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Juvenile and Adult Re-Adjudicated/Convicted Recidivism rates for youth released from DJS Committed Programs after 12, 24, and 36 Months.*

Re-Adjudication/Conviction Recidivism Rates for Committed Program Releases 12, 24, and 36-Month Juvenile and/or Criminal Justice Recidivism Rates
Follow-Up Period FY2010 FY2011 FY2012 FY2013 FY2014
12 Months 23.0% 24.6% 21.0% 21.5% 19.1%
24 Months 37.0% 38.0% 33.9% 31.9% N/A
36 Months 45.5% 46.0% 40.4% N/A N/A

Data Source: MD Department of Juvenile Services, Data Resource Guide: Fiscal Year 2015

Story Behind the Data:

Measuring recidivism is the primary indicator of success for criminal and juvenile justice systems.  While other measures of youth development are important, the primary mission of juvenile justice is to reduce delinquency, which is best captured by measuring recidivism.  When comparing FY2010 and FY2014 at 12-months, the reconviction rate has decreased by 3.9 percentage points; FY 2014 shows the lowest rate of all 5 years within the 12 month follow-up period. Between FY 2010 and FY2013, the reconviction rate at 24 months also declined by 5.1 percentage points.

Rates of recidivism for youth returning home from a juvenile commitment have remained remarkably consistent over the past decade, with about one in five youth released subsequently having a new offense upheld by the court, although the past 3 years have seen a slow decline. The population of youth committed to out-of-home placement in Maryland, however, has also been steadily declining. The DJS-committed population has dropped by 49% in ten years from 2005 to 2015, and 37% from 2010 to 2015. Since the number of youth released home from commitments has declined, the rate of recidivism is of a continually decreasing cohort.  The reduction in committed cases is due to decrease in referrals to DJS intake, and an increase in evidence-based in-home diversion programs that have served many youth otherwise at risk for an out-of-home commitment.


*The juvenile justice community has not reached a consensus on how best to define recidivism with one measure.  Therefore, DJS measures re-entry into both the juvenile and adult systems, and at the stages of re-arrest, reconviction, and reincarceration.   Rearrest refers to any subsequent contact a youth has either in the juvenile or adult system.  Reconviction refers to any youth who has a judiciary hearing and is adjudicated delinquent by the juvenile court or is arrested and has a criminal hearing, and is convicted as an adult offender. Reincarceration refers to any juvenile with a new offense who is subsequently committed to DJS’s custody for placement, or is incarcerated in the adult system. It is important to note that DJS made two major revisions to its recidivism methodology in FY 2015.  1. The date used to report the event is the date of offense (for juvenile offenses) or arrest (for adult charges), rather than the resulting court decision or placement time. 2. Only Felony and misdemeanor offenses are counted for recidivism. Technical violations, citations or other non-delinquent offenses are not counted.