A recent study done by the Pew Center revealed that Minnesota has the highest recidivism rate in the country. Recidivism is the tendency of a convicted criminal to relapse into criminal behavior.
The study collected data from 41 of the 50 United States. Minnesota was the “winner” with a recidivism rate of 61 percent. That’s nearly 10 percent higher than the runners up. Alaska, California, Illinois, Missouri, and Vermont reported rates around 50 percent. Oregon and Wyoming had the lowest rates at around 25 percent.
“These statistics show that our legal system needs to focus on education rather than incarceration,” says Criminal Trial Lawyer Avery Appelman. “Incarceration only puts more time between crimes.”
These results highlight the growing rate of recidivism in the United States. The numbers show that standard prison time is simply not working. This is proof that our legal system needs to seriously consider alternative treatment options, such as rehab, for nonviolent criminal offenders.
If these states could cut their recidivism levels by only 10 percent, they could save hundreds of millions of dollars each year in prison costs.
“Recidivism statistics are usually compiled by crime, not holistically” says Minnesota Defense Attorney, Avery Appelman. “Our high level of DWI rates in Minnesota likely skewed the data. In reality, our recidivism rates for more severe, violent crimes are lower. Regardless, jail-time should always be a last resort. Prisons simply band-aid a criminal’s underlying issues. They are short-term solutions to long-term problems.”
What do you think? Do these statistics prove that prisons are simply not working? Sound off in the comments section below!