Do Offenders Tend to Return to Prison?

Recidivism is a national problem, with approximately 40 percent of all offenders returning to prison within three years after being released. In Nevada, the recidivism rate is much lower than the rest of the country; however, some claim this figure is misleading because of the high number of out-of-state inmates incarcerated here.

Approximately 28 percent of inmates will return to Nevada prisons within three years according to a study by the Nevada Parole Commission in 2009. Even so, approximately 20 percent of all those held in Nevada prisons are actually residents of California, and are serving time for crimes they committed while vacationing here. Many of them return to their home state upon release, which means that any subsequent prison terms would be tracked by that state rather than Nevada.

Some state officials are not buying that, as they claim California encourages offenders to come to Nevada once they are released from their penal institutions. It seems a prison in Susanville, California is notorious for providing bus tickets to Reno for those released from that facility.

The Nevada Parole Commission uses recidivism rates along with a number of other factors in determining how offenders are paroled in this state. The fact that there are so many out of state prisoners located here makes it difficult to determine exactly what the odds are of an individual returning to the criminal justice system.