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Recidivism among Female Prisoners:Secondary Analysis of the 1994 BJS Recidivism Data Set

Award Information

Award #
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Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2005, $35,000)

This project will conduct further analysis, in two phases, of data on the recidivism of prisoners released in 1994, from the BJS three-year follow-up study available through ICPSR. The current proposal requests funding for the first phase: development and testing various analytic strategies that will model the impact of prior criminal history on post-release recidivism. This first phase will be limited to an examination of the criminal careers of the 23,583 females, who represent 8.7% of the total sample. A retrospective longitudinal design will be used to examine the criminal careers and recidivism of a prison release cohort of female offenders during a 3-year follow-up period. More specifically, the analysis will focus on the relationships between age at onset, offense specialization, career escalation, time served, age at release and persistence or desistance and the possible impact of incarceration and prison programs on post-release recidivism. This study will test the utility of various analytic techniques, including survival analysis, Markov chain analysis, multivariate linear regression and logistic regression in answering these questions. The original study included 272,111 inmates discharged from prisons in 15 states (two-thirds of all prisoners released in the United States in 1994). Each case contains data on up to 99 arrest cycles that represent the individual's entire adult criminal history from first arrest to most recent rearrest during . The four measures of recidivism included in the file are: rearrest, reconviction, return to prison (for any reason), and return to prison for a new sentence. The data prepared by BJS contains measures of the number of prior arrests, number of prior convictions as well as dichotomous measures of any prior arrest and any prior conviction.


Date Created: September 20, 2004