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Habitual Offenders

When someone is released from incarceration, the idea is that they have served their time and that, with the exception of some sort of probation or parole, they are free to live their lives as they see fit. Too often, though, the reality of life after prison is one not as free as former inmates and their loved one’s hope. Difficulty finding jobs, re-acclimating to their old environment, and resisting the temptations that sometimes led to jail in the first place may be overwhelming. Bureau of Justice statistics bear this out; their studies on the recidivism rate show that in a majority of cases former inmates will again be incarcerated.  

Let Church, Langdon, Lopp, Banet Law Help

If you are a former inmate who is currently in trouble with the law, contact Church, Langdon, Lopp, Banet Law Attorneys in New Albany. Church, Langdon, Lopp, Banet Law has years of experience defending cases in Indiana and Kentucky and will work tirelessly to help create the defense strategy you need. We have helped many defendants and will apply that experience to your situation. With our resources and knowledge, we will see your case through to the end. If you have questions or need to set up a free consultation, contact us online or call us at (812) 725-8224.

What is Recidivism?

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) defines recidivism as a person’s relapse into criminal behavior. Once a person enters the criminal justice system, it is likely they will return. The recidivism rate refers to the likelihood that an individual who has been released from incarceration will commit another crime and return to jail.


A 2005 study done by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) tracked more than 400,000 prisoners, both federal and state, in 30 states after their release. While some of the conclusions have been contested by a criminal justice think tank in Massachusetts, which believes that the rates are actually significantly lower, the BJS study reports:

  • Roughly 68 percent of inmates are rearrested within three years.
  • Almost 77 percent of inmates are rearrested within five years.
  • The bulk of former inmates, roughly 57 percent, are rearrested much more quickly — within the first year.
  • Recidivism rates by type of crime are led by: property offenders (82.1 percent), drug offenders (76.9 percent), public order offenders (73.6 percent) and violent offenders (71.3 percent).

Recidivism Rates in Kentucky and Indiana

Currently, the state of Indiana Department of Correction houses roughly 25,000 inmates, while the state of Kentucky Department of Corrections houses around 12,000. The recidivism rates for both states are lower than the overall national average (which counts both federal and state inmates); Indiana’s overall rate with releases in 2005 was 37.4 percent, while the Kentucky rate from inmates released in 2010 was measured at 34.26 percent.

Recidivism: Broken Down

The Marshall Project, a nonprofit news organization whose aim is to investigate the criminal justice system, has broken down recidivism statistics further.

  • Education matters: Inmates without a college degree are more likely to be rearrested than those with high school and college degrees.
  • While the rearrest rate for prisoners more than 60 years of age is 16 percent, the rate for those released before age 21 was 68 percent.
  • Offenders are more likely to be rearrested within the first two years of their release.
  • Individuals arrested for gun crimes have a 68 percent chance of being rearrested.


While the reasons for recidivism differ from case to case, an article from lists several of the most common:

  • Lack of socialization, job training, education and / or support
  • Inability to find a job
  • Inability to acclimate
  • Continued association with the criminal element
  • Substance abuse.

Church, Langdon, Lopp, Banet Law of New Albany, Indiana, has faithfully served the people and communities of Indiana for several years in a variety of legal areas. Licensed to practice in both Indiana and Kentucky, we have years of experience in criminal cases, including defending those who have repeat offenses. We are dedicated to making sure all our clients are treated fairly and have the best possible opportunity for success in the courtroom. We have the experience, resources and knowledge to help with even the most difficult cases, and look forward to assisting in your case, no matter the situation. To ask a question or to set up a free consultation, contact us online or call us at (812) 725-8224.

Attorney Marc Tawfik

Marc is a Kentucky native, having lived and worked in the state the majority of his life. He is a licensed attorney in Kentucky and Indiana, and his focus is on trial work, including civil litigation and criminal defense. He has represented a wide variety of clients, and he is committed to putting his clients’ needs first. [ Attorney Bio ]

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