HC Deb 16 March 1995 vol 256 cc670-1W
Mr. Hoyle

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what were the average rates of reconviction for(a) community (b) custodial sentences in each of the past 15 years.

Mr. Maclean

Comparisons between reconviction rates are affected by differences in age, sex, previous convictions and other characteristics of offenders receiving the sentences, as described in Home Office research study 136, "Explaining reconviction rates: a critical analysis". The decrease in the reconviction rate for those discharged from prison between 1987 and 1990 is partly due to the decrease in the number of young offenders discharged from prison, who have a relatively high reconviction rate.

The information is published annually in "Prison Statistics, England and Wales and Probation Statistics, England and Wales", copies of which are available in the Library. The available information is as follows:

Percentage of sentenced prisoners discharged from prison or of offenders commencing probation or community service who are reconvicted within two years of discharge or commencement by year of discharge or commencement
Custody Probation Community Service
19761 58
19771 59
19781 58
19791 58 41 51
1980 59
1981 58
1982 59
1983 56
1984 54
1985 52
1986 50
19872 57 53 55
19882 55 52 54
19892 53 54 56
19902 52 56 56
1Rates for those discharged from prison exclude those discharged from prison sentences of 3 months or less.
2Figures for 1987 and after are not directly comparable with those from earlier years due to a change in methodology. If the old methodology had been followed it is estimated that the reconviction rates would be about 5 to 6 percentage points lower.