Sipes: Despite what the media says, repeat offenders are responsible for the explosion in violent crime

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The recidivism rate of federal prison inmates hasn’t changed despite efforts to use graduated sanctions or other alternatives to incarceration.

Probation, parole, and supervision violations are eight percent of violations in this study. Criminal justice reformers insist that supervision violations are much higher. USDOJ data states that the vast majority of state offenders recidivate based on new crimes.

Similar to findings in its previous studies, the Commission found age and Criminal History Category (CHC) were strongly associated with rearrests. Firearms offenses had the highest rearrest rates.

This study examined the recidivism of federal offenders released in 2010 during an eight-year follow-up period.

Almost one-half (49.3%) of federal offenders were rearrested during the study period. This recidivism rate is identical to the rate reported by the Commission for federal offenders released in 2005.

This consistency ensued despite two substantial changes in the federal sentencing landscape: the change from a mandatory to an advisory guideline system following Booker (editor’s note: the Supreme Court made a landmark decision in U.S. v. Booker, 125 S. Ct. 738 (2005), that mandatory Federal Sentencing Guidelines, as they had been applied since 1987, violated the Sixth Amendment right to trial by jury) “and” the increasing reliance on evidence-based practices in federal supervision (editor’s note: alternatives to incarceration).

Other recidivism patterns also were the same for the two offender cohorts.

Consistent with its prior reports, the Commission found that the combined factors of age and criminal history were strongly associated with recidivism.

All offenders in the study aged 21 and younger in CHC IV through VI (editor’s note-CHI is based on dangerousness-applied via criminal history) were rearrested, compared to 9.4 percent of offenders aged 60 and older in CHC I.

In addition, offenders who originally were sentenced for firearms offenses had the highest rearrest rates of any offense type and offenders originally sentenced for a violent offense had higher rearrest rates compared to non-violent offenders.

The study also examined the relationships of other sentencing and offender characteristics that also were consistent with prior studies.

Previous US Sentencing Commission Data

Per the US Sentencing Commission, longer prison terms produce substantially less recidivism and crime.

Placed in the context of massive recidivism and the criminal histories of prison inmates plus the negligible results of rehabilitation programs, Commission data is important from a public safety perspective.

Critics will point out that The US Sentencing Commission studied federal inmates. There are substantial differences between federal and state correctional systems with the Federal Bureau of Prisons holding a multitude of immigration and drug trafficking offenders and the states primarily holding violent offenders, Bureau of Justice Statistics.

The bottom line is that The US Sentencing Commission has created a variety of reports correlating the relationship between criminal history and recidivism and now, with a previous study, we have a methodologically correct, large examination stating that longer periods of incarceration substantially reduce crime and recidivism.

The United States Sentencing Commission-Latest Report

The final study group of 32,135 offenders satisfied the following criteria:

  • United States citizens;
  • Re-entered the community during 2010 after discharging their sentence of incarceration or by commencing a term of probation in 2010;
  • Not reported dead, escaped, or detained;
  • Have valid FBI numbers that could be located in criminal history repositories (in at least one state, the District of Columbia, or federal records).

Key Findings

2021 Recidivism Study - Key Finding 1

The recidivism rate remained unchanged for federal offenders released in 2010 compared to offenders released in 2005 despite two intervening major developments in the federal criminal justice system: the Supreme Court’s decision in Booker and increased use of evidence-based practices in federal supervision.

    • Over an eight-year follow-up period, nearly one-half (49.3%) of federal offenders released in 2010 were rearrested, the same rate for offenders released in 2005 (49.3%).
    • Other recidivism patterns also were consistent for the two offender cohorts.
    • For offenders who were rearrested, the median time to arrest was 19 months. The largest proportion (18.2%) of offenders were rearrested for the first time during the first year following release.
    • In each subsequent year, fewer offenders were rearrested for the first time than in previous years.
    • Most offenders in the study were rearrested prior to the end of supervision terms. Of those offenders who were sentenced to a term of supervision and rearrested, 76.3 percent were rearrested earlier than the expiration of their originally imposed supervision term
    • Assault was the most common (20.7%) offense at rearrest.
    • The second most common offense was drug trafficking (11.3%), followed by: larceny (8.7%), probation, parole, and supervision violations (8.1%), and administration of justice offenses (7.5%).Sipes: Despite what the media says, repeat offenders are responsible for the explosion in violent crime
    • Combined, violent offenses comprised approximately one-third of rearrests; 31.4 percent of offenders were rearrested for assault (20.7%), robbery (4.5%), murder (2.3%), other violent offense (2.3%), or sexual assault (1.6%).
    • Similar to findings in its previous studies, the Commission found age and Criminal History Category (CHC) were strongly associated with rearrests.
    • Offenders in CHC I (the least serious CHC) had the lowest rearrest rates (30.2%) and offenders in CHC VI (the most serious CHC) had the highest rearrest rates (76.2%).
    • In addition, nearly three-quarters (72.5%) of offenders younger than age 21 upon release were rearrested during the study period compared to 15.9 percent of offenders aged 60 and older.
    • Combined, the impact of CHC and age on recidivism was even stronger. During the eight-year follow-up period, 100 percent of offenders who were younger than 21 at the time of release and in CHC IV, V, and VI (the most serious CHCs) were rearrested. In contrast, only 9.4 percent of offenders in CHC I (the least serious CHC) who were aged 60 and older at release were rearrested.
    • Offenders sentenced for firearms and robbery offenses had the highest rearrest rates during the eight-year follow-up period, with 70.6 percent and 63.2 percent, respectively.
    • In contrast, offenders sentenced for fraud, theft, or embezzlement had the lowest rearrest rate (35.5%).

Source

United States Sentencing Commission

Conclusions

There are five primary reasons for the high rate of incarceration in the United States:

Recidivism data states that most people released from prison will continue to commit crimes. The vast majority of people released from state prisons return to the justice system.

Recidivism is based on those released from prison who are arrested, convicted, or incarcerated again. The most common understanding of recidivism is based on state data from the US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, stating that two-thirds (68 percent) of prisoners released were arrested for a new crime within three years of release from prison, and three-quarters (77 percent) were arrested within five years.

Within 3 years of release, 49.7% of inmates either had an arrest that resulted in a conviction with a disposition of a prison sentence or were returned to prison without a new conviction because they violated a technical condition of their release, as did 55.1% of inmates within 5 years of release, Recidivism.

At the most fundamental level, most people believe that public safety takes precedence. Most crimes are not reported to law enforcement, most reported crime does not end in arrest, and many arrests are not prosecuted. It’s obvious that the numbers cited above are undercounted.

Second, as to the impact of correctional rehabilitation programs, most do not reduce recidivism, and even when there are reductions, they are generally small, National Institute Of Justice.

The third reason for the lack of reform is the criminal histories of those in prison. The vast majority have multiple arrests and convictions, Criminal Histories. Most in state prisons are there for a violent crime.

Fourth, most believe that people in prison deserve to be there based on the serious nature of their crimes and criminal backgrounds. Fifty-six percent are “currently” there for a violent crime and if you take previous arrests and convictions into consideration, most have violent or serious criminal histories.

Finally, the overwhelming majority of state violations were for new crimes, not technical violations, as confirmed by the new report from the US Sentencing Commission, Technical Violations Not Connected To Recidivism.

See More

See more articles on crime and justice at Crime in America.

Most Dangerous Cities/States/Countries at Most Dangerous Cities.

US Crime Rates at Nationwide Crime Rates.

National Offender Recidivism Rates at Offender Recidivism.

An Overview Of Data On Mental Health at Mental Health And Crime.

The Crime in America.Net RSS feed (https://crimeinamerica.net/?feed=rss2) provides subscribers with a means to stay informed about the latest news, publications, and other announcements from the site.

Author

Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr.

Retired federal senior spokesperson. Thirty-five years of directing award-winning public relations for national and state criminal justice agencies. Interviewed multiple times by every national news outlet. Former Senior Specialist for Crime Prevention for the Department of Justice’s clearinghouse. Former Director of Information Services, National Crime Prevention Council. Former Adjunct Associate Professor of criminology and public affairs-University of Maryland, University College. Former advisor to presidential and gubernatorial campaigns. Former advisor to the “McGruff-Take a Bite Out of Crime” national media campaign. Certificate of Advanced Study-Johns Hopkins University. Former police officer. Aspiring drummer.

Author of ”Success With The Media: Everything You Need To Survive Reporters and Your Organization” available at Amazon and additional booksellers.

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LET Unity

Cops said that replacing them with social workers wouldn’t work. They were right – it’s a disaster.

October 6, 2021

KING COUNTY, WACrossCut is a Pacific Northwest media organization. They offered an article on the implementation of a social worker program created to respond to non-emergency 911 calls in King County.

King County is the most populous jurisdiction in the state of Washington, and the 12th-most populous in the United States. The county seat is Seattle, also the state’s most populous city, Wikipedia.

As CrossCut stated, since the law took effect in August of 2021, many service providers are reporting a breakdown in managing people in severe crisis.

What was an already shaky response system has begun to crumble, they say, as law enforcement has pulled back from engaging.

In Seattle, police in August committed 45% fewer people to the hospital than was the norm during the previous four years — a trend that’s continuing into September, according to publicly available data from the police department.

Now, providers are ringing alarm bells. More than 20 King County service providers recently called for an “emergency summit” with city and county leaders, seeking clarity on what instructions those in law enforcement are receiving from police leadership, a legal analysis on the implications of the new state law, and a plan for creating more alternatives to police.

The letter continues:

“Our community’s ability to adequately respond to behavioral health crisis events is itself in crisis…..” 

It goes on to say:

“Without urgent action, people living with behavioral health conditions, the staff and organizations who care for them, and the community at large are at serious risk,”

People with two kinds of jobs are authorized to detain someone to bring that person to the hospital: designated crisis responders and the police.

Designated crisis responders, however, are so backlogged that it can often take them a week or more to respond. Historically, that delay has left the police as service providers’ only backup option, for better or worse.

Don Clayton, clinical director with Catholic Community Services said:

“It’s just a tragedy to not be able to get someone the treatment that they need,”

He added:

“That’s so hard to see.”

Not The Only Problem In Seattle-Cops Leaving-News Week

Over 200 officers have left the Seattle Police Department since the 2020 summer protests, including Carmen Best, the city’s first Black police chief.

As News Week states, officers have quit in protest as a result of the calls to “defund” the police, which includes cutting salaries and cutting jobs for as many as 100 police officers. Interim police Chief Adrian Diaz said the department’s reduced numbers have led to a “staffing crisis,”

More Problems With Replacing Law Enforcement-Minneapolis-Associated Press

As activists mobilized this summer to ask Minneapolis voters to replace their police department, one of the first prominent Democrats to slam the plan was a moderate congresswoman who doesn’t even live in the city.

Angie Craig declared it:

“shortsighted, misguided and likely to harm the very communities that it seeks to protect.”

She then went on to warn that it could push out the city’s popular black police chief.

As a city that has become synonymous with police abuse wrestles with police reform, the effort is sharply dividing Democrats along ideological lines. The state’s best known progressives — U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar and Attorney General Keith Ellison — support the plan, which would replace the police department with a new Department of Public Safety. Other top Democrats, including Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Gov. Tim Walz, oppose it, Associated Press.

So far this year, Minneapolis has recorded more than 500 gunshot wounds — roughly double the four-year average prior to 2020, Minnesota Reformer.

Replacing cops with social workers for non-emergency 911 calls is part of the plan.

Conclusions

Bureaucracies are pounded with criticisms but the funny thing about them is that they work.

Yep, their cumbersome and lack innovation. But complex social issues can only be addressed by rules, training, continuous funding sources, sufficient staff, and procedures.

Don’t want cops to respond to emergency social work calls? Then create and fund the bureaucracy (without dipping into police funs) that makes it work or you get a self-created “behavioral health crisis.”

The same will happen to Minneapolis and other cities as they contemplate “alternatives” to policing.

There are endless quotes on change management, “If you want to make enemies, try to change something,”–Woodrow Wilson.

But change cannot be done on the cheap. It has to be well thought out and supported or you get the current wave of explosive violent crime and crisis patients who need help with no one coming.

Police reform may be supported per Gallup, but making people’s lives demonstrably worse seems cruel and regressive to me.

See More

See more articles on crime and justice at Crime in America.

Most Dangerous Cities/States/Countries at Most Dangerous Cities.

US Crime Rates at Nationwide Crime Rates.

National Offender Recidivism Rates at Offender Recidivism.

An Overview Of Data On Mental Health at Mental Health And Crime.

The Crime in America.Net RSS feed (https://crimeinamerica.net/?feed=rss2) provides subscribers with a means to stay informed about the latest news, publications, and other announcements from the site.

Author

Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr.

Retired federal senior spokesperson. Thirty-five years of directing award-winning public relations for national and state criminal justice agencies. Interviewed multiple times by every national news outlet. Former Senior Specialist for Crime Prevention for the Department of Justice’s clearinghouse. Former Director of Information Services, National Crime Prevention Council. Former Adjunct Associate Professor of criminology and public affairs-University of Maryland, University College. Former advisor to presidential and gubernatorial campaigns. Former advisor to the “McGruff-Take a Bite Out of Crime” national media campaign. Certificate of Advanced Study-Johns Hopkins University. Former police officer. Aspiring drummer.

Author of ”Success With The Media: Everything You Need To Survive Reporters and Your Organization” available at Amazon and additional booksellers.


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