Recidivism

Forty percent of all persons with an initial event¹ in 2009 relapsed into crime within three years. The percentage that relapsed among women was 28 percent and 43 percent among men. The statistics show a small reduction over time.

Relapse into crime

Percentages of relapse into crime within 1, 2 and 3 years for all persons with an initial event 2009 for all and by gender.

The risk of relapsing into crime clearly increases with the number of previous adjudications². Ninety three percent among those with nine or more previous adjudications relapsed into crime within three years. Among those without any previous adjudication 22 percent relapsed into crime within three years.

The percentage that relapses into crime varies between different age groups. Forty six percent relapsed into crime within three years in the age group 18–20 years. Of those 60 years or older only 20 percent relapsed.

A regression analysis confirms most of the patterns shown in the tables. Men relapse more often than women, the risk of relapsing in to crime increases with the number of previous adjudication, and there is no difference over time. Men have a 53 percent greater risk to relapse into crime than women, people with 9 or more previous adjudication has almost twenty five times greater risk relapsing into crime than those with no previous adjudication. The median number of days to the first relapse into crime was almost eight months (244 days) 2009. The median number of days for women was 251 and 242 for men.

The risk of relapsing into crime is greatest right after the initial event. The pattern is the same regardless subgroup (gender, age, previous adjudication, sanction and crime).

A small group stands for many of the relapses. Only 8 percent of those who relapse have nine or more previous adjudications but they stand for 24 percent of all relapses. Together with those with 4–8 previous adjudications the stand for over half of all relapse crimes within 3 years.

It’s common that a liberty depriving sanction in the initial event is followed by a liberty depriving sanction in the relapse event. Almost one in three (32 %) of those that relapses into a liberty depriving sanction had a liberty depriving sanction as most interfering sanction in the initial event. A total of 54 percent had been deprived of liberty some time prior to the relapse event when previous adjudications 5 years before the initial event are included.

About the statistics

Brå has published new recidivism statistics from 2012. The statistics have been improved through various measures in terms of reliability, quality and timeliness. The new recidivism statistics aim, as before, to give an overview of the level, structure and development of relapses into crime. The new statistics also present new measures such as time to first relapse.

The new statistics is divided into to two products, one final and one preliminary recidivism statistics. The difference is the follow up time and the time for collection of conviction decisions that include relapses into crime. These time periods are three years each in the final statistics and one year each in the preliminary statistics. This gives the possibility to present more reliable final statistics compared to the preliminary statistics.

Due to the changes the levels in the new and old recidivism statistics are not directly comparable. It is however possible to compare distributions and development patterns.

Footnotes

¹) An initial event is a release from prison, discharge from closed institutional youth care, completed intensive supervision with electronic monitoring or court sentencing with legal force or conviction decisions with other sanctions.

²) Previous adjudications mean court sentencing with legal force or conviction decisions 5 years before the initial event.