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Community Service Orders and Bonds: A Comparison of Reoffending

NCJ Number
Lucy Snowball; Lorana Bartels
Date Published
July 2013
12 pages
This study from the New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research compared reoffending rates for adult offenders receiving community service orders and those offenders given a good behavior bond or suspended sentence.
This study on the differences in reoffending rates between adult offenders who received community service orders (CSO) and those who were given a good behavior bond or a suspended sentence found that reoffending rates were lower among offenders who received CSOs after controlling for several factors compared to offenders in the other group. This study was conducted as part of a review of sentencing practices currently being used by several different agencies within the government of New South Wales (NSW). Data for the study were obtained from records contained in the NSW BOCSAR (Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research) Reoffending Database. The records for all adult offenders found guilty in a NSW local court between 2007 and 2009 and who received either a CSO, a good behavior bond, or a suspended sentence were included in the sample. The sample was divided into two subsets for comparison: one group of offenders received a CSO and bonds and a second group of offenders received a CSO and suspended sentences. Analysis of the data indicates that offenders who received a CSO were less likely to reoffend than offenders given a good behavior bond, suggesting the expanded use of CSOs in order to improve outcomes for offenders. Due to the significant differences in matching offenders in the second subset, the researchers believed that the reoffending analysis of this data would not be reliable and therefore is not reported in this paper. Study limitations are discussed. Tables, figures, and references