Author Robin Fitzgerald and Timothy Graham
Published May 2016
Report Type Crime and Justice Bulletin No. 189
Subject Domestic violence; Recidivism / Re-offending; Evaluation reports
Keywords domestic violence, recidivism, administrative data, reconviction, prediction, violent offences

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To determine what factors independently predict violent DV-related re-offending among a cohort of people convicted of a(ny) DV offence and given a non-custodial penalty.


Data from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) Reoffending Database were used to examine violent DV-related reconviction. A cohort of DV offenders convicted in 2011-12 was first identified using domestic violence lawpart codes, and followed up for two years. To identify the best fitting model we first examined bi-variate relationships between explanatory variables and the dependent variable. We then estimated a multivariate logistic regression model to determine which variables independently predicted reconviction. Finally, we tested the predictive validity of the model using a range of cross-validation strategies.


Among the cohort of adult offenders (n = 14,660), 8% were reconvicted of a violent DV-related offence within two years of the index conviction. Eleven explanatory variables were found to best predict reconviction – representing offender demographic, index offence, and criminal history characteristics. The resulting model showed acceptable levels of predictive validity.


To the extent that they direct appropriate interventions, risk assessment tools could be one part of a more complete community safety strategy aimed at violent DV recidivism. Limitations of the current study are discussed.

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