Minnesota criminal recidivism rate is nation's worst

Categories: Crime
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There's a good chance he'll be back.
Minnesota has the worst criminal recidivism rate in the country? That's a national ranking we're not too proud of.

A Pew Center on the States report finds that 61.2 percent of prisoners released here were back behind bars after three years, either because of a new offense or because they violated the conditions of their parole.

Not only that, but our recidivism rate actually grew by more than 10 percent between the two years examined by the report, 1999 and 2004. And we far outpaced the latest national average of 43.3 percent.

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Minnesota's recidivism rate grew.
There are some caveats here: Pew's study covers 41 states, not the entire country. And comparing recidivism rates between states can be a tricky business because of variations in how offenses are prosecuted and reported.

Still, even if you discount how we compare to other states, it seems crazy that well over half of our ex-cons end up back behind bars so quickly.

Minnesota Commissioner of Corrections Tom Roy, who took over the post in January from Pawlenty appointee Christine Bray, told Pew the numbers may have something to do with how we treat inmates like lost causes.

"Catching the guy and prosecuting him is really important work, but if we don't do anything with that individual after we've got him, then shame on us. If all that effort goes to waste and we just open the doors five years later, and it's the same guy walking out the door and the same criminal thinking, we've failed in our mission."

From the looks of the Pew study, Roy's inherited a messy mission.

Download and read: State of Recidivism -- The Revolving Door of America's Prisons


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3 comments
Time Ghost
Time Ghost

It's very easy to be a criminal here. According to the sentencing guidelines, one can imbezzle up to $400,000 and will be sentenced to sit for no more than three years. After succesful completion of drug treatment and doing final six months in a halfway house, one will only actually serve one year in prison. I just did five months for my fourth DWI in which nobody was hurt and no property damage occured (not condoning my actions for a second, but when you compare the two I think it deserves a WTF?) In MN, crime actually does pay.

Kirk the Conservative Jerk
Kirk the Conservative Jerk

Like I said before; we pamper, instead of punish our state prisoners, and this is what we get. More than 60% of prisoners are back at Club Med (prison) within 3 years.

Sound as if we need some tough love in our penal system.

Speaktodragons
Speaktodragons

 And what do you propose? The rack, chained to the wall? torture? Club med are you serious? Offering things like Cable tv actually clam down people in prison which maintains order for the guards. The reason that there is recidivism is there isn't a standard process to transform the person entering prison to re-entering back in society. They can't get jobs and wind back into the same associations and same environment which means back into jail. It would be cheaper to send people to college for 4 years than 4 year in college. But then if college was a right not a privilege, well that is another issue.  

You could have a penal system where the smallest infraction is automatic death sentence. We do have about 310 million Americans so it would help to lower the population. If someone is sent to prison 10, 20 years, You might as well just execute them because they will not be able to contrite in taxes for SS or Medicare. Spending such amount of time in prison, well its not the same as spending it in a monastery. 

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