Research Paper on Recidivism

Recidivism is a model of repeating antisocial or criminal behavior.

Most first time offenders took the path of crime as a minor or in the first years of adulthood. There is the following relationship between the age of criminal at the time of the first violation and subsequent recidivism. The earlier the first crime was committed, the more intense and virulent is the recidivism. 70% of offenders committed their first crime at the age of 18. The older the person, who commits the offense for the first time, the less the probability of recidivism. There are almost no recidivists among individuals, who committed their first violation in old age and the crime they committed are way less virulent.

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The proportion of women in the cohort of recidivists is 2-3 times lower than in that of the primary crime. In women criminogenic qualities are expressed more sharply than that of male offenders: by alcoholism, multiple convictions, loss of social connections, homelessness, and moral degradation. Public opinion has traditionally much more intolerance toward convicted women than to men, which promotes the rejection of their normal household and labor collectives, friendly human interaction.

Compared with the criminals, who have committed the crime for the first time, a typical feature of repeat offenders is further weakening or complete cessation of professional activity. Over 80% of repeat offenders are the individuals without a specific occupation. The share of jobless and non-students among those convicted was of 57% in 1996.

Repeat offenders most often have primary or incomplete secondary education, and only an insignificant part has college or university degree. The share of individuals having an education higher than primary is two times lower than that of the first-time offenders. Those who have chosen the life of crook, do not see the point in raising their cultural level, it is difficult to involve them in learning activity while serving their sentences.

The psychological picture of the recidivist personality has usually traits of anger, aggression, and brutality, lack of restraint, and the inadequacy of primitive emotional reactions, authoritarianism, high level of self-esteem; coldness to the feelings of others; the feeling of revenge and resentment.

A certain part of the recidivists repeat their crime due to the moral weakness, an inability to break the negative contacts.

Pathology of the psyche, not excluding sanity, can be traced in 15 – 20% of repeat offenders compared with up to 40% among those, who have committed murder.

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