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by Les Weaver
Clash Daily Contributor

This is the third of a continuing article about our jails/prisons and recidivism.  The first was titled Incarceration Palaces, [1]; the second was titled Recidivism, [2]), and now this one titled Recidivism Rates.  This one is the most difficult because it gets deep into statistics.  For those that have not taken a formal class in statistics, I offer a quickie lesson.  For those that have taken statistics I offer a few reminders.

1.      Many statistics are begun by first determining the result desired and then compiling carefully selected “facts” to support that pre-determined conclusion.  This is particularly the method used for politicians when seeking support for re-election or more funding.
2.      Careful selection, (spin) on the subject matter, (i.e. targeting very narrow pieces of the subject and eliminating any items that do not aid in achieving the end desired).
3.      Outright lies!  For example, being “Grubered”, [3]. 
As I began research, several things jumped out at me.  Most States report that recidivism rates are steeply down with most having reduced prison population for “non-violent crimes”. At the same time, population for violent offenders is up as is cost per institution.  I charge that this won’t be found in any single report because of careful application of (1) and (2) above, resulting in (3).  I conclude that there are several reasons for the reports of low recidivism rates.  These low rates are directly related to who is being arrested and incarcerated and who is getting a free pass, both to falsify and enhance a political end.

This Administration has made it quite clear that Illegal Aliens are not to be arrested for non-violent crimes but rather either ignored or issued a “citation to appear” which they ignore and therefore do not become a statistic. In addition, cite and release with a “court appear date” is becoming the norm for alien violent crime.  (Here the word “Sanctuary City/State comes to mind, [4.] This link also provides recent, Obama, recidivism rates).  And when illegals are turned over to ICE, the norm is to immediately release on their own recognizance to appear which they generally also ignore.  The result is that these immigration law breakers do not become statistics; therefore their recidivism is rarely in the equation.  But there are exceptions and this Administration attempts to silence these, [5].  

For domestic crimes, (i.e. the rioters in Ferguson and Baltimore, drug crimes, etc.) the police are able to identify many violators of drug dealing, burglary, vandalism, and theft but charges and arrests never come to pass because these crimes are labeled “non-violent” by the political power brokers.  Again, many of these non-violent criminals do not become a statistic and again are no longer in the recidivism equation [repeat 5].

Now to the violent criminal, (i.e. murder, rape, etc.).  Across the country, violent crimes are way up, (murder more than 150% in some areas).  These statistics are undeniable but some politicians off-set this number by falsely claiming that nonviolent crimes are down; a Gruber since they are not often arrested.  This is because this Administration is encouraging that drug crimes, looting, burglary, etc. be classified as non-violent or even ignored [6].   When convicted of a violent crime, sentencing may be from many years to life.  Again, this favors low recidivism rates because those criminals are not returned to the street to possibly add to the one side of recidivism statistics. The only thing that changes is the statistics; another Gruber.

Crime is up across this nation but recidivism statistic rates are down, some reports below eight percent. Thousands that were convicted of crimes are being released as “non-violent offenders” yet prison population of violent offenders is increasing.  Politicians continue to ask for more money for jails/prisons but disparage the law officers that are needed to arrest law breakers.  This confusion led me to a Bureau of Justice Statistics of just ten years past that found high rates of recidivism among released prisoners, [7]. One study tracked 404,638 prisoners in 30 states after their release from prison in 2005. The researchers found that:

1.      Within three years of release, about two-thirds (67.8 percent) of released prisoners were rearrested.
2.      Within five years of release, about three-quarters (76.6 percent) of released prisoners were rearrested.
3.      Of those prisoners who were rearrested, more than half (56.7 percent) were arrested by the end of the first year.
4.       Property offenders were the most likely to be rearrested, with 82.1 percent of released property offenders arrested for a new crime compared with 76.9 percent of drug offenders, 73.6 percent of public order offenders and 71.3 percent of violent offenders.
During an interview, (Monday. 07/13/15), on Your World with Neil Cavuto on the Fox News Channel, [8], – Maricopa County, AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio (R) said that out of the 5,000 people turned over to the Immigrants and Customs Enforcement out of his jails, “2,000 have been coming back”.  Arpaio, who in October 2014 said that 36% out of “4,000 people in our jails for state crimes in the last eight months” keep coming back, stated,

I have ICE agents in our jail. We check everybody that comes in; then detainers are placed for those here illegally on state charges, turn them over to ICE, and guess what? Out of 5,000; 2,000 have been coming back to my jails, all serious types of crime. One guy came back 20 times. So, evidently they keep crossing the border, or the ICE is letting them out on the streets. That’s another problem.

He added that he would support cutting off federal funding to sanctuary cities, [4].

The confusion is that while most states report that recidivism rates are only a fraction of those of 2005, crime is up.  I question how that kind of reduction can be made in just ten years without “fudging” the statistics.  I have offered several links so that each person can make their own conclusions.  The question I pose is: Do you trust the Administration that has made so many false promises, (Grubers), or do you believe what is happening on the streets of this nation?    Why is this Administration spending so much energy and resources to silence Sheriff Joe Arpaio and others like him about their reports on recidivism?  Take time to study this problem yourself and per my last link, [9], we all become victims of false statistics about recidivism.  

I charge that the recidivism rates presented by this Administration are based on false data; “pure bovine excrement for political reasons!”