Criminal Recidivism is repetition of criminal behavior by an offender previously convicted and punished for an offence. Criminal Recidivism is a measure of the effectiveness of rehabilitation programs or the deterrent effect of punishment.
While an important concept in evaluation research, criminologists have great difficulty in determining just how to measure criminal recidivism. For example, Is it criminal recidivism to commit a less serious offence than the previous offence? Is it criminal recidivism to be returned to prison for a violation of the terms of parole?