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Release Date: Friday, 17 February 2006, 10.30am
Sixty-four per cent of offenders released from prison on parole re-offend within two years of release, according to a joint study released today by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research and the Research Division of the NSW Department of Corrective Services.
In one of the largest studies of re-offending among parolees ever undertaken in Australia, the Bureau and the Department tracked a cohort of 2,793 prisoners released to parole between 2001 and 2002 in order to find out which factors best predict rates of re-offending.The study found that the time to re-offend was significantly shorter for parolees who:
Commenting on the findings, the director of the Bureau, Dr Don Weatherburn, said that while a 64 per cent re-offending rate is high, it is actually slightly lower than that recently recorded by researchers studying re-offending amongst parolees in Britain."Given that prison is reserved for the most serious and persistent offenders, it's not surprising that a high proportion of them re-offend", he said."At the same time, we obviously need to do all we can to reduce the rate at which people released from prison re-offend"."The present study does not tell us
why a significant proportion of parolees re-offend. However it does tell us
who among them is most likely to re-offend. These are the people we need to focus our rehabilitation programs on".Further enquiries: Dr Don Weatherburn 9231-9190 (w) 0419-494-408 (mob).