes, as well as the important role of structural factors in shaping post-release outcomes. The emphasis on recidivism as the primary metric to evaluate post-release success also ignores progress in other domains essential to the success of individuals returning to communities, including education, health, family, and employment.
In addition, the report highlights the unique and essential insights held by those who have experienced incarceration and proposes that the development and implementation of new measures of post-release success would significantly benefit from active engagement with individuals with this lived experience. Despite significant challenges, the report outlines numerous opportunities to improve the measurement of success among individuals released from prison and the report’s recommendations, if implemented, will contribute to policies that increase the health, safety, and security of formerly incarcerated persons and the communities to which they return.
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. The Limits of Recidivism: Measuring Success After Prison. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/26459.
|2 Measuring Recidivism||17-68|
|3 Beyond Recidivism: Toward a More Comprehensive Understanding of Reentry Challenges and Successes||69-138|
|4 Measuring Success Beyond Recidivism||139-192|
|5 The Path Forward||193-200|
|Appendix: Committee Member Biographies||201-206|
The Chapter Skim search tool presents what we've algorithmically identified as the most significant single chunk of text within every page in the chapter. You may select key terms to highlight them within pages of each chapter.
The National Academies Press (NAP) has partnered with Copyright Clearance Center's Rightslink service to offer you a variety of options for reusing NAP content. Through Rightslink, you may request permission to reprint NAP content in another publication, course pack, secure website, or other media. Rightslink allows you to instantly obtain permission, pay related fees, and print a license directly from the NAP website. The complete terms and conditions of your reuse license can be found in the license agreement that will be made available to you during the online order process. To request permission through Rightslink you are required to create an account by filling out a simple online form. The following list describes license reuses offered by the National Academies Press (NAP) through Rightslink:
Click here to obtain permission for the above reuses. If you have questions or comments concerning the Rightslink service, please contact:
Rightslink Customer Care
Tel (toll free): 877/622-5543
To request permission to distribute a PDF, please contact our Customer Service Department at 800-624-6242 for pricing.
To request permission to translate a book published by the National Academies Press or its imprint, the Joseph Henry Press, pleaseclick here to view more information.