SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California corrections officials say the rate of inmates convicted of new crimes within three years after their release is holding steady at about 50 percent.

That hasn’t changed much since 2002 despite new laws that greatly reduced the number of inmates in state prisons. Since 2011, most lower-level offenders and parole violators serve their time in county jails instead of state lockups.

Reports released Tuesday show the three-year reconviction rate increased slightly to 54 percent in 2015, but dipped to 46 percent last year. Last year’s sample was far smaller because of the overall prison population drop.

About two-thirds of offenders age 18 and 19 soon had new convictions. About 4 percent of offenders released after serving sentences of life with the possibility of parole were reconvicted within three years.

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