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2016 Results

    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.

    For further information please refer to the Under Reservation FAQ page.

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Young adults on probation were much more likely to re-offend than older age groups. In 2016, 45.6% of under 18’s re-offended within a year of receiving a probation order. In contrast just over one fifth (21.7%) of over 65’s re-offended within the same period. See Table 3.1 and Figure 3.1.

Table 3.1 Offender numbers classified by sex, age group, probation type, probation referral offence and whether there was a re-offence within one year, 2016

One-year re-offending rate
65 +21.7
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The highest rate of probation re-offending within a year was carried out by individuals committed to probation for Theft and related offences (39.1%). Individuals who received probation orders for offences related to Sexual offences (10.2%) or Dangerous or negligent acts (22.7%) were least likely to re-offend. See Table 3.1 and Figure 3.2.

In terms of actual numbers, the most individuals who received probation orders in 2016 also came from the offence type Theft and related offences (946). Out of the total of 4,447 probation orders issued in 2016, just over one fifth (21.3%) were related to this type of offence. In contrast just 59 individuals received probation orders in relation to Sexual offences. See Table 3.1 and Figure 3.2.

Attempts/Threats to Murder, assaults, harassments and related offencesRobbery, extortion and hijacking offences Burglary and related offencesDangerous or negligent actsTheft and related offencesControlled drug offencesPublic order and other social code offencesRoad and traffic offencesSexual offences
Probation referral offence2323.933.122.739.124.837.523.210.2
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In total, 34.1% of individuals who received a Probation Order in court in 2016 re-offended within a year of the court proceeding. The re-offending rate of individuals who received Community Service Orders (CSO’s) or Post Release Supervision Orders (PRSO’s) was 28.3% and 15.9% respectively. It should be noted that there are generally much smaller numbers of PRSO’s each year than Community Service or Probation Orders and they are mostly associated with more significant and less prevalent offences. See Table 3.1 and Figure 3.3.

Community Service28.3
Post Release Supervision Order15.9
Probation Order34.1
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In 2016 the highest level of 1-year probation related re-offending took place from people with registered address’ in counties Limerick (41.2%) and Kerry (40%). The lowest re-offending rates were in Leitrim (6.3%) and Donegal (18.3%). See Table 3.2 and Map 3.1.

The highest number of Probation Orders in total were received by individuals with addresses in county Dublin (1,392) and Cork (762). These two counties account for nearly half of all the Probation Orders issued in 2016 (48.4%). The rate of re-offending for these two counties was almost the same at 30.8% and 30.4% respectively. See Table 3.2 and Map 3.1.

Table 3.2 Probation re-offending rate by regional authority area and county of residence of offender, 2016 cohort

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Probation re-offending that takes place within a year of a probation order being issued mostly takes place within the first 6 months of the order's issue date. In total, almost two-thirds or 64.1% of the re-offences take place during this period with the remaining 35.9% of offending which occurs in the year after probation taking place between six and twelve months of the probation order issue date. See Table 3.3 and Figure 3.4.

Table 3.3 Re-offender numbers classified by time period to first re-offence, sex, age group and probation type, 2016

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In total, 932 of the 1,347 identified re-offences took place in 3 main re-offence types:

  • Public order Offences and other social code offences (28.5%)
  • Theft and related offences (24.4%)
  • Controlled drug offences (16.3%)   

See Table 3.4 and Figure 3.5.

Table 3.4 Re-offenders classified by re-offending offence and custodial indicator, 2016

Public order and other social code offencesTheft and related offencesControlled drug offencesDangerous or negligent actsOffences against Government, justice procedures and organisation of crime Burglary and related offencesDamage to property and to the environmentAttempts/Threats to Murder, assaults, harassments and related offencesWeapons and explosives offences
Probation referral offence28.524.416.
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Custodial re-offending is calculated by collating re-offenders that receive a court sentence relating to any different type of detention together into a single estimate. For example, a court outcome described as “imprisonment” or “imprisonment – part suspended” is included as a custodial sanction while a court outcome described as a “Fine” is classified as a non-custodial sanction. A full list of the court outcomes included or excluded as custodial offences can be found in the Background Notes.

Just over half (50.6%) of 1-year probation re-offenders in 2016 received a custodial sentence for their re-offence while 49.4% received a non-custodial sentence such as a fine or Community Service Order. See Table 3.5 and Figure 3.6.

Table 3.5 Re-offenders classified by re-offending offence and custodial indicator, 2016


Two thirds (66.7%) of probationers who carried out re-offences related to Burglary received a custodial sentence for their re-offence. In contrast, 39.2% of re-offences related to Dangerous or negligent acts received a custodial sentence for the re-offence. See Table 3.5.

Go to next chapter: Historical Results 2013 - 2015