recidivism

[ri-sid-uh-viz-uhm]
noun
1.
repeated or habitual relapse, as into crime.
2.
Psychiatry. the chronic tendency toward repetition of criminal or antisocial behavior patterns.

Origin:
1885–90; < Latin recidīv(us) relapsing (recid(ere) to fall back (re- re- + -cidere, combining form of cadere to fall) + -īvus -ive) + -ism

recidivist, noun, adjective
recidivistic, recidivous, adjective
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World English Dictionary
recidivism (rɪˈsɪdɪˌvɪzəm)
 
n
habitual relapse into crime
 
[C19: from Latin recidīvus falling back, from re- + cadere to fall]
 
re'cidivist
 
n, —adj
 
recidi'vistic
 
adj
 
re'cidivous
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

recidivism
1886, from recidivist + -ism.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

recidivism re·cid·i·vism (rĭ-sĭd'ə-vĭz'əm)
n.

  1. A tendency to lapse into a previous pattern of behavior, especially a pattern of criminal habits.

  2. The relapse of a disease or symptom. Also called recidivation.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

recidivism

tendency toward chronic criminal behaviour leading to numerous arrests and re-imprisonment. Studies of the yearly intake of prisons, reformatories, and jails in the United States and Europe show that from one-half to two-thirds of those imprisoned have served previous sentences in the same or in other institutions. The conclusion is that the criminal population is made up largely of those for whom criminal behaviour has become habitual; moreover, penal institutions appear to do little to change their basic behaviour patterns

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
So the other night two recovering frat guys and a former frat sweetheart were
  prepared to indulge in a little recidivism.
In the late seventies, there was a growing recognition that rehabilitation
  programs paid off in lower rates of recidivism.
Numerous studies have shown a correspondence between educational programs and
  reduced recidivism rates.
Positive familial and community ties are considered primary deterrents to
  recidivism.
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