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1 A New Approach to Reducing Re- offending Presented by Steve Hall Director Reducing Re-offending Reintegration Puzzle Conference.

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Presentation on theme: "1 A New Approach to Reducing Re- offending Presented by Steve Hall Director Reducing Re-offending Reintegration Puzzle Conference."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 A New Approach to Reducing Re- offending Presented by Steve Hall Director Reducing Re-offending Reintegration Puzzle Conference

2 Ever hear about desistance from crime? August 2003,UK

3 Re-offending in New Zealand

4 And desistance...

5 No simple definition of recidivism Ad hoc measurement. Remarkable inconsistency of approach. Different definitions applied in different contexts. Measured in different ways. Different measures being compared as if same. (Maltz 1984).

6 In 2011 in the UK: More offenders have previous history of offending (90%). A third committed or linked to 15+ crimes. 46% of imprisoned had 15+ crimes % imprisoned offenders. “Ministry of Justice officials say the figures show a "clear trend" of a rising re-offending rate”. BBC News Report 24 May Recidivism increasing

7 However of the 2011 cohort: Proven re-offending rate %. Increased 0.6 percentage points in 12 months. Fall of 0.7 percentage points since More likely to re-offend than 2000 cohort. After controlling for offender characteristics, this is a decrease of 3.1 percentage points. Recidivism decreasing

8 So why so much variation? Context is critical: The target group. The event/events used to indicate the occurrence of re-offending, and the source of the information. The time period over which the indicator events are observed and counted. Recidivism in Australia Payne J, Australian institute of Criminology

9 Measurement is complex Ministry of Justice UK: Proven re-offending statistics: definitions and measurement. October 2012 Waiting period Up to 24 months Event inside 12 months Proven conviction outside 24 months don't count Only convictions count Only first conviction counts

10 Thinking differently? Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat. ~F. Scott Fitzgerald It is a mistake to suppose that people succeed through success; they often succeed through failures. ~Anon

11 Comparing (re-offending) rates Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research 2012

12 Is change happening? Two in every three prisoners will have been previously imprisoned. 25% of prisoners reconvicted within three months of being released % of prisoners reimprisoned within one year of release. Recidivism rates been consistent over time.

13 “The average number of days spent out of custody in the 12 months following release from prison.” The Out of Custody Index (OCI) A (new) New Zealand approach

14 A very different approach Includes everyone in custody - “social impact”. Uses IOMS data - providing “real time” information. Incentive to work with all prisoners – no “failure point”. Work starts prior to any conviction. Alternative (out of the box) solutions. Amount of “failures” less significant. Positive measure encourages “strengths” based practice. Positive improvements have (realisable) $ value.

15 Simple business rules IOMS data. Prison releases. Minimum (initially 42 days) continuous custody. Death, deportation and extradition only exclusions. Multiple prison releases included.

16 Early development phases Several other prison sites and combinations considered. Normalising populations by risk, release type, age, prison duration failed to produce a valid match. Normalising by risk makes logical sense, but risk measure is not yet complete.

17 Outcome of Development Early findings: No “equivalent” direct comparison group. Significant regional influence causing increased remand times for Auckland Courts. ROC*ROI is not available nor accurate for all prisoners on their date of release. Possibility of comparing against “whole population”.

18 New Zealand prison releases (sentenced)

19 New Zealand prison releases (remand)

20 Final measurement design Reference group will always be different but provide benchmark. Normalising results by risk banding ( ROC*ROI) will improve over time. The release population from MECF is significantly different than any other prison and the whole population. Even after scaling by risk and other factors still see a gap based largely on remand duration.

21 2011/2012 RI and CI release populations compared

22 Cohort size and impact (MECF) The cohort group is reduced by a further 12.5% because prisoners who are not continually in custody are excluded.

23 July 2015 – June 2016 Timeframes July 2010 – June 2011 releases Jul 2012 – Jun 2013 July 2013 – June 2014 July 2014 – June 2015 Measurement period July 2015 – June 2016 Measurement period Target 25% reduction expected in 2016/17 Annual Report Serco started management at MECF from September 2011 Serco begin performance measurement from July 2013 Serco year 1 measure Serco year 2 measure Serco year 3 measure Serco year 4 measure July 2011 – June 2012 Measurement period

24 Measurement validity Designed to be a ”proxy” measure. Re-imprisonment (or not) is an event that is determined by the state’s actions, systems and processes. Connected to recidivism or re-offending but not the same. Amount of time an individual is able to “avoid” custody immediately post release is a very strong ‘indicator’ of desistance.

25 OCI rates

26 Current RI rates in New Zealand April

27 Comparing OCI with RI RI OCI Limit of RI data July

28 Measuring performance improvement Using results from 2010/2011 releases we can see MECF at 296, and the Department of Corrections at 315 days out of custody. Serco and Corrections baselines will be measured from July 2011 – June 2012 release period. July 2008

29 From 1 July 2013 Serco MECF started reporting performance based on the OCI measure. First time in the world that a “distance travelled” approach has been used to measure recidivism. MECF aims to increase the average post custody release period by three days per annum for the next four years. Twelve days increase in OCI is equivalent to a 25% reduction in re-offending rates for the target group.

30 Outcomes – All prisoners

31 Outcomes - Māori

32 Outcomes - compared All prisoners Māori

33 Impact of cohort type on OCI

34 Using the tool analyse trends

35 OCI compared 10 years

36 But over 2-3 years

37 Introducing court comparison

38 Conclusions (1) Any measure of recidivism will have limitations – most have lots. Current measures of recidivism ignore remand prisoners (half of all prison releases). Fergus McNeil suggests we should not make choices on the basis of re-offending alone, since this tells us little about the long-term prospects – new offending might actually be part of this longer term change.

39 Conclusions (2) Measuring “success” (time not offending) might help increase it. Current measures of recidivism are just too slow to provide information that we can usefully act upon. The cost of crime and the visibility on this are important drivers for change (and investment in better solutions). Measuring success is an important motivator for staff and prisoners.


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