(The Center Square) – The number of people who left Iowa’s prison and did not return for three years increased by 2.7% to 34.3% in fiscal year 2023.
The state’s recidivism rate declined for the third state year, according to the Iowa Department of Corrections, which defines recidivism as not being reincarcerated within three years of release.
The rate was 37.0% in fiscal year 2022, a 1.7 percentage point drop from the previous year, according to the IDOC.
“Our state’s recidivism rate is a key indicator in determining if what we’re doing is having the intended impact,” IDOC Director Beth Skinner said. “Not only have we lowered our recidivism rate for three consecutive years, in FY23 we saw our biggest reduction yet.”
IDOC officials cited several reasons why the recidivism rate is declining, including community-based treatment programs for high-risk individuals and an increase in educational opportunities and apprenticeships.
“Three consecutive years of reducing Iowa’s recidivism rate is a clear indicator that what we’re doing in our correctional system is working,” said Gov. Kim Reynolds. “And now that community-based corrections have been placed under the purview of the IDOC, I’m confident our alignment efforts will produce even greater results.”