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Monitoring Recidivism Making international comparisons. Bouke Wartna Pompidou group Council of Europe Strasbourg, France 2009, September 11th. Nikolaj Tollenaar Martine Blom Ad Essers Inger Bregman Daphne Alberda Susan Alma Bouke Wartna. Our current team . The WODC.

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Monitoring recidivism making international comparisons l.jpg

Monitoring Recidivism Making international comparisons

Bouke Wartna

Pompidou group

Council of Europe

Strasbourg, France

2009, September 11th


Our current team l.jpg

Nikolaj Tollenaar

Martine Blom

Ad Essers

Inger Bregman

Daphne Alberda

Susan Alma

Bouke Wartna

Our current team

Monitoring Recidivism Strasbourg, September 11th 2009


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The WODC

  • International knowledge centre

  • Aims to make “a professional contribution to the development and evaluation of policy set by the Dutch Ministry of Justice”

  • About 100 fte’s; 5 divisions

  • 75% of the research is commissioned out

  • 2 divisions of in-house research

  • Mix of ad hoc and infrastructural research

Monitoring Recidivism Strasbourg, September 11th 2009


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The Dutch Recidivism Monitor - in brief

  • Large scale, continuous research

  • Annual measurements of reconviction rates

  • Data from the Dutch Offenders Index (DOI)

  • Standardized procedures to measure recidivism

  • Cumulating observation periods

  • Use of event history models

Monitoring Recidivism Strasbourg, September 11th 2009


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Some applicationsfor recidivism data

  • Surveys and trend studies

  • Risk assessment & projections

  • Benchmarking

  • Research on the effectiveness of penal interventions

Monitoring Recidivism Strasbourg, September 11th 2009


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DOIThe Dutch Offenders Index

  • Encrypted version of the JDS

  • Data on all cases handled by the procecutor’s office: 10.3 mln.cases

  • Access to data on 4 million persons

  • Complete criminal histories of 2,5 mln. persons

  • Updated every 3 months

  • Historical in nature: no removals

  • For scientific purposes only

Monitoring Recidivism Strasbourg, September 11th 2009


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The Dutch definition of ‘recidivism’

  • Based on adjudicated crime

  • Several criteria of recidivism

  • All involve reconviction for ‘crimes’ only

  • Acquittals etc. are left out

  • Sanctions by PPS are included

  • As well as cases that are undecided yet

Monitoring Recidivism Strasbourg, September 11th 2009


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Accumulated reconviction rates for adult offenders convicted in the Netherlands in 1997; by sanction type

Monitoring Recidivism Strasbourg, September 11th 2009


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Analyzing the dataFactors associated with reconviction

  • gender males represent higher risks

  • age at conviction the younger, the higher the risk

  • age at first conviction the younger, the higher the risk

  • country of birth ethnic minorities display more recidivism

  • offence risks highest after violence and property offences

  • # previous convictions the more, the higher the risk

  • cf. Lloyd, Mair and Hough (1994): England & Wales

  • cf. Langan & Levin (2002): USA

  • cf. www.ssb.no (2005): Norway

  • cf. Command Papers 5675 (1936): England

Monitoring Recidivism Strasbourg, September 11th 2009


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The use of projectionsPredicted and actual reconviction rates following a short prison term

Monitoring Recidivism Strasbourg, September 11th 2009


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Countries in Europe with national recidivism data

Monitoring Recidivism Strasbourg, September 11th 2009


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ERNREuropean Research group on National Reconviction rates

Monitoring Recidivism Strasbourg, September 11th 2009


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Making international comparisons of reconviction rates

6 good reasons not to do it:

  • Differences in judicial system;

  • Differences in sentencing practices;

  • Differences in registration;

  • Differences in methods and measures being used;

  • Differences in offender groups;

  • Differences in periods of observation

Monitoring Recidivism Strasbourg, September 11th 2009


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General rates of recidivism in seven European countries

Monitoring Recidivism Strasbourg, September 11th 2009


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10 steps-plantowards more comparable reconviction statistics

Monitoring Recidivism Strasbourg, September 11th 2009


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Monitoring Recidivism Strasbourg, September 11th 2009


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General and special recidivism Strasbourg, September 11th 2009 among Dutch drug offenders convicted in 2002 (n= 11,072)

Monitoring Recidivism Strasbourg, September 11th 2009


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