Why use non-binary measures of reoffending?

Reoffending is generally measured in a binary way: certain event (crime, arrest, conviction) has happened or not. Since the aim of any intervention is a crime reduction, which is best achieved by lowering the frequency and seriousness of crime committed, it seems to be important to consider these non-binary approaches to measuring recidivism. This is also supported by other problems, such as the process of desistence, incapacitation or evidence of chronic offenders. The article therefore discusses why binary indicators of reoffending are often preferred over the non-binary indicators, what benefits of non-binary approach there are and why it has been only rarely used by the academic community so far. This article also suggests what reasons there might have been for other researchers to use the binary indicators of reoffending. It is, however, argued that criminologists should prefer to measure reoffending in a non-binary way by incorporating the frequency and seriousness of crime into recidivism measures.

recidivism, non-binary recidivism, seriousness and frequency of re-offending

Jakub Drápal



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