Social-ecological predictors of criminal recidivism for adults on probation and parole
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Nearly 9 million felony crimes are committed annually in the United States by adults (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2018). These crimes often have negative consequences for victims (e.g., mental and physical health problems, loss of productivity at work; Golladay and Holtfreter, 2017; Peterson, et al., 2018) and taxpayers (e.g., cost of law enforcement, maintenance and expansion of the correctional system; McCollister et al., 2010). Unfortunately, efforts to rehabilitate felony offenders have been met with limited success, with nearly half of former offenders being rearrested within a year after being placed on probation or parole (United States Sentencing Commission, 2016). Thus, it seems reasonable to suggest that research that identifies risk factors for recidivism should be a priority. Although researchers have identified a number of social-ecological (i.e., individual, family, peer, workplace, neighborhood) risk factors that are linked with repeated criminal activity in adults, this work has generally focused on these risk factors in isolation rather than conjointly. In the present study, 101 individuals on probation and parole completed self-report measures pertaining to their individual functioning, family and peer relations, workplace qualities, and neighborhood characteristics at baseline (Time One). Six months later (Time Two), participants' criminal activity (i.e., misdemeanors, felonies) was tracked through publicly available court records as an index of recidivism. Logistic regression models indicated that lower levels of family support and neighborhood safety at Time One were linked with higher levels of criminal involvement (i.e., misdemeanors, felonies, any crime) at Time Two. The results of this study suggest that developers of treatments for individuals in the criminal justice system should include interventions that focus on family support and neighborhood safety.