Submitted by the Virginia Department of Corrections
RICHMOND – The Virginia Department of Corrections has again achieved one of the lowest
recidivism rates in the nation.
The 20.6 percent recidivism rate for the FY2018 cohort of State Responsible (SR) releases
improves on the 22.3 percent recidivism rate for FY2017 SR releases and places Virginia second
only to South Carolina among the 35 states that report re-incarceration of state-responsible
inmates within three years of their release. South Carolina reported a 19.4 percent recidivism
This is the seventh year in a row that Virginia has had the second lowest or the lowest rate of
recidivism in the nation.
Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Robert Mosier said, “Virginia’s low rate of
recidivism is the result of the work of dedicated professionals within the Virginia Department of
Corrections (VADOC) in collaboration with law enforcement and other local and state
partners. This effort helps to reduce victimization within the Commonwealth and lowers the
overall cost of operating our criminal justice system.”
“Virginia continues to be a leader in corrections,” said Department of Corrections Director Harold Clarke. “We strive for long-lasting public safety focusing on implementing effective programs and reentry services, evidence-based practices, maintaining secure facilities, and providing effective supervision of probationers and parolees in the community. We owe a debt of gratitude for the tireless efforts of our staff and collaborators, who are working to improve our system.”
The Virginia Department of Corrections waits at least four years to calculate the three-year
SR re-incarceration rate of SR releases to allow all court information to be received and entered
in the department’s database. Of the 12,499 state-responsible inmates released from incarceration in Virginia in FY2018 who had an opportunity to recidivate, 2,576 had an SR re-incarceration within three years.
The drop in Virginia’s rate between FY2017 and FY2018 may be attributable, at least in part, to
the courts’ operating in limited capacity or closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the
ongoing work at VADOC to prepare those releasing from incarceration for success.
“Virginia’s low recidivism rate means increased public safety for families, neighborhoods, and
the entire Commonwealth,” Clarke said. “Increased public safety is a victory for all.”