The difficulty of predicting criminal recidivism

For many decades, the American criminal justice system has been exploring methods to accurately predict which criminals will commit more crimes.  It is easy to understand why judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys and probation officers are keenly focused on the issue of recidivism.  If criminal justice professionals were able to accurately predict the likelihood of a defendant committing more crimes, they could develop more effective sentencing practices and more effective supervision strategies.  But predicting which criminal defendants will continue to commit crimes and which will not is

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