A moment of serious thoughts on recidivism…


I bring up the topic of recidivism due to a recent online post discussing Michael Vick, (the football player who ran a vicious dog fighting ring), and how “he has fully paid for his crimes”.

He was only sentenced two years in prison after being caught running a violently abusive dog fighting enterprise. He is now back to playing football, earning huge amounts of money, and being held up as an example of a person who has “paid for his crimes” and should be allowed to go back to being a high profile example to young adults.

I violently disagreed with that opinion, because, although he is doing community service and speaking out against dog fighting, I posed only one simple question. I asked “if he hadn’t been caught and convicted for his crimes against helpless animals, do you think he’d have stopped running his dog fighting enterprise?”

I don’t think so, but please don’t take my word for it, here are the statistics that support my point, that although it appears he is “rehabilitated” the facts indicate that he is only acting pro-animal rights in order to continue making big money as a football player, and would not have stopped had he not been caught.

From The Bureau of Justice Statistics
“Recidivism is measured by criminal acts that resulted in the rearrest, reconviction, or return to prison with or without a new sentence during a three-year period following the prisoner’s release.

Summary findings
• During 2007, a total of 1,180,469 persons on parole were at-risk of reincarceration. This includes persons under parole supervision on January 1 or those entering parole during the year. Of these parolees, about 16% were returned to incarceration in 2007.
• Among nearly 300,000 prisoners released in 15 states in 1994, 67.5% were rearrested within 3 years. A study of prisoners released in 1983 estimated 62.5%.
• Of the 272,111 persons released from prisons in 15 states in 1994, an estimated 67.5% were rearrested for a felony or serious misdemeanor within 3 years, 46.9% were reconvicted, and 25.4% resentenced to prison for a new crime.
• These offenders had accumulated 4.1 million arrest charges before their most recent imprisonment and another 744,000 charges within 3 years of release.
• Released prisoners with the highest rearrest rates were robbers (70.2%), burglars (74.0%), larcenists (74.6%), motor vehicle thieves (78.8%), those in prison for possessing or selling stolen property (77.4%), and those in prison for possessing, using, or selling illegal weapons (70.2%).
• Within 3 years, 2.5% of released rapists were arrested for another rape, and 1.2% of those who had served time for homicide were arrested for homicide.”

Source: http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=17

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