Irish Penal Reform Trust

Probation Recidivism 2011 and 2012 Cohorts

27th June 2019

The Central Statistics Office has published statistics on recidivism (re-offending) for those sentenced to probation in 2011 and 2012. The probation recidivism rate is measured as the percentage of people who were convicted of an offence that was recorded within three years of the date of their Probation Order. When interpreting the data, please note that previously published figures for the 2008, 2009 and 2010 cohorts have been revised following the introduction of an improved data matching methodology and the discovery of a processing error.

The rate of recidivism for the 2012 cohort of Probation Service users was 46.9%. The corresponding figure for the 2011 cohort was 46.8%. The rate of reoffending by males (47.5% in the 2012 cohort, 47.7% in the 2011 cohort) is higher than that by females (42.8% in the 2012 cohort, 40.5% in the 2011 cohort). The gap in the recidivism rate between genders is decreasing, though females continue to re-offend at a lower rate than men.

The statistics show that there continues to be an inverse relationship between age and recidivism rates, with persons under 18 being more than twice as likely to reoffend than those aged over 45. The rate for those under 18 was 70.8% for those in the 2012 cohort and 70.4% for those in the 2011 cohort. For those over 45 the rates were 33.6% and 32.5% respectively.

While IPRT welcomes the drop in overall reoffending rates for those sentenced to probation in these cohorts, it is particularly encouraging to see that the level of reoffending is even lower among those sentenced to a Community Service Order than those sentenced to a Probation Order, across both cohorts. Those sentenced to a Community Service Order are required to do 40 to 240 hours of unpaid work in the community. This work benefits communities nationwide in a tangible way, and as shown by these most recent statistics, continues to be effective in lowering recidivism.

To view data on Probation Recidivism for the 2011 and 2012 Cohorts on the Central Statistics Office website, click here.

(Note: Statistics on recidivism by those sentenced to custody are published separately to the figures sentenced to prison. At the time of writing, they are not yet available for the 2011 and 2012 cohorts.)

Related: 

Respect for rights in the penal system with prison as a last resort.

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