Annotation and Graph Critique

Recidivism in the United States is a big problem. Recidivism is when people are released from prison and then commit another crime and go back to jail. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS),  ” When examining recidivism rates within the state of release only, an estimated 41% of prisoners were arrested within 1 year following release. Within 5 years of their release, 77% of the released prisoners were arrested either within or outside the state of release.” (1.)  Also according to the article, men have a higher recidivism rate than women, “Within 1 year of release in 2005, 3% of males and 2% of females had an out-of-state arrest. Five years after release, 11% of males and 9% of females had an out-of-state arrest.” (2.)  No surprise that prison can also turn someone violent, “Within 5 years of release in 2005, 29% of prisoners were arrested for a violent offense either within or outside the state of release” (3.)  One of the last things that the BJS pointed out in the article is that prisoners who were released from prison under community supervision were more likely to return to prison than people who were released on parole or probation.

United States. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Multistate Criminal History Patterns Of Prisoners Released In 30 States. By Matthew R. Durose, Howard N. Snyder, and Alexia D. Cooper. BJS, Sept. 2015. Web. 11 Nov. 2016.

http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/mschpprts05_sum.pdf    The graph would not copy so here is a link to see it.

The first thing that stands out in the graph is how much higher the line for “Arrested for any type of crime” than the line for “Arrested for a violent crime”.  The first idea that popped into my head is that any type of crime line rises very quickly then starts to level off, while the violent crime line gradually rises. I am not a fan of how few colors there are in the graph. With each line there is a subsequent “in state release” line that is a lighter shade of the main line color which could be confusing.  The first thing I would change are the colors used in the graph. Another thing I’d change is the is the label on the Y axis, it just says “percent”.. percent of what? Lastly I’d add 2 more lines, 1 for men and 1 for women.

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