New Report Finds More Del. Ex-cons Become Repeat Offenders - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

New Report Finds More Del. Ex-cons Become Repeat Offenders

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DOVER, Del. - A new report shows more ex-convicts in Delaware are ending up back behind bars.
    
The study, by the Delaware Criminal Justice Council, found eight out of 10 inmates sentenced to more than a year in prison are arrested again for a serious offense within three years of release.

The study is part of an effort to evaluate the justice system's effectiveness.

It's something attorney Stephen Hampton says is broken.

"If you do nothing about it, it's not going to make any difference, no matter how many studies you do if you don't have a program that works. Right now our programs don't work," said Hampton, attorney with Grady & Hampton LLC in Dover.
 
Hampton works with inmates in the prison system. He says there needs to be better programs for prisoners and those who are on probation.

Researchers studied 1,167 prisoners released in 2008 and 1,091 released in 2009. The report found 71 percent of released prisoners are convicted of a serious crime within three years, and 68 percent return to prison for at least one day.

Gov. Jack Markell said too many people released from Delaware prisons go on to commit more crimes.  

In a statement released Wednesday, Markell says, "We need to change that, and this report gives us benchmarks for measuring progress as we pursue new strategies to prevent crime and reduce recidivism."

"You can't say you're going to fix it, but we're not going to spend any money to fix it. You can't say we're going to fix it, we're not going to change our system. And you can't say we're going to fix it, but we're not going to hold anybody accountable," said Hampton.
 
This report does not include a breakdown by county. That's something researchers say they could look at in a future analysis.
 
To view the report in its entirety, log onto http://cjc.delaware.gov/sac/publications/documents/RecidivismFinalJuly30.pdf.

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