What is the strongest predictor of recidivism?
While criminal history is correlated with risk of recidivism, I think it is important to note that research has consistently shown jail to be criminogenic. In other words, if two people commit the same crime and one gets probation and the other is sentenced to jail (less than one year), statistically speaking, the one who was sent to jail is more likely to recidivate. So while they both have criminal histories, so to speak, the one who received the harsher punishment is worse off in the long run.
One hundred and thirty-one studies pro- duced 1,141 correlations with recidivism. The strongest predictor domains were criminogenic needs, criminal history/history of antisocial behavior, social achievement and family factors.
Offense history, family problems, ineffective use of leisure time, delinquent peers, conduct problems, and non-severe pathology are some of the strongest predictors of recidivism.
Offenders history is one of the strongest predictor of recidivism along with family problems, geographical environment, finance and, peer association.