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CJB78

Author Don Weatherburn, Bronwyn Lind and Jiuzhao Hua
Published August 2003
Report Type Crime and Justice Bulletin No. 78
Subject Prisons and prisoners; Recidivism / Re-offending
Keywords criminal court, reoffending database, prison system

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Summary

Aim

This bulletin describes the construction of a reoffending database based on linking court appearance records for the same individual. The database provides a facility for tracking and examining patterns in recidivism in New South Wales.

Abstract

This bulletin describes the construction of a reoffending database based on linking court appearance records for the same individual. The database provides a facility for tracking and examining patterns in recidivism in New South Wales. The database is used to examine the level of contact with the criminal court and prison systems in New South Wales. It is found that over a five-year period about 6.5 per cent of the New South Wales population appeared in court on a criminal matter. Over a oneyear period the proportion is 1.9 per cent. Rates of contact with both the court and prison systems are higher for males than for females and are generally highest for 20-24 year-olds, often substantially so. Indigenous residents of New South Wales have very high rates of contact with both the court and prison systems. In just one year 12.8 per cent of the Indigenous population appeared in court and 2.2 per cent were given a custodial penalty. For Indigenous males aged 20-24, the proportion with a court appearance in the one-year period was 41.3 per cent and the proportion given a custodial penalty was 10.0 per cent.