Tens of thousands of persons released from prison in Australia this year will be back inside in a year or two. The bulk of returnees are short term prisoners from highly disadvantaged suburbs, with poor educational and social backgrounds and who are on the prison conveyor belt. A minority of prisoners are sentenced for serious crimes. Some like those convicted of murder are highly unlikely to offend again, whilst others like drug traffickers and armed robbers are. It is that first group though, the majority caught in the recidivist revolving door that is the focus of this discussion. This article addresses recidivism from a particular perspective - that of the role of social factors post-release. It will not address the whole array of other matters associated with recidivism.