The Pew Research Center provides the latest national look at recidivism within each state’s Department of Corrections. They define recidivism as:
Recidivism is the act of reengaging in criminal offending despite having been punished. The prison recidivism rate—the subject of this report—is the proportion of persons released from prison who are rearrested, reconvicted or returned to custody within a specific time period. Typically, recidivism studies follow released offenders for three years following their release from prison or placement on probation.
Offenders are returned to prison for one of two reasons:
1. For committing a new crime that results in a new conviction or
2. For a technical violation of supervision, such as not reporting to their parole or probation officer or failing a drug test.
They studied cohorts of released offenders made from each states’ correctional facilities from 2004-2007 and then compared it to cohorts released 1999-2002. Iowa saw an uptick of 4.7% from 32.4% recidivism rate among 2953 released from 1999-2002 to 33.9% of 3533 released offenders from 2004-2007 (larger percentage due to larger release cohort). 24% of those released in Iowa of the latest cohort returned to prison on a new charge, while 11% did so on a technical violation.
You can read the whole study below: