Author Amy Pisani
Published September 2022
Report Type Bureau Brief No. BB162
Subject Recidivism / Re-offending; Children, juveniles and young people; Aboriginal / Indigenous Australians
Keywords Reoffending; Conviction; NSW; Young People; Adults; Aboriginality



To examine rates of re-offending over 10 years for adults and young people convicted of an offence in NSW in 2010.


Descriptive analysis of data for a cohort of offenders convicted in NSW Criminal Courts in 2010 from the NSW Re-offending Database (ROD).


Most offenders (55%) found guilty in the NSW criminal courts in the year 2010 were re-convicted of a further offence within 10 years of their reference offence. Re-offending was more common among young people. Among those with a conviction in 2010, 81% of young people and 54% of adults had a subsequent re-conviction within 10 years. Most re-offending occurs relatively quickly with 58% of young people and 31% of adults re-offending within just two years. Irrespective of age, re-offending for any offence was highest for those persons whose reference offence was break and enter. Re-offending for the same offence was highest for young people convicted of assault, theft, and property damage, and adults convicted of theft, breach of violence order, break and enter, and illicit drug offences. The proportion of offenders reoffending for any offence type was highest for young people (81%), males (57%), and Aboriginal offenders (86%).


Re-offending is common among people convicted in court. Males, young people, and Aboriginal offenders are more likely than others to be re-convicted. Re-offenders are often generalists, with re-conviction occurring for a variety of offences.