Almost half of criminals released from prison re-offended within a year – report

The studies looked at the number of convicted offenders who go went on to commit more crimes in 2018.
Almost half of criminals released from prison re-offended within a year – report

By Cate McCurry, PA

Almost half of criminals released from a prison in 2018 re-offended within one year, research from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) shows.

The number of offenders who go on to reoffend dropped from 54 per cent in 2011 to 48 per cent in 2018.

The figures show that two-thirds of prisoners who went on to reoffend were given a custodial sentence for their new offence.

Offenders who served custodial sentences between three and six months prior to release in 2018 had the highest probability of re-offending within one year of release.

Prisoners released in the same year were most likely to re-offend by committing public order and other social code offences.

Looking at re-offending rates within three years of a custodial sentence shows that almost 62 per cent of individuals released from custodial sentence in 2015 re-offended within three years, down from 68 per cent in 2011.

The most common crimes were criminal damage to property and public disorder offences.

Younger people are more likely to re-offend, with more than 80 per cent of individuals aged under 21 re-offending within three years of being released.

Prisoners released in 2015 from sentences related to burglary had the highest likelihood of re-offending within three years, in comparison to 20 per cent of offenders released from custodial sentences for sexual offences who re-offended within three years of release.

Men continued to make up most custodial releases in 2015 – however, women are more likely to re-offend within three years of release than men.

CSO statistician Felix Coleman said: “In 2015, 62% of individuals released from custody were linked to a re-offending incident within three years of their release with the most frequent re-offending offence type relating to theft and related offences.

“The data also indicates that younger age groups of released individuals continue to be more likely to re-offend, with more than 83% of released individuals aged less than 21 at the time of leaving prison re-offending within three years of release.

“In contrast, just 27% of individuals who were over 50 years old re-offended within three years of release.

“There is a small difference in re-offending rates between males and females.

“Although the clear majority of released individuals in 2015 were male (93%), slightly more females re-offended within three years (66%) than males (61%).

“Of the two-thirds of re-offenders from 2018 who received a custodial sanction for their re-offence, those whose offences were grouped among assault, attempts and threats to murder, harassment and related offences were the most likely to receive a custodial sanction (80%) rather than a non-custodial sanction such as a fine or suspended sentence.

“Also, in relation to one year re-offending, individuals were most likely to re-offend by committing offences related to public order and other social code offences (26%).

“Of these, 54% received a custodial sanction for their re-offence.

“It is worth noting that re-offending rates are falling over time whether one looks at three-year or one-year windows for re-offending following release from custody.

“A little more than 47% of individuals released in 2018 re-offended within one year of release, compared to 54% of individuals released in 2011 who re-offended within one year of release.”

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