Director of the Probation Service, Mark Wilson welcomes CSO publication of Probation Re-Offending Statistics
Director notes the low level of reoffending by persons subject to post release supervision by the Probation Service
Figures confirm that supervision and support in the community after release improves positive resettlement and reduces harmful behaviour
Almost 69% of persons on probation supervision in 2016 did not reoffend within the first year
Notes the importance of the work of the CSO and of timely, accurate data in terms of outcome measures to enable evidence informed policy and service delivery.
17 November 2020
The Director for the Probation Service, Mark Wilson has welcomed today’s publication of the CSO Probation Service Reoffending Statistics for 2014 and 2015 and in particular the 2016 Cohort. The report shows re-offending by those sentenced to probation supervision in 2014 was 47.2% after a 3 year period compared to a figure of 54.6% after 3 years for the 2008 cohort. Over 52% of the 2014 cohort did not reoffend within 3 years which is viewed positively by the Probation Service given that even the most minor transgression and Court imposed penalty is treated as reoffending in this study.
This study includes all persons subject to an order supervised in the community. It tracks their offending behaviour over one, two and three years following their sentencing or release. In order to include all possible convictions a further two years is allowed to complete any Court proceedings.
This study is part of a continuous programme of information development features, for the first time, as part of the one year reoffending data in respect the 2016 cohort, a classification of whether a Probation re-offender received a custodial or non-custodial sanction for their re-offending offence. This classification provides a useful indication of the degree of escalation and de-escalation of the re-offending Court sanctions that the Probation re-offenders receive.
Another welcome result from the study was that over 84% of those subject to post release supervision in 2016 did not reoffend within one year.
Commenting on the overall figures contained in the report the Director said:
“The reoffending rates reflect improvements in Probation Service supervision, and indicate that we are continuing to perform well. I particularly welcome the finding that reoffending by persons subject to post release supervision by the Probation Service remain low.”
“The figures reported by the CSO are encouraging and highlight the valuable contribution made by the Probation Service to the criminal justice system and to the safety of our communities. It confirms our belief that supervision and support in the community after release improves positive resettlement and reduces harmful behaviour.”
Minister for Justice Helen McEntee also commented on the publication of the report today and stated:
“I particularly welcome the finding that Community Service Orders continue to show very good outcomes, indicating that Community Service orders can help reduce reoffending rates in a way that not only benefits communities nationwide, but also allows offenders a chance to make amends for their criminal actions in a tangible way. “
“I also welcome the finding the Post Release Supervision continues to show very good outcomes.”
Of the 34.1% of persons who received a probation order in 2016 and who did reoffend within one year, over 49% received a non-custodial penalty. Public Orders type offences (28.5%) along with Theft and related offences (24.4%) constituted the majority of reoffending charges.
The report also highlights variations between different demographic groups. Only 15% of persons subject to supervision were female. Males are slightly more likely to reoffend within one year than females (In the 2016 cohort, 30.3% compared to 30%), but the gap between them is decreasing. The reoffending rate over one year also reduces as the age of persons increases: 45.6% of offenders under 18 reoffended compared to 21.7% of those aged over 65 in 2016.
Commenting on the important work of the CSO 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 the CSO on this valuable work. This provides the Probation Service and the Department of Justice with valuable information in planning for the future and making communities safer.”
The publication of the CSO/Probation Reoffending 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 supervision by the Probation Service in 2014, 2015 and 2016 was used to conduct this study.