Re-offending in NSW

 

Click here for the full report (pdf, 585Kb)

Release Date: 4 May 2011

Almost 60 per cent of the 81,500 people convicted of at least one offence ina NSW criminal court in 1994 were reconvicted within 15 years according to a new report by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.

The proportion of juvenile offenders convicted of another offence is even higher, with almost 80 per cent of juvenile offenders convicted in 1994 being convicted of a further offence within the next 15 years.

The results have emerged from a new study of re-offending by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.

The Bureau found that most re-convictions occurred within a few years of the reference offence. Twenty-one per cent of adult offenders for example, were reconvicted within 1 year, another 9 per cent were reconvicted within 2 years and a further 7 per cent were reconvicted within 3 years.

Similarly, for juvenile offenders, 40 per cent were reconvicted within 1 year, another 15 per cent were reconvicted within 2 years and a further 7 per cent were reconvicted within 3 years. Beyond 3 years, as each year passed, fewer and fewer offenders were reconvicted.

Re-conviction rates among adults were highest for those convicted of break and enter (81% were reconvicted), robbery (75% were reconvicted), property damage (67% were reconvicted), and disorderly conduct (67% were reconvicted).

Re-conviction rates were lowest among adults convicted of sexual assault and related offences (42% were reconvicted), prohibited/regulated weapons and explosives offences (43% were reconvicted), fraud, deception and related offence (46% were reconvicted) and drink/drug driving (47% were reconvicted).

Offenders tended to reoffend for the same category of offence as their index offence. For example, of persons convicted of violent i offences in 1994 and reconvicted within 15 years, over a quarter (26%) were reconvicted of another violent offence as their next offence. A smaller percentage (14%) were reconvicted of a property iioffence as their next offence.

In contrast, of persons convicted of property offences in 1994 and reconvicted within 15 years, almost 40 per cent (38%) were reconvicted of another property offence as their next offence and a smaller percentage (12%) were reconvicted of a violent offence as their next offence.

Further enquiries: Dr Don Weatherburn. Ph. 9231-9190




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i 'Violent' offences were murder, assault, robbery and sexual offences.
ii 'Property' offences were break and enter, theft and fraud.