What does this measure?
The percentage of released inmates who are re-incarcerated within three years of their release.
Why is this important?
Re-entry into a community after periods of incarceration can be challenging for individuals, as many are released without preparation for reintegration or community-based support structures. Many return to major metropolitan areas, with lessened prospects for jobs and housing, contributing to rising costs and stress on public health and safety programs.
How is our county doing?
In Essex County, 32% of inmates released in 2016 were re-incarcerated within three years, slightly higher than the state rate. This is a decline of 10 percentage points from 2009 when both Essex County and the state each had a recidivism rate of 42%.
For context, a national study of recidivism found 68% of state prisoners were arrested within three years; see Bureau of Justice Statistics.
How do we compare to similar counties?
The re-incarceration rate in Middlesex was 29% in 2016, below Essex County, and a 12 point decrease from the rate of 41% in 2009.
Notes about the data
Comparable data for Westchester, NY and Lake, IL was not available.