University of Baja,
4.5 Year Recidivism Study Summary on Heroin Addicted Convicts

Summary of a study of The Impact of the
Second Chance Program on Criminal Recidivism


The University of Baja,
the State of Baja California,
the National Association of Penitentiaries of Mexico
and the Mexican Society of Criminology

This is the summary of a 4.5 year study of the impact of the Second Chance Program on the criminal recidivism rate in the Ensenada Prison in Ensenada, Mexico. It was jointly conducted by the University of Baja, the State of Baja California, the National Association of Penitentiaries of Mexico, and the Mexican Society of Criminology.

The Ensenada prison contains inmates being held prior to sentencing as well as those sentenced with no separation of the most serious offenders from the least. When the Second Chance Program was started as a pilot in 1995, over 90% of the inmates inside the prison were addicted to and still using heroin while incarcerated. The object was to create a program that could be expanded to include the entire prison rehabilitating not only the drug addiction but the criminal behavior as well. For this reason a cross-section of the prison was admitted into the program. The participants ranged from hired killers and drug dealers, to those with robbery convictions. It included those who were addicted to heroin and were being held for sentencing.

Some of the inmates who were admitted to the program were released within a few weeks, some a few months. For this reason the results were measured against the steps of the Program each inmate completed prior to release, rather than only considering those who had completed the entire Program.

Of the 1460 who participated, 1004 had been released. Of these, 124 returned to prison over a 4 1/2 year period.

Of those who returned, their level of participation was as follows:

Step No. Returned %
Total completing the initial detox step (Approximately one week) 91 9.06%
Total completing the entire Drug Rehab Module 14 1.39%
Total completing the Education Module 13 1.29%
Total completing the Self-Respect Module 6 0.60%
Total completing the entire Program 0 0%

Click Here to Close Window