Keywords: Sociology of Penal Law; Punishment; Recidivism; Collective Pardon; Imprisonment.
The recidivism of people coming from penal execution is phenomenon scarcely known. Deficiency in knowledge is strictly connected with the lack of literature concerning this subject, at least for what concern Italian surveys. Real nature and size of recidivism seems to be very fragmentary unless it is periodically discussed inside the juridical and political debate. This work wishes to enhance scientific researches on this issue. It presents the results from an empirical research and compares recidivist behaviour of people who was granted pardon in 2006. The research contributes to bring out some questions of methodological character that the analysis of the recidivism rates necessarily meet with and that are discussed through this study. Search results contradicts the Italian common sense about the impact of pardon on recidivism rates by beneficiaries of the law. In fact, the research shows how recidivism rates in the case of pardon are lower than ordinary rates in Italy. The research also gives important information on how alternative measures produce a positive impact rather than prison. Moreover, it confirms that alternative ways of penal execution are more effective than prison in reducing the risk that ex prisoners will commit new crimes after their liberation.