State of Recidivism

The Revolving Door of America's Prisons

State of Recidivism

More than four in ten offenders nationwide return to state prison within three years of their release despite a massive increase in state spending on prisons, according to State of Recidivism: The Revolving Door of America's Prisons, a Pew report.

States today spend more than $50 billion a year on corrections, yet recidivism rates remain stubbornly high. As the slumping economy forces states to do more with less, policy makers are looking for a better public safety return on their corrections dollars.

While overall figures are discouraging, the report highlights the strategies that three states— MichiganMissouri and Oregon— have employed to reduce returns to prison.

The front facade of the Supreme Court of the United States in Washington, DC.

Agenda for America

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Data-driven policymaking is not just a tool for finding new solutions for emerging challenges, it makes government more effective and better able to serve the public interest.