Levels and predictors of recidivism: The malta experience

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Research on recidivism has been confined primarily to a few highly industrialized Western nations (e.g., United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Australia) in which the data and resources needed for such research are readily available. The restriction of recidivism research to such a small number of nations begs the question: Do these results reflect patterns of offending and products of the criminal justice systems unique to these nations, or do they describe patterns of recidivism across a much wider range of social and cultural contexts? In this study I extend the scope of recidivism research by examining levels and patterns of recidivism in the Republic of Malta, a small Mediterranean island that differs considerably from the typical context in which recidivism is studied. Specifically, I examine the likelihood of recidivism among persons released from Malta's only prison between 1976 and 1994. In addition, I examine factors shown in previous research to be strong predictors of recidivism to assess their value as predictors of recidivism among Maltese prisoners. Proportional hazards regression models reveal that levels and predictors of recidivism in Malta approximate those observed in societies that are socially and culturally quite different. The findings suggest that the role of social institutions in reintegrating offenders into society may be more complex than commonly believed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)601-628
Number of pages28
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law


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