HC Deb 08 July 2003 vol 408 cc726-7W
Mr. Oaten

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what targets he has set for prisoner re-offending rates. [124034]

Paul Goggins

[holding answer 7 July 2003]: The Home Office Public Service Agreement (published in the White Paper '2002 Spending Review, Public Service Agreements 2003–2006' (Cm 5571, July 2002) set a target to reduce re-offending by five per cent for young offenders and for adults sentenced to imprisonment or sentenced to community sentences. Progress against this target is measured using reconviction rates, as set out in the 'SR2002 Public Service Agreement Technical Notes' (presented to Parliament in March 2003).

Progress against the proceeding Public Service Agreement Target 10, set in 2000, was reported in Home Office Online Report 16/02.

Mr. Oaten

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the prisoner re-offending rates were in each of the last five years. [124036]

Paul Goggins

[holding answer 7 July 2003]: Two-year `un-adjusted? reconviction rates for prisoners discharged from custody are available for 1994 to 1998. These were 56 per cent. in 1994, 58 per cent. in 1995, 57 per cent. in 1996, 58 per cent. in 1997 and 59 per cent. in 1998. These rates are published in 'Prison Statistics-England and Wales 2001?.

Reconviction rates for offenders discharged from custody have also been published according to the requirements of the Governments Public Service Agreement (PSA) 10 target. These are adjusted to take out convictions for offences committed prior to discharge, giving a reconviction rate of 55.3 per cent. for the first quarter of 1999. The equivalent figures for the first quarter of 1997 and 1998 are 56.8 per cent. and 55.7 per cent. respectively.

Neither set of rates indicate trends in rates over time, as they make no allowance for changes in the characteristics and criminal histories of offenders given custodial sentences. To do this a predicted rate is used. Comparisons between the actual and predicted reconviction rates for 1999 show that the actual rate was 1.9 per cent. lower than predicted, equating to 3.3 per cent. fewer offenders reconvicted, as set out in the Home Office On Line Report 16/02.

Reconviction rates for more recent periods are not yet available.

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