HC Deb 24 July 1990 vol 177 cc137-8W
Mr. Lawrence

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the latest information he has on the proportion of community service orders and probation orders successfully completed; and what was the proportion which were followed by reconvictions for further offences, relative to persons discharged from custodial sentences.

Mr. John Patten

A total of 79 per cent. of the 43,150 probation orders that ended in 1988 were successfully completed—ran their full course, or were terminated early for good progress or were replaced by a conditional discharge order. The specified hours were completed in 72 per cent. of the 35,600 community service orders which ended in 1988.

Source: Probation Statistics, England and Wales, 1988.

The latest available comparative statistics about convictions for further offences relate to 1979— "Reconvictions of those given probation orders", Home Office statistical bulletin 34/86. Comparisons with custody must be interpreted with caution because the figures relate to the two years following release rather than the two years following the start of a community-based sentence and because they reflect the characteristics of the offenders involved as well as the influence of the type of sentence. A new study using the most recent data is planned.

Proportion of persons reconvicted of a standard list offence within two years of starting an order (January-February 1979)
Males under 21 Males aged 21 and over Females
Probation order 56 43 27
Community service order 58 46 37
Within two years of discharge from a custodial sentence in 1979 69 51 42