New PPIC Study Shows Encouraging Progress in Reduction of Recidivism Rates Study Indicates Success with California’s Historic Reforms and Realignment


Sacramento, CA, June 20, 2019 – A new PPIC report released today has reported a decline in recidivism rates since California has taken on the most significant justice system reforms in history with the implementation of prison realignment and sentencing reforms.

“While California has embarked on what is the most significant downsizing of a prison system in this nation’s history, we have simultaneously reduced the number of adults on probation, leaving only the most serious and high-risk individuals in custody and on community supervision,” said Karen Pank, Executive Director for the Chief Probation Officers of California. “Despite the challenges of this population, and their high-risk to reoffend, we are proud to see that crime rates have remained near their 50-year lows and the declining recidivism rates.”

“Our primary goal is always rehabilitation and the avoidance of recidivism and we know our evidence-based early detection work that includes meeting with impacted individuals, monitoring their progress and performing compliance checks plays an important role in that effort. This has allowed us to detect unlawful activity and intercede early, before escalation occurs.”

The PPIC report analyzed recidivism trends for felony offenders in California showing key statistical findings, most notably, recidivism rates have declined among all sentencing groups, the felony reconviction rates dropped markedly (eight percent) and recidivism rates declined most for drug and property offenses.

The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) is a nonprofit think tank dedicated to informing and improving public policy. The PPIC data is drawn from 12 representative counties over estimating two-year recidivism rates for felony offenders released in the four years following realignment. The report provides recidivism rates for all types of felony offenders sentenced to prison, jail only, split sentences of jail followed by probation and probation only. The full PPIC study can be found here.

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Media Contact: Laura Dixon

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