Date of Award

May 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Social Welfare

First Advisor

Tina L Freiburger

Committee Members

Aleksandra Snowden, Michael Brondino, Thomas LeBel


individual, jail recidivism, jail reentry, neighborhood, recidivism


This study examined how various individual and neighborhood characteristics influenced the likelihood for individuals to recidivate following release from a local jail. Using data from various sources, this study contributed to the understanding of jail recidivism by addressing several gaps in the literature. First, little attention has been directed towards the study of jail reentry and, instead, concentrates on prison reentry. Next, using a social disorganization perspective, neighborhood context was examined for a sample of jail ex-inmates. Individual characteristics were simultaneously examined for the current sample, using theoretical underpinnings from the Risk-Needs-Responsivity (RNR) model. Finally, recidivism was measured using multiple indicators, including subsequent charges, convictions, and incarceration terms.

Analyses were conducted on a sample of 6,482 individuals who were released from the House of Corrections in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin in 2013 and 2014. Results of the study revealed that neighborhood context was not a significant influence on the current sample of jail ex-inmates. Instead, results indicated that recidivism was largely a matter of individual risk. Gender, race, ethnicity, age at release, criminal record, risk score, and time served were found to significantly influence an individual’s likelihood of receiving a new charge, conviction, or incarceration term within three years post-release. The findings of this study demonstrated a lack of support for the relationship between neighborhood context and jail reentry. However, empirical support was found for the relationship between individual characteristics and jail reentry and confirm the importance of individual risk factors for predicting recidivism.

Included in

Criminology Commons