Evaluation of changes to supervision of offenders in community – Practice Guide for Intervention

Link to report summary

Enhancements to the model of community supervision introduced
by Corrective Services NSW do not appear to have reduced the rate of
reoffending according to an evaluation of the
program completed by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR).

The Practice Guide for Intervention (PGI)
was introduced in June 2016 and provides Community Corrections Officers with a
series of cognitive behavioural therapy based structured written exercises to
undertake with offenders.  Offenders
participate in treatment modules according to their individual criminogenic
needs consistent with Risk-Need-Responsivity principles. 

BOCSAR measured the impact of the program on recidivism by
comparing the difference in reoffending rates between supervised (the treatment
group) and unsupervised offenders (the control group) before and after the
implementation of PGI.  Controls were
included for a wide range of factors known to influence reoffending.

The results
revealed a slightly lower rate of reoffending for supervised parolees who had
access to PGI but the reduction was not statistically significant. 

Commenting on the findings, the Executive Director of
BOCSAR, Jackie Fitzgerald, said the findings need to be considered in the
context of past research showing that community supervision of offenders is
effective in reducing reoffending.  “This
study compared reoffending among offenders receiving PGI with offenders
receiving the existing model of supervision, a model known to deliver positive
reoffending outcomes. The results indicate that PGI does not produce any
additional benefit over what was previously delivered by Community Corrections
Officers.”

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