Other Names: Habitual criminals
Nature: A recidivist is a person who commits a crime after having been previously convicted of a criminal act. This tendency to commit further crimes means that recidivists and habitual criminals present more of a danger to society than do once-off offenders. A recidivist may receive different treatment from first-time offenders, in that he may be refused bail and conditional early release as well as receiving harsher than usual treatment from gaolers and cellmates.
Counter Claim: Given the conditions of most penal institutions, it may well be that those institutions themselves turn criminals into recidivists, by immersing them indiscriminately into a sub-culture environment which, even within prison walls, is operated by crime; and then releasing those prisoners back into society without the means and skills necessary earn a decent, lawful living. In some cases it is also in the state's best interest to define a person as a recidivist, thereby gaining justification for his incarceration in prison, a labour camp or an insane asylum.
Problem Type: E: Emanations of other problems
Date of last update 01.01.2000 – 00:00 CET