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Russell Webster

Russell Webster

Criminal Justice & substance misuse expert and author of this blog.

Justice Data Lab Christmas edition

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However, the largest scheme which was assessed - the national analysis of all the NOMS CFO employment schemes with offenders who started their interventions in the community found that this intervention reduced reoffending by between 4 and 8 percentage points. The 19 individual regional schemes in this programme (which are run by different providers) were assessed in the previous month's Lab Report and varied considerably.

Six new reports

Regular readers will know all about the Justice Data Lab, the Ministry of Justice pilot initiative which provides organisations working with offenders the opportunity to evidence how effective their work is at reducing reoffending. To use the service, organisations simply provide details of the offenders who they have worked with and information about the services they have provided. The Lab then supplies aggregate one-year proven re-offending rates for that group, and, most importantly,  that of a matched control group of similar offenders.

The MoJ has committed to publish findings from the JDL on a monthly basis with reports issued on the second Thursday. Last Thursday’s edition (12 December 2013) included six new reports, making a total of 36 so far. You can find all these reports on the dedicated MoJ web-page.

The Findings

As we have found before, even though the Lab requires only very basic information from organisations about the offenders they have worked with, it is still only possible to match a relatively small proportion of the different cohorts in order to calculate re-offending rates.

In the six new reports, only just over a quarter (27%) offenders could be matched, as my table below shows:

ProgrammeCohort Size# Matched

%

A4e First Steps

804

168

21%

HMP Downview resettlement

109

33

30%

Foundation

1246

257

21%

Prince’s Trust

98

35

36%

National NOMS ESF (Custody)

5250

2045

39%

National NOMS ESF (Community)

14,599

3,345

23%

Total

22,106

5,883

27%

The headline findings are disappointing to report. There was insufficient evidence to assess the impact on reoffending of five of these six programmes.

However, the largest scheme which was assessed – the national analysis of all the NOMS CFO employment schemes with offenders who started their interventions in the community found that this intervention reduced reoffending by between 4 and 8 percentage points. The 19 individual regional schemes in this programme (which are run by different providers) were assessed in the previous month’s Lab Report and varied considerably. In 10 schemes, there was insufficient evidence to draw a conclusion, in five cases there was a small impact all the way up to one programme which reduced reoffending by between 7-19 percentage points.

Going Forwards

So, a bit of a disappointing month for the Justice Data Lab with only one report providing any sort of finding and that is merely an aggregate analysis of previously published reports. So far only just over one third (13 out of 36) reports have provided sufficient evidence for the Lab to reach a conclusion about impact (or lack of it) on re-offending.

I’m hoping for a more informative set of results in January.

 

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All Probation Posts are sponsored by Unilink

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