American Judges Association



Date of this Version



Court Review, Volume 47, Issues 1-2, page 48


Copyright © 2011 American Judges Association. Used by permission.


New Publications of Interest

Recent studies have exposed offender recidivism as a major public-safety issue that the courts need to address. Out of a sample of 275,000 prisoners who were released in 1994, two-thirds were arrested again within 3 years. Reports indicate that 1 in 31 adults is currently under criminal supervision. Of course, judges have some sense of local recidivism rates, as they see the same offenders over and over in the courtroom. But the public is also aware of the high level of recidivism, and general perceptions of public safety and the criminal-justice system suffer as a result.

The good news, according to this new guide from a national working group, is that a clear path to improvement exists. The guide suggests that courts can use more detailed information about the risks and needs of an offender to significantly lower the offender’s chances of being rearrested.