Evaluation of the capacity of community based corrections to reduce recidivism

Criminology Research Council grant ; (41/89)

This study examines what factors in the community supervision of offenders are related to reduced recidivism rates. A group of Community Corrections Officers were offered training in a "pro-social" supervision model which included each of the principles of effective supervision. The Community Corrections Officers were then asked to use the supervision model with their clients.

Three hundred and eighty-five clients were then followed up, after one year and after four years, through a client questionnaire and through analysis of client files and police records. The results of the study showed that offenders who were supervised by these Community Corrections Officers received more assistance with their problems, and were less likely, even after four years, to commit serious violent offences. It was also evident from the results of the study that offenders on community work sites where they associated with other offenders were more likely to commit further offences and to breach their orders.

Since the publication of the first report on this project Community Corrections Divisions in both Victoria and New Zealand have offered training in the "pro-social model" to most of their Probation Officers and Community Corrections Officers.