Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research

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Parole supervision works to reduce reoffending

Release date: Thursday 10 February 2022

Link to report summary - The effect of parole supervision on recidivism

A new study by the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) has found that NSW prisoners who receive parole supervision after their release reoffend less than similar prisoners who are released unconditionally.

The study followed over 50,000 prisoners released from custody between January 2010 and March 2019.

BOCSAR found that, compared with equivalent unsupervised prisoners, prisoners released to supervised parole were:

  • 10.0 percentage points less likely to be convicted within a year (a decrease of 17.5%)
  • 5.0 percentage points less likely to be imprisoned within a year (a decrease of 18.2%)

Parole was particularly effective in reducing serious reoffending among high-risk prisoners and Aboriginal prisoners.

Importantly, lower than expected reoffending rates were still observed 24 months after release from prison. 

Adult reoffending is a significant criminal justice issue and reducing reoffending among people released from prison is a NSW Premier's Priority. 

"Each year in NSW about 8,000 people are released from prison. Nearly half will record a new conviction within a year and a quarter will receive a new prison sentence" said Jackie Fitzgerald, Executive Director of the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research. "This study suggests that community supervision can help to break the cycle of reoffending among this high-risk group".

Further enquiries: Jackie Fitzgerald, Executive Director, 0423 139 687

Email: bcsr@justice.nsw.gov.au

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