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New Approach Lowers Arrest Rate Of California Ex-Cons

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Inmates at Chino State Prison walk past their bunk beds in a gymnasium that was modified to house prisoners on December 10, 2010 in Chino, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Inmates at Chino State Prison walk past their bunk beds in a gymnasium that was modified to house prisoners on December 10, 2010 in Chino, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The rate at which California prison parolees commit new crimes has dropped slightly for the second straight year, an improvement that corrections officials partly attribute to recent rehabilitation efforts.

The findings released Monday show the results of a program that evaluates felons based on their risk of re-offending.

That lets prison officials target high-risk inmates with additional supervision and rehabilitation before and after their release. For example, inmates receiving drug treatment before their release were half as likely to commit new crimes as addicts who did not.

The program is intended to lower a recidivism rate that is among the highest for the nation’s prison systems. Even with the steady improvement, nearly two-thirds of ex-convicts in California still wind up back in custody within three years of their release.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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