Recidivism after a legal judgment. The first national statistics of the prevalence of recidivism based on
the Central Criminal Registry
Most (Western) European countries dispose of national recidivism statistics. Belgium has been a marked exception: up until now, no national recidivism statistics are available. National statistics on recidivism provide important information to policy makers and scientists. In this article, that hiatus is addressed. Drawing on data of the Central Criminal Registry, this article contains the first national statistics on recidivism prevalence related to all persons who were the subject of a judgment in 1995 (n = 136.530). First, a description is given of how many persons recidivate, after how much time and how often. Next, based on a Cox regression, the influence of several characteristics on recidivism over time is assessed. No less than 57.6% of all persons recidivate within the period of follow-up. Differences in recidivism versus nonrecidivism exist and are related to features such as age, sex and number of previous legal antecedents.