Back to RJ Archive

Rates of recidivism among offenders referred to Forum Sentencing.

Poynton, Suzanne
June 4, 2015

Source: (2013) NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research. Crime and Justice Bulletin. Number 172.

Aim: To determine whether the NSW Forum Sentencing program is more effective than the conventional sentencing
process in reducing recidivism.
Method: Offenders referred to Forum Sentencing in 2011 were matched with offenders who were ‘eligible’ for Forum
Sentencing but who were sentenced in a NSW Local Court where Forum Sentencing was not operating. These two groups
were matched on a large number of covariates using propensity score techniques and were then compared on the time to
first new proven offence using Cox regression. All offenders in both groups were followed up for a minimum of 6 months
after finalisation of their index offence. The analysis was conducted using an intention-to-treat research design.
Results: 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. Cox regression analyses showed that
there was no significant difference between the matched groups in the time to first new offence. This lack of an effect
remained even after controlling for other relevant covariates.
Conclusion: This study finds no evidence that offenders who are referred to the NSW Forum Sentencing program are
less likely to re-offend than similar offenders who are dealt with through the normal sentencing process. (summary from the report)


AbstractCourtsEvaluation/StudyPacificReportRJ and the WorkplaceRJ in SchoolsRJ OfficeStatutes and LegislationTeachers and Students
Support the cause

We've Been Restoring Justice for More Than 40 Years

Your donation helps Prison Fellowship International repair the harm caused by crime by emphasizing accountability, forgiveness, and making amends for prisoners and those affected by their actions. When victims, offenders, and community members meet to decide how to do that, the results are transformational.

Donate Now