Analyzing Recidivism Success Rates

John P. Vivian, Arizona Dept. of Juvenile Corrections

In the Summer of 2001, the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections(ADJC) began an innovative process to convert a traditional criminology measure i.e., recidivism, into a useful management information tool. This innovative process has involved the computation of recidivism success rates by ADJC secure school, housing unit and parole office. Recidivism has been defined as return-to-custody in the ADJC or Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC). The disaggregation of return-to-custody rates by secure school, housing unit and parole office was a bold step insofar as it took a somewhat common measure of correctional success i.e., recidivism, and applied it to units within an organization. This paper is intended to describe some of the research conducted to date within ADJC and to also provide a brief plan of where the project is headed in the immediate future. This paper is presented as the basis for a proposed presentation to a Presidential Panel Session at the November 2002 session of the American Society of Criminology. It is hoped that a peer review of the paper emanating from this presentation will yield additional benefits for ADJC efforts to infuse research findings into departmental decision making.

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Updated 05/20/2006