Recidivism is defined per statute as follows:
Citation-2011 Act 41 Section 5: "The Department shall calculate the rate of recidivism based upon offenders who are sentenced to more than one year of incarceration who, after release from incarceration, return to prison within three years for a conviction for a new offense or a violation of supervision resulting, and the new incarceration sentence or time served on the violation is at least 90 days."
Note: Due to this definition, these data are always reported at least three years after the reporting year to allow for returns to prison within three years after release.
The yearly rates show an increase leading to the highest rate in 2014. However, the 2014 rate has reliability issues due to changes in software that stored the data needed to calculate the measure. The trend indicates that the rate has remained stable.