Recidivism is a fundamental concept in criminal justice. Simply defined, it represents a relapse into a previous type of criminal behavior for which an individual was found to be responsible and sentenced to some type of punishment. Some individuals who fall under the umbrella of recidivism exhibit antisocial behaviors, have an addiction to drugs, or have a mental health disorder.

There are a number of definitions of recidivism. These include reoffending, rearrest, and reincarceration. Study results on recidivism rates vary depending on the definition used by the researcher. In general, however, to be termed recidivist, an individual must be rearrested and reconvicted for the same crime or one of a similar nature. Research has shown that more than two thirds of prisoners in the United ...

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