Predicting Recidivism for Released State Prison Offenders: Examining the Influence of Individual and Neighborhood Characteristics and Spatial Contagion on the Likelihood of Reincarceration

Gerald J. Stahler, Jeremy Mennis, Steven Belenko, Wayne N. Welsh, Matthew L. Hiller, Gary Zajac

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

58 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examined the influence of individual and neighborhood characteristics and spatial contagion in predicting reincarceration on a sample of 5,354 released Pennsylvania state prisoners. Independent variables included demographic characteristics, offense type, drug involvement, various neighborhood variables (e.g., concentrated disadvantage, residential mobility), and spatial contagion (i.e., proximity to others who become reincarcerated). Using geographic information systems (GIS) and logistic regression modeling, our results showed that the likelihood of reincarceration was increased with male gender, drug involvement, offense type, and living in areas with high rates of recidivism. Older offenders and those convicted of violent or drug offenses were less likely to be reincarcerated. For violent offenders, drug involvement, age, and spatial contagion were particular risk factors for reincarceration. None of the neighborhood environment variables were associated with increased risk of reincarceration. Reentry programs need to particularly address substance abuse issues of ex-offenders as well as take into consideration their residential locations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)690-711
Number of pages22
JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
Volume40
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychology(all)
  • Law

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