Within three years of their release from a state prison, 62.5 percent of former inmates were rearrested, frequently for the same type of crime that led to their earlier imprisonment, a study by the Justice Department found.
In Utah, Department of Corrections officials say the recidivism rate is considerably less - closer to 40 percent.The Justice Department study of inmates released in 11 states in 1983 projected that the nearly 109,000 prisoners freed that year already had been charged during their lifetimes with 1.7 million serious crimes, an average of 12 each.
By 1986, the estimated 68,000 prisoners rearrested were charged with another 326,000 misdemeanors and felonies - including 2,300 homicides, the department said in a its study.
The department estimated that 47 percent of those rearrested were convicted of a new crime and 41 percent were sent back to prison or jail.
Supporting popular theories, the findings indicated that recidivism rates were higher for those with previous arrest records, men, blacks, Hispanics and those who had not completed high school.