The Recidivism Rates of Released Prisoners
|Released Year (FY)||Released Prisoner||Released Prisoner with ID card number||1 year follow-up period||%||2 years follow-up period||%||3 years follow-up period||%|
What does ‘recidivism’ mean in this ‘RecStats’ database?
It could be said that there is no single and universal measure of recidivism as it has been defined differently depending on their national contexts. The differences usually lie in the way each correctional system counts recidivism: many countries define it as either re-arrest or reconviction. Some countries might refer recidivism as a reimprisonment/reincarceration. On top of that there are various opinions on an appropriate ‘follow-up period’ or how long the prison authority will track the released inmates, which can normally vary among 1 year, 3 years, 5 years or any specific period of follow-up according to their consideration.
Having said this, the recidivism rates in this RecStats database refer to the cohort of prisoners released, both unconditionally and conditionally, from prisons in the same fiscal year, who are sent to prisons again, no matter as a convicted inmate or as a person on remand, within either of these 3 different groups of follow-up periods: 1 year, 2 years and 3 years of fiscal year.
Methods for collecting and analysing data
The data of released prisoners in the RecStats database were linked and synchronised from the DOC prisoner database. To calculate the recidivism rates, the system will list the ID card number of the cohort of prisoners released from detention in the same fiscal year and carefully match with the ID card number of those who are newly admitted to prisons afterwards where their data are usually re-entered into the DOC prisoner database within the specified follow-up period.
Limitations of RecStats database
At present, in order to verify the re-entry of each prisoner in the DOC prisoner database, the ID card number of each prisoner has been set as an Identifier. However, all data of prisoners’ ID card number in the database have not been successfully completed yet due to minor technical problems. Therefore, the DOC is now working on feeding in all prisoners’ ID card number into the DOC prisoner database for an accuracy and completeness of RecStats system.