Detainee Recidivism in Afghanistan

By Robert Chesney
Tuesday, November 30, 2010, 10:27 AM

I’m surprised this statistic does not get more attention.  The Pentagon’s annual report to Congress on “Progress Toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan” ( required by § 1230 of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY08), states:

The current recidivism rate [for released detainees in Afghanistan] is 1.2 percent. CJIATF-435 assesses that reintegration programs are working to prevent previously detained individuals from rejoining the insurgency.42 However, disparities in economic activity and high unemployment remain a concern. The Detention Review Board process appears to be successful in separating non-threats and the reconcilable from the irreconcilable.

42 Specific programs include: literacy and education in basic subjects, religious training, and vocational education (e.g., agriculture, sewing, and baking).

This passage appears on p. 61 of the report, in a short but fascinating section addressing the detention-related activities of Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435 (CJIATF-435) (which, as General Martins explains here, is the higher headquarters for the Rule of Law Field Force-Afghanistan (ROLFF)).