The police in Texas arrest people for a broad range of different criminal offenses. Often, those arrested and charged with a crime will plead guilty. They hope for lenience from the courts and want to leave the mistake that led to their arrest in their past as soon as possible. Some people get arrested once, learn a very difficult lesson and then move on with their lives. Others will find themselves trapped in a cycle of re-offending.
Recidivism is the term for committing a similar offense after a prior arrest. It is more common than many people realize for someone with one legal issue to end up back in state custody again in the future. The government tracks recidivism rates to better manage criminal activity. There are certain types of crimes that have a particularly strong association with people re-offending. What types of criminal activity tend to have the highest recidivism rates?
Those in difficult situations are more likely to re-offend
A variety of factors influence the likelihood that someone will end up prosecuted for a crime. A history of personal trauma, mental health issues, poverty and addiction all have strong associations with criminal activity. Therefore, those who commit offenses based on challenging personal circumstances are often those most likely to re-offend. Over 80% of convicted drug offenders will get arrested again within nine years of their prior offense. The only group that re-offends at a higher rate includes those accused of theft and other property crimes. The recidivism rate for property crimes is closer to 90%.
Many of the people accused of drug offenses have a substance abuse disorder. When it comes to theft and other property crimes, poverty and difficulty finding well-paid work often push someone into a life of criminal activity. Incarceration and social stigma after an arrest can reinforce the cycle of addiction or the perceived need to steal to support oneself.
The state will generally impose harsher penalties on those accused of a second or subsequent arrest after a previous conviction. Therefore, even those with no criminal record will often benefit from developing a strong defense strategy instead of seeking lenience from the courts in the wake of an initial arrest.