Effect of gender on violent and non-violent recidivism : a meta-analysis
Collins, Rachael Eve
Master of Arts
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A large body of literature has been dedicated to understanding re-offending after release from prison - a phenomenon known as recidivism. Such research is critical both to understanding the determinants of crime and optimizing the correctional system. A meta-analysis was conducted using 49 published studies on actuarial predictors of both violent and non-violent recidivism in men and women. The current analysis resulted in 65 effect sizes between violent recidivists and non-recidivists, and 60 effect sizes between violent recidivists with non-violent recidivists. Several variables (drug/alcohol use, age, and marriage) were predictive of recidivism. Gender differences were also observed. In men, increased violent criminal history was associated with increased violent recidivism. In women, a younger age at first offence and longer sentences were predictive of violent re-offending. Despite limited data on women, pursuing the predictors of recidivism is a rewarding avenue of research which can lead to many possibilities within this field.