Recidivism

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Recidivism analysis

Some 38% of a group of Swiss adults who had been convicted were reconvicted within ten years. More than half (51%) of reoffenders are convicted a third time. Previous convictions, young age or drug dealing increase likelihood of reoffending.

At a glance

Recidivism can be calculated by year of conviction or discharge. In this context, re-offenders are persons who commit an offence in the three years following a conviction or release from a custodial sentence and who are subsequently reconvicted. A record is also made of the special case of persons who are not only reconvicted after discharge from a custodial sentence but also re-imprisoned.

The figures for adult recidivism concern only Swiss nationals; recividism rates for juveniles cover both Swiss and foreign nationals.

Among adults, the previous conviction and the recidivist conviction must always be due to a felony or misdemeanour. Among juveniles, the convictions can also be made solely on the basis of a contravention (less serious offences).

For this reason, the recidivism rates of juveniles and adults cannot be compared with one another.

Recidivism rate by reference year
  Reconviction after a conviction1)2) Reconviction after release3) Reimprisonment after release4)
Reference year 2011 2011 2011
Minors convicted 6 655 * *
Recidivist minors 31.3% * *
     

male

34.8% * *

female

13.6% * *
     

10 - 14 years

23.3% * *

15 - 16 years

32.6% * *

17 years

34.3% * *
     

No criminal history

25.2% * *

One previous conviction

47.1% * *

At least two previous convictions

66.3% * *
     

Violent crime5)

40.0%
*
*

Theft6)

37.1%
*
*

Road traffic offence7)

* *
*

Trafficking in narcotic substances8)

38.3%
*
*
Adults convicted 46 688 *
*
Adults released * 1 481 1 481
Recidivist adults 23.1% 43.8% 16.1%
     

male

24.6% 43.8% 16.7%

female

15.7% 43.1% 12.0%
     

18 - 24 years

28.3% 47.1% 18.8%

25 - 34 years

24.2% 48.3% 17.3%

35 - 44 years

24.2% 49.9% 20.1%

45 years and older

17.8% 30.2% 9.0%
     

No criminal history

16.2% 40.2% 8.8%

One previous conviction

35.5% 32.2% 13.0%

At least two previous convictions

58.2% 68.4% 34.2%
     

Violent crime5)

31.1% 34.0% 10.3%

Theft6)

45.4% 64.4% 32.7%

Road traffic offence7)

18.8% 29.6% 6.0%

Trafficking in narcotic substances8)

36.7% 42.2% 13.8%
1) The term re-offender applies to persons who commit a felony or misdemeanour in the three years following a conviction and who are subsequently reconvicted.
2) The term re-offender applies to persons who commit a felony or misdemeanour within three years of a conviction or release from a custodial sentence and who are reconvicted.
3) The term re-offender applies to Swiss adults who commit a felony or misdemeanour leading to another conviction within three years of a conviction or release from a custodial sentence.
4) The term reimprisoned is applied to Swiss adults who, within three years of release from a custodial sentence, commit a felony or misdemeanour leading to another conviction and their subsequent imprisonment.
5) Intentional homicide (art. 111 SCC), murder (art. 112 SCC), manslaughter (art. 113, SCC), infanticide (art. 116 SCC), grievous bodily harm (art 122 SCC), common assault (art. 123 SCC), affray (art. 133 SCC), armed robbery (art. 140, SCC), extortion and blackmail (art. 156, SCC), threatening behaviour (art. 180, SCC), coercion (art. 181, SCC), false imprisonment and abduction (art. 183-184), hostage taking (art, 185, SCC), indecent assault (art. 189, SCC), rape (art. 1980, SCC) or violence or threats against public authorities (art. 285, SCC).
6) Art. 139 SCC
7) All offences under the Road Traffic Act (RTA)
8) Art. 19 NarcA
Sources:
Statistics on criminal conviction of minors (JUSUS), state of the database: 02.05.2017
Criminal conviction statistics (SUS), state of the Register of Criminal Conduct: 30.04.2017
Statistics on the Execution of Custodial Sentences (SVS), state of the database: 21.07.2017

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On this topic

Recidivism analysis

In addition to the annually published recidivism rates, the FSO also wishes to make available results obtained via monitoring a cohort.

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Federal Statistical Office Section Crime and Criminal Justice
Espace de l'Europe 10
CH-2010 Neuch√Ętel
Switzerland

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