Author Clare Ringland and Don Weatherburn
Published December 2013
Report Type Crime and Justice Bulletin No. 176
Subject Prisons and prisoners; Recidivism / Re-offending; Sentencing; Statistical methods and modelling; Evaluation reports
Keywords intensive supervision, re-offending, LSI-R, propensity score matching

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To examine the risk of re-offending of those who received an intensive correction order (ICO), relative to those who received periodic detention and suspended sentences with supervision.


Details of offenders’ demographic and offence characteristics, prior convictions and penalties received, and reoffences were extracted from the Re-offending Database maintained by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research. Using propensity score modelling, offenders who received an ICO as a principal penalty in a NSW court between 1 October 2010 and 30 September 2012 were matched to two comparable groups of offenders who received periodic detention between 1 October 2007 and 30 September 2009 and suspended sentences with supervision between 1 October 2010 and 30 September 2012. A supplementary comparison with those who received suspended sentences with supervision included matching on Level of Service Inventory - Revised (LSI-R) assessment scores, in addition to demographic and offending characteristics. Time to first re-offence was estimated using the Nelson-Aalen estimator of the cumulative hazard rate function and compared between groups using Cox proportional hazards regression.


An offender on an ICO had 33 per cent less risk of re-offending than an offender on periodic detention (HR=0.67, 95% confidence interval (0.55, 0.83), p<.001). There was no significant difference in re-offending between those who received ICOs and supervised suspended sentences after taking into account LSI-R assessment scores.


There is some evidence to suggest that ICOs are more effective than periodic detention in terms of reoffending rates. However, future evaluations should include more detailed offender, treatment and program participation information in order to better understand any observed differences between comparison groups.

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