The National Police Agency’s 2014 white paper on crimes shows that the percentage of recidivists among people investigated for criminal offenses, except for those probed for traffic accidents, has been on a steady increase since 1997 — from less than 30 percent to a record 46.7 percent. At the same time, the report shows that convicts who are released early from prison on parole are less likely to commit additional offenses than those released after serving their full sentences.

The data point to a need to beef up efforts to assist offenders in their rehabilitation and readjustment to society. This is all the more important because the number of convicts released on parole will likely increase under a system created by the Criminal Law revision in 2013 that enables courts to hand down a combination of imprisonment, a suspended sentence and probation to people convicted of crimes that would normally carry a maximum prison term of three years.

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