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Examining Changes in Offender Risk Characteristics and Recidivism Outcomes: A Research Summary

Volume 80 Number 2
September 2016

This study found that many federal offenders initially classified at the highest risk levels moved to a lower risk category in their second assessment and that offenders tended to improve the most in the PCRA risk domains of employment and substance abuse. In addition, high, moderate, and low-moderate risk offenders with decreases in either their risk characteristics or overall risk assessment scores were less likely to recidivate than their counterparts whose risk levels or scores remained unchanged or increased. Conversely, increases in offender risk were associated with higher rates of arrests.