There is a rampant opinion that, since recidivism rates are so high, one can never trust and assume that a person has done teshuvah and no longer poses a threat to the public.

I wonder if anyone can support such a claim from a Torah perspective.

I am presently dealing with two cases abuse going back 14 years and 30 years, respectively, and both perpetrators been to extensive therapy and haven't continued in their bad ways. Nevertheless some will still claim that they're probably still dangerous and they must be locked up for life.

What would the Torah view be regarding such claims?

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    @rabbi, apply to what? I guess that's what I'm not yet getting. In what context does this post want to apply the concept of recidivism? If it's to the question of, e.g., whether someone is safe to entrust children to, then that, like any other safety question, should be directed to the relevant experts, not decided based on a technical status that applies in other contexts (e.g. ability to testify). Parallel idea: drop a drip of potent but flavorless poison into a glass of water. Halacha says it's batel, but you better ask a toxicologist before drinking it if you want to be safe. – Isaac Moses Feb 11 '14 at 22:02
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    If the question is actually about the laws of mesira, then that should be made quite explicit in the post. Also, you should clarify how the legal environment affects the goals and consequences of the contemplated report. Is this reporting a crime without a statute of limitations with the goal of getting the government to prosecute? Is it reporting a crime after the statute of limitations with the goal of getting someone an official black mark so that they can't get certain jobs? (Is the latter even possible?) Right now, this question post is too vague to answer. – Isaac Moses Feb 11 '14 at 22:16
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    Please edit your question post to make clear what the two areas of Halacha are that you're interested in working out a conflict between, preferably with citations to where your understanding of the general rules of these subjects comes from. It's still not clear to me how the concept of teshuva would impact either the laws of removing a threat (hatzalat nefashot, right?) or those of mesira, other than on a hashkafic level. – Isaac Moses Feb 11 '14 at 22:34
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    It sounds like you're asking about a specific sin, but the term recividism is a general one. Can you clarify what you're asking? – Menachem Feb 12 '14 at 2:21
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    It appears you're asking about teshuva vis-a-vis an individual's status in society. This may not be relevant to cases involving mental illness, but see Sanhedrin (25b) regarding the standard for demonstrating sufficient repentance/rehabilitation to be a valid witness: ואימתי חזרתן משישברו את פיספסיהן ויחזרו בהן חזרה גמורה דאפילו בחנם לא עבדי.... Also, in support of @msh210 's point on teshuva and recidivism in general, see Mabit (Sha'ar T'shuva, ch. 6). – Fred Feb 12 '14 at 5:06

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