Recidivism means going back to a previous behavior, especially criminal behavior. People who work with prisoners are always hoping to lower recidivism rates.
The word recidivism comes from the Latin root words re, meaning "back," and caedere, meaning "to fall" — or literally "to fall back." The word is most commonly used to discuss the relapse rate of criminals, who have served their sentence and have been released. However, it can be used for any relapse in behavior. Alcoholics who do not receive support are more prone to recidivism than those in recovery programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous.