A key aim of the youth justice system is to reduce reoffending by providing effective interventions for the young people who need them. While it would be desirable if all young people receiving an intervention did not reoffend, this is not always realistic – given the wide range of needs young people often have, and the extent to which these can be fully addressed during an intervention.
The court considers a number of factors when deciding which order is appropriate for a young offender, with the orders examined here being three of the most restrictive responses to offending available to the Youth Court:
- Supervision – young person must report to their supervisor when required.
- Supervision with Activity – young person must attend weekday, evening or weekend activities, or a programme as required.
- Supervision with Residence – young person must live in a youth justice residence.
This report examines reoffending for these orders, primarily focusing on 12-month reoffending rates.
The analysis of reoffending rates presented in this report utilised Stats NZ’s Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI). Oranga Tamariki data in the IDI on supervision-type orders was used as the base for analysis. Linked NZ Police data for the base cohort was used to examine patterns of offending and reoffending. In addition, Ministry of Justice data on custodial sentences imposed by the courts was used to examine reoffending that was serious enough to result in a custodial sentence.
The IDI is a rich source of integrated data, but is not without limitations. For example, for around 7% of supervision-type orders imposed in the six years examined, there were matching issues in the IDI with the other data sources utilised. These issues necessitated 174 orders being excluded from the analysis, which has potential to introduce bias if, for example, there is a systematic reason for the non-matching. A total of 2,163 orders remained in the analysis. For SwR orders, reoffending is examined for the 12-month period following release from residence. For SwA and Supervision orders, reoffending is examined for the 12-month period following the order commencing. Different reference points were used so reoffending was examined while the young people were in the community. For SwR, this avoids reoffending rates being unduly affected by detention in a secure facility limiting opportunities to offend compared to being in the community.
Appendix A provides a more detailed description of the methods and limitations.
- The majority of young people reoffended within three months.
- Property and violent offending dropped considerably following orders, likely meaning fewer victims.
- Females were less likely to reoffend than males.
- Māori are over-represented as recipients of high-end orders, but no systematic differences were found in reoffending outcomes between ethnic groups.
Reoffending outcomes after commencing Supervision
- Just over 80% of young people reoffended within 12 months of commencing Supervision.
- 72% of young people reduced the frequency of their offending and 69% reduced the total seriousness of their offending in the 12 months after the Supervision orders. Both these figures include the 19% of young people who did not reoffend.
- 25% of young people received a custodial sentence within 12 months of commencing Supervision.
Reoffending outcomes after commencing Supervision with Activity
- Just over 80% of young people reoffended within 12 months of commencing Supervision with Activity.
- 80% of the recipients reduced the frequency of their offending and 76% reduced the total seriousness of their offending. Both figures include the 18% who did not reoffend.
- 31% received a custodial sentence within 12 months.
Reoffending outcomes following release from Supervision with Residence
- 88% of Supervision with Residence recipients reoffended within 12 months of release.
- 69% of young people reduced the frequency of their offending and 74% reduced the total seriousness of their offending. Both figures include the 12% who did not reoffend.
- 29% of recipients received a custodial sentence within 12 months of release.