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Introduction

Welcome to our comprehensive webpage dedicated to reentry and recidivism data in California and Los Angeles. This platform serves as a resource for individuals, researchers, policymakers, and advocates interested in understanding the complex landscape of reentry and recidivism within the criminal justice system. Our webpage offers a thorough analysis of the latest data trends, statistics, and insights related to reentry and recidivism across California and specifically within the diverse context of Los Angeles. From examining the factors that contribute to successful reentry to identifying the challenges that lead to recidivism, our curated content provides a holistic view of the journey individuals face as they reintegrate into society.

About The Data

This resource is intended to present a compilation of data and research on incarceration and recidivism rates federally, statewide and specifically within Los Angeles county. The intention is for this to be a "living webpage" that is continually updated with recent data, trends, and research that will provide context for the work of the Los Angeles Reentry Collaborative and demonstrate the relevance and impact of this ACH. The data presented here comes from several sources: Vera Institute of Justice's Incarceration Trends project, CDCR Recidivism Reports, and Prisoner Population Reports from the Bureau of Justice. Contact us to learn more about our methodology.

National Incarceration Rates

National and State Incarceration Rates per 100k Residents

Incarceration Rates by Gender

Male and Female Incarceration Rates per 100k Residents

In 2021, incarceration rates for males average 659 per 100k people while females averages at 47 per 100K people

Men make up 90 percent of the prison and local jail population, and they have an incarceration rate 14 times higher than the rate for women

Growing Female Incarceration Rates

In 1970, 12 per 100,000 female residents, ages 15 to 64, were incarcerated; as of 2021, that number had grown to 75 per 100,000 female residents ages 15-64. That is a 500% increase.

National Correctional Population by Race

Correctional Population by Race per 100k

In 2021 the national average  of incarceration rates per 100K was: 901 for Black/African Americans, 763 for American Indian/Alaskan Native ,434 for Hispanics, 181 for White, 72 for Asian

Although African Americans and Latinos comprise 29% of the U.S. population, they make up 57% of the U.S. prison population. These disparities exist for both the least and most serious offenses.

California Incarceration Rates

Jail Incarceration Rates

California Jail Incarceration by Race per 100k Residents

California Jail Incarceration by Gender per 100k Residents

Prison Incarceration Rates

California Prison Incarceration by Race per 100k Residents

California Prison Incarceration by Gender per 100k Residents

LA County Incarceration Rates

Jail Incarceration Rates

LA County Jail Incarceration by Race per 100k Residents

 LA County Jail Incarceration by Gender per 100k Residents

Prison Incarceration Rates

LA County Prison Incarceration by Race per 100k Residents

 LA County Prison Incarceration by Gender per 100k Residents

Recidivism Rates

The graphs represented the recidivism rates over the years in California. The horizontal (x) axis represent the timeframe in which individuals were released, or the years since being released; the vertical (y) axis represents the recidivism rate as a percentage.

Recidivism Rates in California and LA County

Recidivism Rates by Gender

Recidivism Rates by Gender in LA County per Cohort

Scroll through cohort years by clicking the arrows on the left and right side

Recidivism is most likely to occur in the first year post-release. Of those reentering LA County in 2016-2017, 21.5% of males were

re-convicted in the first year, an additional 17.3% were re-convicted in year 2, and an additional 9.4% were re-convicted in year 3. For females, 15.8% were re-convicted in year 1, an additional 14.1% in year 2, and 9.1% in year 3.

Recidivism Rates by Gender in LA County Per Cohort by Year 3

Recidivism Rates by Age

Recidivism Rates by Age in LA County for 2015-2016

Recidivism rates by are highest for 18-19 year olds and consistently decrease with age. In 2015-2016, average recidivism rates for 18-19 year olds were around 44%, while rates for individuals 60+ were around 5%.

Recidivism Rates by Age in LA County per Cohort by Year 3

Recidivism Rates by Race

Recidivism Rates by Race in LA County per Cohort in 2015-2016

Recidivism Rates by Race in LA County per Cohort by Year 3

Decreasing the Rate of Reoffense 

 Reducing recidivism rates is considerable challenge and is of enormous importance. The cost implications, social and human consequences of high recidivism rates are numerous and profound. Significant community support is essential to the successful reintegration of formerly incarcerated individuals, as

this reduces the feeling of isolation that these individuals often experience, increasing their chances of success and reducing the likelihood of recidivism.

Social Connection

Increasing social connection and providing adequate community support have a positive impact on recidivism rates and general wellbeing. Financial struggles, social pressures, the stigma of incarceration, repair of damaged family dynamics relationships and other relationship issues are among the most prevalent issues facing those who are on the journey of reentry. Adequate social connections are crucial resources in addressing the multifaceted challenges and support of community reduces the feeling of isolation. Building connection post-release is crucial to reducing recidivism.

13%

A 13% decrease in rearrests rate when participants stayed in the Male Community Reentry Program in California 

A study examining the Male Community Reentry Program (MCRP) has demonstrated how reentry programs that help build community connections (along with other resources) lead to a decrease in recidivism rate of 8% for those who stayed in the program for at least 7 months and 13% for those who stayed in the program for at least 9 months.

There is no universal reentry approach or singular program model that has proven to be consistently successful for all participants; the structure of a program varies depending on local needs, resources, and statutory frameworks and program success also varies based on multiple factors.

Housing

Housing and Recidivism

Lack of housing or housing instability greatly increase the rates of recidivism. Providing or supporting safe housing for recently released individuals is an important tool in addressing recidivism.

California represents 30% of the nations homeless population 

An homeless person is 514% more likely to be arrested and charged with a crime

50%

Homelessness leads to a 50% increase risk of recidivism 

Providing Housing

Recognizing the impact of homelessness on recidivism rates and implementing targeted interventions is a critical step in breaking the cycle of criminal behavior and supporting formerly incarcerated individuals to lead productive, law-abiding lives. Providing safe and stable housing, along with necessary support services, is a critical step toward reducing recidivism and fostering safer and more cohesive communities.

For a three year study, 188 justice-involved individuals received housing at a Housing Navigation Center (HNC) and this led to a recidivism rate of 9.6% which is significantly below the national and local rate

10x

Formerly incarcerated people are 10 times more likely than the general public to become homeless

Education

Education plays a crucial role in breaking the cycle of recidivism by equipping individuals with the tools and opportunities they need to lead productive and law-abiding lives after incarceration. Providing access to education within correctional facilities and supporting continued learning upon release are essential components of reducing recidivism rates.

For every $1 invested in prison education, taxpayers save $4-$5 in re-incarceration costs during the first three years, post-release

10%

According to some studies, repealing the federal ban on Pell grants for incarcerated individuals would lead to increased employment rates among formerly incarcerated students by 10%

Incarcerated people who participate in educational programs are 48% less likely be reincarcerated than those who

do not participate 

Substance Use Disorder Treatment

Many of the drug and alcohol interventions trialed in prison settings resulted in decreased substance use and better recidivism outcomes than lack of treatment - however, these gains are short lived and programs can be less effective if access is limited, or if individuals are not offered adequate or appropriate transitional support and a plan for continuous health care

Programs like the Residential Drug Abuse Treatment Program (RDAP) and the Non-Residential Drug Abuse Treatment Program (NRDAP) result in significantly lower recidivism rates in an 8 year period post release. 

-10%

Those who complete NRDAP, on average, recidivated between 1-10% less than other participants and eligible non-participants, depending on the length of sentence (up to 120 months or more)

Those who completed RDAP, and who served 24 months, had a recidivism rate of 43.6%, compared to 59.6% for participants and 68.9% for eligible non-participants

Mental Health

While mental illness on its own is not associated with higher recidivism rates, mental health is one factor affecting recidivism, connected to or affected by other factors like housing and substance use.

Offenders with both a mental illness and substance use disorder had higher average numbers of rearrests than those with neither and those with mental illness alone.

40% of the LA County Jail population

had mental health diagnoses

LA County Jail is technically one of the largest mental health institutions in the nation. From 2010 to 2021, the number of individuals incarcerated in this system with mental health diagnoses increased 137%

Successful Reentry 

Investments in prisons alone, without complementary investments in post-release services, are insufficient in addressing or producing a significant reduction in recidivism. Reentry support is most successful when begun while the individual is still incarcerated. Starting the process of reentry while still in custody, and engaging case managers as available appears to support more successful reentry          

Barriers for a Successful Reentry 

  • Finances: ex-offenders often return with limited financial resources but many financial needs. This is in conjunction of high unemployment rates for formerly incarcerated individuals 

  • Stigma: There is a very strong sense of stigma surrounding incarceration and opinions held about formerly incarcerated individuals by community members with whom they interact can negatively impact opportunities for successful reentry. Meanwhile, few recently released individuals have the option of simply leaving their communities and starting over elsewhere. 

  • Identity: the stigma of incarceration can impact the way family and friends relate to the formerly incarcerated person and affect their self-identity, as well.

  • Relationships: social networks are heavily disrupted by incarceration, as well as more intimate relationships, marriages, families, and friendships. Some former friends and family members may be  concerned about getting too close to the recently released person, for fear of how that person has changed or that the relationships may be lost again. 

Successful Reintegration Strategies Include Some Common Features:

  • Reflecting the priorities of the target community by engaging the community in the planning and the delivery of interventions in order to foster community ownership of the reintegration process

  • Differentiating between special categories of offenders, including sound methods for assessing their risks and needs 

  • Beginning as early as possible, and continuing throughout the formerly incarcerated person's transition to the community 

  • Holding former offenders accountable, while striking a balance between surveillance/control and support/assistance

  • Offering assistance in an integrated manner and with a coordinated effort 

  • Using evidence-based case management practices and adequate information management systems

  • Using efficient communication and having a strategy for clear, consistent and successful communication 

  • Having a robust monitoring and evaluation component that allows the interventions to evolve, self-improve, and remain accountable 

  • Making sure interventions are gender- and age-sensitive

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