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Details of 1-Year Fine Sentence Re-offending

    These statistics are categorised as Under Reservation. This categorisation indicates that the quality of these statistics do not meet the standards required of official statistics published by the CSO.

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This chapter describes the re-offending characteristics of persons who received a fine sentence sanction from a court for their offence during the reference year. Fine sentences are court decisions that order persons to pay a fine or alternatively face a period in custody. As most fine sentences are resolved without a custodial sentence (91% in 2018), and do not involve a significant period of detention in prison if a custodial sentence is imposed, the time period to a re-offence is calculated from the court outcome date. Further detail is available in the Background Notes.

1 yr Time Chart

In 2018 and 2019 there was a significant drop in the number of fine sentence related committals than with previous years. Just 446 fine sentences in 2018 and 766 in 2019 were presented to the prison service in 2018 compared to 2,197 cases in 2017 and 7,889 from 2016. The decrease is likely attributed to an increase in use of Fines Act (2010) which provides more flexibility and options for an individual to pay a fine and avoid custodial related sanctions related to non-compliance. (See Table 8.1 Background Notes).

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In total, 46.1% of individuals that received fine sentences in 2019 re-offended within a year of receiving the sanction. In a similar pattern to custodial re-offending (see table 4.2 of this publication) individuals under the age of 21 (58.1%) had the highest likelihood to re-offend while individuals aged 41-50 (37%) had the lowest re-offending rate of the other age groups measured. See Table 5.1 and Figure 5.1.

Table 5.1 Individuals who received fine sentences in 2019 classified by 1-year re-offending indicator and age at time of sentencing

Re-offended within 1 yearDid not re-offend within 1 year
< 21 years58.141.9
21 - 25 years48.751.3
26 - 30 years54.245.8
31 - 35 years40.959.1
36 - 40 years43.256.8
41 - 50 years3763
Aged 50 and over47.252.8
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Males (47.3%) who received fine sentences in 2019 were more likely to re-offend than females (42.3%). See Table 5.2 and Figure 5.2.

Table 5.2 Individuals who received fine sentences in 2019 classified by 1-year re-offending indicator and sex

Fine sentence sanctions