The most recent study of recidivism within the Connecticut Department of Correction was completed in February of 2012 by the State Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division of the Office of Policy and Management. The study followed 14,398 male sentenced offenders after they were released or discharged from a prison facility in 2005, providing a five year review of recidivism.

The study found that within five years of their release; 79 percent were re-arrested, 69 percent were convicted of a new crime, and 50 percent were returned to prison with a new sentence.

The study also found that; 50 percent of the offender group had served at least one sentence for violating the terms of their probation, 46 percent had served time in prison for a drug charge and 19 percent had served a prior sentence for driving under the influence or alcohol or drugs.

The study focused on the recidivism rate of sex offenders and found overall, their rate of committing new crimes was lower than the overall group of offenders.

The report presents many other parameters of recidivism and is available at Office of Policy and Management site.

Sex Offender Recidivism Report (PDF)

Substance Abuse Treatment

A separate study, conducted through the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown University and the Schneider Institute for Health Policy, Heller School at Brandeis University, studied the effects of substance abuse treatment on released offenders. This evaluation sampled inmates who were released between 1996 and 1997 with a sub-sample of 1,463 selected for intensive data collection.

The study found that inmates who had attended the Department of Correction's Tier Substance Abuse Treatment Program were significantly less likely to be rearrested, with 32.5% who attended the Tier Program re-arrested within one year of release compared to 45.9% who did not attend the program. .

The study also found that there was a linear relationship between the intensity of the program and the benefits of treatment.  Tier Two participants were re-arrested at a rate of 32%, Tier 3 at a rate of 20% and only 17% of inmates who attended Tier Four, a six-month residential therapeutic community, were re-arrested. The study also found that attending the Tier Program significantly reduced the severity of crimes committed.

Substance Abuse Treatment for Connecticut Prisoners Reduces Rearrest Rates and Is Cost Effective

Charlene Perkins Reentry Center

The Charlene Perkins Reentry Center is a 100 bed stand alone program on the grounds of the York Correctional Institutional Center in Niantic.  In keeping with the DOC's Reentry Mission, the program was established by Commissioner Theresa C. Lantz in May of 2005 to facilitate the successful community reintegration of women offenders, moving them from incarceration dependency to community self-sufficiency and law-abiding behavior. 

During a average stay of three months prior to release, offenders are provide specialized, evidence based programming to include Addiction Services, Resettlement, Job Center and Intimate Partner Violence. 

Between July 1, 2006 and February 28, 2009, 1,212 women were enrolled at the Charlene Perkins Center.  While 313 of those did not complete the program, 899 were returned to the community.  Of those who returned to their home community, 144 were later returned to York, C.I. for violations of their release conditions or for a new criminal charge.  This equates to a return rate of 16 percent.

Northern CI/Administrative Segregation Program

The Administrative Segregation Program at the Northern Correctional Institution provides a highly structured and secure environment for inmates who have engaged in aggressive, violent or disruptive behavior, or pose an imminent risk to the public staff and other inmates.    During the years, 2006 and 2007 some 120 offenders were assigned to take part in this program, which requires a minimum 10 month stay.  Of that total number of inmates, only nine, were returned to the program over the course of the next two years.  This translates into a recidivism rate of just 7.55 percent for this highly successful behavior modification program.

Religious Programming

While not scientific, nor of a long duration, a March 2009 review of the graduates from the faith based Chrysalis program at the York Correctional Institution for women, shows promising results for those offenders who discharge after graduating. The program, which embraces all religious beliefs in an atmosphere which encourages faith and commitment to productive lifestyles, found that of the 180 offenders who had completed the program since its inception in May 2003, only 20 of those released have returned to prison with new charges reflecting a rate of about 12 percent.

Gang Management Program

The agency has also had a great deal of success with its innovative gang management program, which has been copied by a number of other states across the country. Initiated in 1994, the intensive Close Custody program requires that designated Security Risk Group/gang members ultimately renounce their membership to successfully complete the program at the state's maximum security Northern Correctional Institution.

To date more than 5,200 offenders have been designated as gang members once admitted to the agency and all have been involved to some extent with the Close Custody program. Recidivism in this regard is defined as gang members who renounce and complete the program, but are then found to have become re-involved with Security Risk Groups either once released or while still incarcerated. To date slightly more than 400 offenders have recidivated and have been re-designated as gang members. This translates into a recidivism rate of approximately 8%.