​The impact of the NSW Intensive Supervision Program on Juvenile Reoffending

Full report: The impact of the NSW Intensive Supervision Program on Juvenile Reoffending, pdf 416Kb

Embargo 10.30AM Tuesday 8 December 2015

An intensive supervision program for juvenile offenders has been found to be no more effective in reducing juvenile re-offending than placing them on a traditional supervised order, a new report by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research has found.

There is good evidence, however, that young people who complete ISP spend significantly fewer days in custody during their treatment program.

The NSW Juvenile Justice Intensive Supervision Program (ISP) is a rehabilitation option for young offenders who have received a Supervised Community Order or court-ordered Youth Justice Conference (YJC).

The primary focus of the program is improved family functioning through better parenting skills and enhanced family relationship but the program also seeks to improve school attendance and achievement and establish pro-social rather than anti-social peer associations.

To evaluate the program, the Bureau monitored offending frequency over a 48-month period for three groups of offenders; ISP graduates (those who signed up to and completed ISP), ISP terminates (those who signed up to but did not complete ISP) and a comparison group (those who received a supervised community order or a court-referred Youth Justice Conference in locations where ISP was not available). Days spent in custody over the 48-month period were also examined for each of these three groups.

The results revealed a significant reduction in offending frequency during and after the intervention period for both ISP graduates and the comparison group, but the rate of decrease was not significantly different across these two groups.

For the ISP graduates only, there was a significant reduction in days spent in custody during the 6-month intervention period, but this downward trend was not sustained in the 6 months following program completion.

Further enquiries: Dr Don Weatherburn (8346 1100)

Copies of the report: www.bocsar.nsw.gov.au