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Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 231443, tabled on 12 March 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the most recent quarterly reoffending rate is for (a) men and (b) women serving less than six months in prison.

Answered on

20 March 2019

The one year reoffending rates for prisoners released from sentences of less than six months will be published in the next quarterly proven reoffending bulletin on the 25th April.

There is persuasive evidence showing community sentences, in certain circumstances, are more effective than short custodial sentences in reducing reoffending. The MoJ study ‘The impact of short custodial sentences, community orders and suspended sentence orders on re-offending’ published in 2015 found that over a 1-year follow up period, a higher proportion of people re-offended having been sentenced to custody of under 12 months without supervision on release than other similar people given community orders.

The impact of short custodial sentences on women generally is particularly significant. Many are victims, as well as offenders, with almost 60% reporting experience of domestic abuse and many have mental health issues. We therefore set out our vision in the Female Offender Strategy published in June 2018, to see female offenders, particularly those with complex needs, dealt with in the community wherever possible.

Unless we tackle the underlying causes of offending, we cannot protect the public from being victims of crime. Effective community orders can address offenders’ behaviour, answer their mental health and alcohol or drug misuse needs, and provide reparation for the benefit of the wider community.