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Iowa Corrections reporting lower recidivism rates

Iowa Department of Corrections logo.
Iowa Department of Corrections logo.(Courtesy: Iowa Department of Corrections)
Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 1:45 PM CDT
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DES MOINES, Iowa (WOWT) - The Iowa Department of Corrections (IDOC) has announced today a reduction in the recidivism rate for the 2021 fiscal year.

The three-year recidivism rate for 2021 is 38.7% — 0.9% lower than the recidivism rate observed in 2020.

Generally, recidivism is defined by the National Institute of Justice as the likelihood that an individual “relapse[s] into criminal behavior, often after the person receives sanctions or undergoes intervention from a previous crime.”

Recidivism can be defined in a multitude of ways, and there is no primary standard for national or state-level reporting. The IDOC defines recidivism as an individual’s return to prison within three-years following a previous term of incarceration

Recidivism reduction is a top priority for IDOC.

“I’m proud of the hard work that the Department of Corrections and their partners have done to continually reduce the recidivism rate in our state,” said Gov. Reynolds, “It is critical that we continue these programs and partnerships and help these individuals begin a new path as an active, productive and valued member of our society.”

The IDOC has undertaken a series of efforts to continue to reduce recidivism and improve public safety within their Agency.

“The Iowa DOC has undertaken multiple efforts over the course of several years to reduce recidivism rates,” said Director Beth Skinner, Ph.D., “The recidivism reduction observed during FY21 are indications these efforts are working to achieve our Department’s unified goals to improve reentry and community safety.”

The Department reports several implementation efforts, which include but are not limited to:

  • Prioritizing institutional and community-based treatment for high risk individuals.
  • Utilizing evidence-based programs.
  • Improved and aligned reentry practices.
  • Increased access to education and educational opportunities.
  • Building capacity within apprenticeship programs.
  • Training staff in core correctional practices (CCP).
  • Enhanced case management training.

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