Minister McEntee welcomes publication CSO Probation Re-offending Statistics 2017
- Decrease in the one-year probation re-offending rate between 2016 and 2017 from 31% to 29%.
- Younger people continue to have a much stronger tendency to re-offend - 42% of under 18s linked to re-offending incidents compared to just 8% of over 65s
- 43% of all re-offending by adults under 25 were in two offence categories, public order (22%) and road and traffic offences (21%)
Overall, women were slightly less likely to be re-convicted than men (26.5% vs 28.1%)
19 November 2021
The Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD, has today welcomed the publication by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) of a statistical release on Probation Re-offending Statistics from 2017 which provides information on the level of recorded re-offending by individuals placed under the management of the Probation Service.
The main findings of the report indicate that just under one third of individuals who received a probation order in 2017 re-offended within one year, down from 36% in 2008. The report also outlines that individuals that served probation orders for offences relating to public order and other social codes (38%) had the highest likelihood of being convicted in court for re-offences within a year. Younger people issued with probation orders continue to have a much stronger tendency to re-offend with 42% of under 18s linked to re-offending incidents compared to just 8% of over 65s. Almost half (49%) of those placed on probation in 2015 committed at least one re-offence within three years for which they received a court conviction.
Speaking after the report was published Minister McEntee said
“I very much welcome the ongoing work of the CSO in relation to theses statistical releases, which are of course compiled with the assistance of the Probation Service and an Garda Síochána.
“I want to emphasise that ensuring people feel safe in their communities and in their homes is a priority for this Government. My Department is constantly striving to provide that safety through engagement with communities, by reducing crime and tackling recidivism and by supporting victims.
“These publications assist us greatly in our understanding of some of the relevant trends at play here and help us in the development of more targeted and effective policies regarding the management of offenders and in relation to recidivism in general”.
Highlighting the work underway in the Department of Justice the Minister said,
“There is no quick fix to reducing recidivism but there is a range of evidence that targeted interventions, particularly in the community, can be effective in diverting from criminal behaviour.
“These interventions include increasing access to youth diversion, addiction treatment, employment opportunities and increased use of community funded organisations. A range of objectives and actions have been outlined for progressing this work throughout this year as outlined in Justice Plan 2021, including the recently published Youth Justice Strategy and the ongoing work to review our penal policy”.
The Minister concluded,
“We also know, for example, from recently published research that there is a well-documented relationship between substance misuse and offending behaviour and a history of substance misuse has been clearly identified as a strong predictor for reoffending. This is highlighted as one of the foremost risk factors for criminal recidivism. Alcohol and substance misuse can have a devastating impact on individuals, families and communities across our country and I want emphasise that tackling this issue remains a priority for me and for this Government”.
Notes for Editors
A copy of the report can be found on the website of the Central Statistics office at: https://www.cso.ie/en/csolatestnews/presspages/2021/probationre-offendingstatistics2017/
The Department of Justice is continuing its work and building on a number of initiatives that have been introduced over the past decade to reduce reoffending, including Community Return and Community Support Schemes and the Joint Agency Response to Crime (JARC).
Community Return and Community Support Schemes were introduced in 2011 and aim to increase support for prisoners prior to their release from prison, upon their release, and then for a period after their release in order to break the cycle of offending.
The JARC programme is a multi-agency response to the supervision and rehabilitation of offenders, which began in 2014. The programme aims to target prolific offenders who are responsible for large amounts of crime. These offenders are managed through the integration of policy and practice between the relevant Criminal Justice agencies.
Statistics utilised in the report
The Probation Re-offending Statistics provides data on re-offending levels of individuals who are under the management of the Probation Service.
The probation re-offending rate is the percentage of individuals issued with a probation order during a reference year who were convicted of any crime incident that was recorded within three years of the date of their probation sentence. The resulting conviction relating to the incident must then be obtained within two years of the date when the incident was recorded.
The key points through the report include:
- The re-offending rate is the percentage of individuals issued with a probation order who were subsequently convicted of any crime incident that was recorded within three years of the date of their probation sentence. This now includes Road Traffic Incidents, covering incidents under the Fixed Notice Penalty Act. However, only those that lead to a Court Conviction are counted (those that do not lead to conviction are not counted).
- Data is matched from the Probation Service to PULSE data. If an individual on the probation database has a conviction recorded on the PULSE database within the defined time period then they have been classified as re-offending.
- The probation re-offending rate is the percentage of individuals issued with a probation order during a reference year who were convicted of any crime incident that was recorded within three years of the date of their probation sentence. The resulting conviction relating to the incident must then be obtained within two years of the date when the incident was recorded.
Review of Penal Policy
The Programme for Government contains a broad range of policies and proposals that represent a coherent approach to enhancing and sustaining a more just and safe society.
As part of this work, the Department of Justice is working on a set of actions to reduce rates of reoffending. A cross sectoral group which includes the Head of Criminal Justice Policy, the Director-General of the Irish Prison Service and the Director of the Probation Service, was established last year. This Group will take forward the Government’s commitment to review policy options for prison and penal reform and are due to report by the end of the year.