Department of Corrections
Kentucky’s Recidivism Rate At 10-Year Low; Felon Population Also Declining

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, January 04, 2011  
Contact Information:  Lisa Lamb
(502) 564-4726 (office)
(502) 330-0362 (cell)
 


The Kentucky Department of Corrections released numbers this afternoon that were good news, and welcomed by state officials.

The state’s two and three-year recidivism rates are at the lowest mark in several years.  The state prison population is also currently less than when we began 2010, and not just by a few inmates: 1,097 to be exact.

The 24-month recidivism rate is now at a 10-year low: 29.5 percent. The last time the rates were comparable was in 2001 and 2000, when the rate was 30 and 28.8 percent respectively.

The Kentucky DOC’s three-year recidivism rate is at the lowest mark in nine years, since the 2002 releases that were reported in 2005. The three-year recidivism rate is 40.3% for the 2007 releases.

“By reducing the rate of offenders who return to prison, we keep our communities safer, our families more intact, and we're able to begin reinvesting incarceration costs to other critical services,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “Reversing the trend of recidivism, which had been steadily increasing over the past decade, signals that our initiatives of the past three years are having an impact.” 

Recidivism, by Kentucky’s definition, is an individual’s return to the custody of the Department of Corrections within two years of release from a state institution or contract facility by parole, shock probation or completion of sentence.

Recidivism does not include federal convictions, convictions in other states or convictions in Kentucky where the person is probated and not incarcerated. Kentucky uses the nationally-recognized ASCA (Association of State Correctional Administrators) formula for recidivism rates.

“We very pleased to see the drop in recidivism, especially since the reduction is so significant,” said Corrections Commissioner LaDonna Thompson. “I give a great deal of credit to our probation and parole staff and the work they have done to reduce the return of technical parole violators. This is at least one part of the equation. We believe our re-entry efforts and increased efforts in substance abuse treatment programs also played a role.”

Thompson said the reduction may also be a result of the courts using alternative sentencing, for example: expanded use of home incarceration, drug courts, and mental health courts.

The Department of Corrections also calculated the releases on a three-year time frame as part of our partnership with national experts from the Public Safety Performance Project of the Pew Center on the States.

 

            Kentucky Recidivism Rates

 

 

 

 

 

24 Month Rates

 

36 Month Rates

2000

28.90%

 

2000

36.40%

2001

30.00%

 

2001

38.00%

2002

31.70%

 

2002

40.80%

2003

35.40%

 

2003

44.10%

2004

33.00%

 

2004

41.00%

2005

34.00%

 

2005

42.20%

2006

35.00%

 

2006

42.70%

2007

32.00%

 

2007

40.30%

2008

29.50%