What is Recidivism?

Legal Definition
Recidivism (/rˈsɪdvɪzəm/; from recidive and ism, from Latin recidīvus "recurring", from re- "back" and cadō "I fall") is the act of a person repeating an undesirable behavior after they had either experienced negative consequences of that behavior, or had been trained to extinguish that behavior. It is also used to refer to the percentage of former prisoners who are rearrested for a similar offense.

The term is frequently used in conjunction with criminal behavior and substance abuse. (Recidivism is a synonym for "relapse", which is more commonly used in medicine and in the disease model of addiction.) For example, scientific literature may refer to the recidivism of sexual offenders, meaning the frequency with which they are detected or apprehended committing additional sexual crimes after being released from prison for similar crimes.

To be counted as recidivism, the re-offending requires voluntary disclosure of arrest and conviction, so the real recidivism rate may differ substantially from reported rates. As another example, alcoholic recidivism might refer to the proportion of people who, after successful treatment, report having, or are determined to have, returned to the abuse of alcohol.
-- Wikipedia
Legal Definition
Tendency to engage in repeated criminal behavior. Usually refers to the condition of being convicted for a crime, serving the sentence, and then committing another crime that results in a new conviction and sentence. High rates of recidivism in a jurisdiction may indicate that other jurisdictions have better correctional programs for persons convicted of a crime.
Legal Definition
Within the environment of health insurance, this term is used in reference to the regularity with which an insured returns to the hospital for inpatient treatment due to the same complaint.