Virginia's recidivism rate remains among the lowest in country for 5th year in a row

Jail Cell
Posted at 10:22 PM, May 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-31 22:26:07-04

RICHMOND – Virginia reports the lowest recidivism rate in the country for the fifth year in a row.

Governor Northam reports that Virginia's recidivism rate is 23.9 percent.

According to Northam, this is the fifth year in a row that the Commonwealth has had the lowest or second-lowest recidivism rate in the nation.

Recidivism is when a person commits a new offense within a specified follow-up period that results in a new sentence. Mental health and drug use are said to play a factor in recidivism.

Virginia came second to South Carolina’s rate of 21.9 percent.

“We all benefit when the individuals in our correctional system have the opportunity to learn, grow, and return to society as productive citizens,” said Governor Northam. “Our success is the direct result of effective reentry programs and strong partnerships across our Commonwealth. I remain grateful to the hardworking professionals at the Virginia Department of Corrections who are dedicated to rehabilitation, transforming lives, and building safer communities.”

The Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC), which operates state corrections facilities and state probation and parole offices, customizes its programming and supervision to address each individual’s criminogenic risks and needs. VADOC offers more than 125 programs to offenders who are in prison and those who are under community supervision. This includes substance abuse treatment, mental and behavioral health services, career and technical education, skills training, and employment and housing assistance.

Of the 12,551 state responsible inmates released from incarceration in Virginia in 2016, Northam says 2,997 were re-incarcerated within three years.

The state waits at least four years to calculate the three-year re-incarceration rate.