The Process of Measuring Recidivism

The effectiveness of corrective policies largely depends on how they are formulated. Therefore, although some concepts seem apparent at first glance, careful assessment is necessary to avoid erroneous interpretations. This is the main problem of applying correctional policies in case of recidivism. Experience has shown that different approaches to assessing recidivism end up with prevalence rates ranging from 0 to 80 percent (Mosher et al., 2010). This is because the criteria for assessing recidivism have an extensive range. So, in different regions, a repeat offender can be called a person who was revoked from probation or only a person who was again imprisoned for crimes. In addition, there are criteria for the severity and type of crime, according to which sometimes even a murderer who is prosecuted for non-payment of a fine can be called a repeat offender. Such ample space for interpreting the concept of recidivism makes it challenging to compare and assess situations. This significantly reduces the effectiveness of the correction system since there is no single process and clear concept.

Padfield and Maruna (2006) focus on the return of convicted persons to prison while on probation. According to the text of the article, at the moment, people trying to reintegrate into society are faced with a massive number of injustices, rigid conventions and restrictions that make their life harder. Moreover, according to the authors, the conditions are so dire that it comes as no surprise that ex-prisoners return to crime (Padfield & Maruna, 2006). However, when analyzing the entire article, one can notice that the researchers are not impartial. Moreover, they clearly take the convicts’ side, demonstrating a certain kind of prejudice against the current judicial and executive systems.

In addition, researchers often cite old documents as arguments. For example, the words that it is difficult for a criminal to reintegrate are supported by examples from the literature of 1974 (Padfield & Maruna, 2006). In addition, not all the facts proposed by the authors have quotations that could confirm them. Finally, the most biases and the most significant research gaps are found in the prisoner recalls study and the article’s conclusions. The authors believe that this issue needs to be studied in more detail to protect criminals on probation but cite insufficient information on this topic.


Mosher, C., Miethe, T.D., Hart, T.C. (2010). The mismeasure of crime (2nd ed.). SAGE Publications.

Padfield, N., & Maruna, S. (2006). The revolving door at the prison gate: Exploring the dramatic increase in recalls to prison. Criminology & Criminal Justice, 6(3), 329-352.

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1. LawBirdie. "The Process of Measuring Recidivism." March 31, 2023.


LawBirdie. "The Process of Measuring Recidivism." March 31, 2023.