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CJB146

Author Nadine Smith
Published December 2010
Report Type Crime and Justice Bulletin No. 146
Subject Children, juveniles and young people; Offenders; Recidivism / Re-offending
Keywords juvenile offenders, reconviction rates

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Summary

Aim

To examine reasons for the apparent increase in the rate of juvenile reconviction between 2004-05 and 2006-07.

Method

Observed and predicted reconviction rates were investigated for the 2004-05 (n=4,225) and 2006-07 (n=4,368) cohorts of juvenile offenders given non-custodial sanctions. Various factors (for example, number of prior police cautions) were included in the Group Risk Assessment Model to determine whether they eliminated the discrepancy between the observed and predicted reconviction rates. The profile of re-offences across cohorts was also compared

Results

Two factors may explain the discrepancy between the observed and predicted reconviction rates in 2006-07:

(1) a higher than expected rate of reconviction among juveniles dealt with via a Youth Justice Conference; and
(2) the absence in the Group Risk Assessment Model of any control for the number of prior police cautions received by a juvenile offender.

The higher than expected rate of reconviction among juveniles dealt with via a Youth Justice Conference in 2006-07 appears partly attributable to changes in policing practices.

Conclusion

It is recommended that the use of the Group Risk Assessment Model be restricted to young offenders dealt with by way of the Children’s Court.

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