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Rates of Recidivism Among Offenders Referred to Forum Sentencing

NCJ Number
Suzanne Poynton
Date Published
July 2013
16 pages
This study from the New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research examined rates of recidivism among offenders referred to Forum Sentencing.
This study on rates of recidivism among offenders referred to Forum Sentencing found that "of the 575 offenders referred to Forum Sentencing, 552 could be matched with an 'equivalent' offender in the control group based on the covariates measured at the index court appearance." Regression analyses also showed that there was no significant difference between the matched groups in the time to first new offence, even after controlling for other relevant covariates. The primary purpose of the study was to determine whether the Forum Sentencing program established in New South Wales was more effective at reducing rates of recidivism compared to the conventional sentencing process. Data for the study were obtained from court records for all offenders referred to Forum Sentencing in 2011. The sample consisted of 611 unique offenders with 619 referrals to the Forum Sentencing program. These court records were then matched with records contained in the re-offending database to determine the rates of recidivism for these offenders. Analysis of the data suggests that the Forum Sentencing program which is based on principles of restorative justice, did not significantly change the rate of recidivism for those offenders referred to the program and that the observed recidivism rates for this program were similar to those for offenders sentenced under the conventional sentencing process. Study limitations and implications for research are discussed. Tables, figures, notes, and references