The Urban Institute and the Bureau of Justice Assistance, US Department of Justice hosted a webinar on improving recidivism as a performance measure. Performance measurement—establishing metrics for success and assessing results—is a crucial first step in informed decision-making in all areas of government, including criminal justice policy. Understanding the outcomes of funding and policy decisions is critical to improving government performance and providing the best return on taxpayer investments. Recidivism, the most commonly used metric for assessing correctional success, is a vital measure of justice agencies’ effectiveness at protecting public safety.
A brief from the Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center provides detailed guidance for improving the use of recidivism as a correctional performance measure. The brief outlines best practices in defining, collecting, analyzing, and disseminating recidivism data and provides a blueprint for the next generation of policy-relevant, action-oriented recidivism research at the state level. Moderated by Ryan King of the Urban Institute, the webinar highlighted strategies for gathering a broad range of reoffense indicators, making accurate comparisons across groups and over time, and using the results to improve outcomes through informed decision making.
Ryan King, senior fellow, Justice Policy Center, Urban Institute (moderator)
Kristofer Bret Bucklen, director, Office of Planning, Research, and Statistics, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
Elizabeth Ann Carson, statistician, Bureau of Justice Statistics, US Department of Justice
Steve Van Dine, chief, Bureau of Research and Evaluation, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction