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Minister Collins getting bad advice on recidivism rates

Minister Collins getting bad advice on recidivism rates – Rethinking Crime and Punishment

“Minister Collins is getting bad advice on recidivism rates” says Kim Workman, Rethinking Crime and Punishment. He was responding to a Newstalk ZB item today , in which the Minister is reported as being unimpressed with him saying that recidivism rates for inmates released in 2007 – 8 were over 60%.

“If her staff had listened listen to the National Radio interview, they would know that I didn’t say that. I was quoting figures from a Treasury presentation, which were taken from the Corrections annual reports of 2004/5 and 2009/10.

What they show is that between the recidivism rate for prisoners two years after release, rose from 55.4% in 2005 to 61.9% in 2010. For Maori prisoners in the same five year period the recidivism rate rose from 61.1% to 68.2%. I did not mention the year 2007/8.

“On the basis of that information, it is difficult to argue that the reduction in prison numbers is due to a drop in the recidivism rate. The Corrections Annual report for 2010/11 will be out shortly, and that may help the us to understand what is happening.”

“It seems to me that the Minster’s adviser have a responsibility not to play games with statistics. The public deserve better than that.”

Kim Workman
Director, Rethinking Crime and Punishment

ENDS


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