Recidivism Rate Among Three Strikes Inmates Continues To Be Extremely Low
Photo courtesy Loteria Films

In a progress report co-published by Stanford Law School’s “Three Strikes Project” and LDF, the recidivism rate among inmates released under California’s Prop. 36, also known as the Three Strikes Reform Act, continues to be remarkably low.

Those released under Prop. 36 have a recidivism rate of 1.3 percent, well below the national average of 30 percent for all state prison inmates released during the same time period. This figure is even lower than an earlier study that reported the recidivism rate at 2 percent. Under California’s Three Strikes law, thousands of individuals were sentenced to life in prison for nonviolent crimes.

In an interview with KQED, Mike Romano, the Director of the Three Strikes Project said:

“The Prop. 36 group of inmates being released really turns out to be the safest group of people to release in the entire prison system….People who have committed their crimes because they are very sick and had no other option, except to basically treat themselves with drugs and get into a spiral of criminal conduct. I think we have come to a point in the state’s history where, instead of punishing these people, we learn that these people deserve our help and assistance.”

“California’s experience with Proposition 36 should push states across the country to revisit the harsh and draconian sentencing practices that have been the hallmark of America’s criminal justice system over the last few decades, and put faith in the power of redemption and rehabilitation,” said Vincent Southerland, Senior Counsel in NAACP LDF’s Criminal Justice Practice.

Click here to read the full report.