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Recidivism is the tendency to relapse into an undesirable pattern of behavior, particularly criminal conduct. Overcoming recidivism is a challenge for many people, and the high rate of recidivism by convicts is the justification for increasing prison sentences for repeat offenders.

One study by a public university professor identifies five factors affecting recidivism:[1] Another study in Alaska found that vocational education and general education were helpful in reducing recidivism rates.[2]

  • education and employment
  • substance abuse
  • mental health
  • housing
  • support by social networks

Missing from that list is religious faith, which is probably the greatest aid in overcoming recidivism.

Donnelly College in Kansas City, Kansas, offers faith-based college courses to prisoners in an effort to reduce recidivism.


  1. "Recidivism Reduction Treatment Center Study," by Professor T. Hank Robinson, of the University of Nebraska at Omaha's Juvenile Justice Institute.