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Introduction and Key Findings

    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.

CSO statistical publication, , 11am

On-line ISSN: 2711-9963
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The Probation Re-offending Statistics publication provides information on the level of recorded re-offending by individuals placed under the management of the Probation Service. The information in this publication primarily relates to individuals who entered the Probation Service in 2016.

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.

For example, if an offender was sentenced to probation on December 31st, 2014 and they committed an offence on December 31st, 2017 for which a conviction was obtained on or before December 31st, 2019 they would be included as a re-offender.

To allow for more timely measures of re-offending, one and two year measures of re-offending are also presented in this publication, allowing the analysis to come forward to reference year 2016 (one year for re-offence from end 2016 and a further two years allowed for court conviction brings us to end 2019).

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  • In 2016, almost a third (31.1%) of offenders managed by the Probation Service re-offended within a year. See Table 1.1 and Figure 1.1.
  • Probation re-offending rates are remaining relatively static over time, with 28% of 2013 probationers re-offending within one year, compared to 31.1% of 2016 probationers who re-offended in one year. See Table 1.1 and Figure 1.1.
  • In the most recent cohort for which a three-year re-offending rate is available (2014), almost half (47.2%) of individuals committed at least one re-offence for which they received a conviction. See Table 1.1 and Figure 1.1.
  • Males (30.3%) remain marginally more likely to re-offend than females (30.0%) within one year of entering probation in 2016. See Table 3.1.
  • There is an inverse relationship between age and re-offending rates. Persons aged under 18 (45.6%) are more than twice as likely to re-offend than those aged over 65 (21.7%). See Table 3.1 and Figure 3.1.
  • Data for 2016 indicates that the level of re-offending is higher among individuals sentenced to a Probation Order (34.1%) than those sentenced to a Community Service Order (28.3%) or those under Post Release Supervision Order (15.9%). See Table 3.1 and Figure 3.3.
  • The highest proportion of 1-year re-offending takes place with individuals who were initially placed into probation as a result of Theft (39.1%) or Public Order related offences (37.5%). In contrast individuals who were placed under the supervision of the Probation Service for Sexual offences (10.2%) were least likely to re-offend within a year of receiving a probation order. See Table 3.1 and Figure 3.2.
  • Half (50.6%) of 1-year probation re-offenders received a custodial sanction for their re-offending offence. See Table 3.5 and Figure 3.7.
Table 1.1 Probation re-offending rates classified by time period to first re-offence, 2008 - 2016 cohorts

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Chapter 2 of this publication, FAQ, provides explanations of the key concepts of the release. Chapter 3 provides a more detailed analysis of re-offending rates for 2016. Chapters 4 has historical analyses of the probation re-offending statistics from 2013-2015. Chapter 5, Background Notes, provides technical explanations and a table of the incident classifications used in the publication.

Go to next chapter: Probation Re-offending Statistics Frequently Asked Questions