The contribution of physical appearance to criminal behavior has long been a matter of general interest. We investigated the influence of cosmetic surgery on recidivism rates in the Texas state prison system. The baseline prison population recidivism rates have been 14%, 32%, and 36% at one, two, and three years, respectively. The study group consisted of 253 inmates who had cosmetic procedures between 1982 and 1984 and who were released from prison between the time of operation and the end of 1986. The recidivism rates, calculated by life table analysis, were 8% at one year, 17% at two years, and 25% at three years. All were significantly less than baseline (P <. 01, P < .001, P < .01). The rates for those who had been incarcerated for violent crimes were 3.3%, 7.7%, and 15.0% (all P < .001). We conclude that a positive relationship exists between cosmetic surgery and criminal rehabilitation, as measured by a decrease in recidivism.
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