What does it take to reduce recidivism?

Recidivism is often used to measure the success of intervention programs. The RAND Corporation recently published, Providing Another Chance: Resetting Recidivism Risk in Criminal Background Checks, which proposes the novel reset principle can guide more accurate recidivism risk prediction for criminal background checks.

Employers, landlords, and volunteer organizations routinely conduct criminal background checks to identify and filter candidates who might be deemed too risky to hire, rent to, or participate in volunteer opportunities. Results from these background checks are often used to justify barring people with convictions from those activities for a set period of time.

Given that roughly 30 percent of people in the US have criminal histories, exclusion resulting from background checks can foreclose opportunities for many. But what if it was possible to show that some people pose a low risk of recidivism? Read more here.

This brief describes work done in the RAND Justice Policy Program and documented in Providing Another Chance: Resetting Recidivism Risk in
Criminal Background Checks, by Shawn D. Bushway, Brian G. Vegetabile, Nidhi Kalra, Lee Remi, and Greg Baumann, RR-A1360-1, 2021 (available
at www.rand.org/t/RRA1360-1).

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