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Recalculation of community corrections statistics

Front of a community Correctional Service location

Corrections Victoria recently undertook detailed analysis in an effort to understand the reason for an increase in the rate of offenders returning to corrective services within two years of completing a community corrections order.

This measure is reported upon annually in the Productivity Commission's Report on Government Services, and in Victorian budget papers.

According to Corrections Victoria’s data, these rates had been steadily growing for a number of years, including an increase from 28.9 per cent in 2015-16 to 33.1 per cent in 2016-17.

The analysis discovered that the computer program developed to report on this measure had incorrectly applied nationally agreed counting rules, and has been overestimating the rate of return since 2008-09.

The program had been erroneously recording instances where a court made variations to a Community Corrections Order and artificially inflating the rate of recidivism by recognising these variations as a completely new order.

The corrected community corrections rate of return for 2016-17 has now been calculated at 16.1 percent – less than half the reported rate of 33.1 percent and significantly below the national average of 25.3 per cent. The 2015-16 outcome has also been recalculated at 14.6 per cent, as opposed to the 28.9 per cent originally reported.

Corrections Victoria apologises for any confusion or inconvenience caused by the incorrect calculation and has now fixed the computer program.

Corrections Victoria will also ensure all publicly available data regarding rates of return for offenders managed in community corrections is updated.