"The United States Sentencing Commission began studying recidivism shortly after the enactment of the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 ('SRA'). The Commission's recent publication 'Recidivism Among Federal Offenders: A Comprehensive Overview' ('Recidivism Overview Report') discussed the history of this study in greater detail. Recidivism information is central to three of the primary purposes of punishment described in the SRA - specific deterrence, incapacitation, and rehabilitation - all of which focus on prevention of future crimes through correctional intervention. Information about recidivism is also relevant to the Commission's obligation to formulate sentencing policy that 'reflect[s], to the extent practicable, advancements in knowledge of human behavior as it relates to the sentencing process.' Considerations of recidivism by federal offenders were also central to the Commission's initial work in developing the Guidelines Manual's criminal history provisions. They remain important to subsequent work, including the retroactive application of sentencing reductions in cases involving crack cocaine, and continue to be a key consideration in the Commission's work today. [...] This report examines a group of 10,888 federal drug trafficking offenders who were released in calendar year 2005. They were originally sentenced between fiscal year 1991 and the first quarter of fiscal year 2006."
United States Sentencing Commission: https://www.ussc.gov/