NASHVILLE (AP) - A recent study shows felons released from Tennessee prisons are now less likely to return to custody.

In its latest report on recidivism, the Tennessee Department of Correction reports that the return rate for ex-felons dropped 3%age points between 2001 and 2005. For 2005, the recidivism rate stood at 39% for offenders who had been out of prison for three years. It was 42% in 2001.

While there is no recognized national average for recidivism, TDOC officials say return rates range as high as 65% for individual states.

The report conducted by the department of correction also showed the state is maintaining extremely low return rates for felons convicted of violent crimes such as murder, rape and assault.

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