Minister Flanagan welcomes reduction in re-offending rates by those sentenced to Probation


Drop of nearly 8 percentage points in reoffending rates between 2008 and 2012

Community Service continues to show very good outcomes


26 June 2019


The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, has welcomed today’s publication of the CSO Probation Service Recidivism Report for 2011 and 2012. The report shows re-offending by those sentenced to probation supervision in 2012 was 46.9%, compared to a figure of 54.6% in the 2008 cohort.


The Minister said: “I am pleased to note the almost 8 percentage point decrease in re-offending rates by those sentenced to probation between 2008 and 2012. That the majority of those in this cohort did not reoffend within three years highlights the very valuable contribution which the work of the Probation Service makes to the criminal justice system.”


The report shows variations depending on whether the individual was sentenced to a Community Service Order or a Probation Order. Overall, those sentenced to a Community Service Order were less likely to reoffend than those sentenced to a Probation Order (42.3% compared to 52.3%).


The Minister added: “I particularly welcome the finding that Community Service continues to show very good outcomes. 355,404 hours of community service work were carried out around the country by those serving Community Service Orders in 2018. This not only benefits communities nationwide and allows offenders a chance to make amends for their criminal actions in a tangible way, but the findings of the CSO’s work shows that such orders can also help reduce re-offending rates by the individuals involved.”


The report highlights variations between different demographic groups. Males are more likely to reoffend than females (47.5% compared to 42.8%), but the gap between them is decreasing. The recidivism rate also reduces compared to the age of offenders: 70.8% of offenders under 18 reoffended compared to 33.6% of those aged 45 – 64 in 2012.


The Director of the Probation Service, Vivian Geiran, also welcomed today’s publication, saying: “The recidivism rates indicate a steady reduction in re-offending rates, with improvements made in both the areas of probation supervision and community service, indicating that we are continuing to perform well. Areas for improvement, such as young persons, are also noted and we are currently working to develop better systems in this regard.”


The publication of the CSO/Probation Recidivism studies has been an important milestone for the Probation Service in the production of research based management information. Because there had previously been limited research on outcomes for offenders under the supervision of the Probation Service, the Central Statistics Office and the Probation Service explored synergies between their extensive datasets and developing their own recidivism data. Data on offenders who had been subject to probation supervision in 2011 and 2012 was used to conduct this study.


The Director added: “Timely, accurate data is very important in terms of outcome measures to enable evidence informed policy and service delivery. The CSO operates to the highest standards and the Probation Service is pleased to continue to partner with them on such significant work going forward.”