Determinants of Recidivism in Paroled Queensland Prisoners: A Comparative Analysis of Custodial and Socioeconomic Characteristics Worthington, Andrew; Higgs, Helen; Edwards, Glyn

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Worthington, Andrew ; Higgs, Helen ; Edwards, Glyn
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Australian Economic Papers
business studies; PRE2009-Econometric and Statistical Methods; asian studies
A multinomial ordered probit model is used to predict post-release performance in a sample of Queensland prisoners released between January 1992 and December 1994. Post-release performance is defined in terms of the seriousness of parole breaches and/or reoffences over the length of the parole period or until April 1996. The paper examines two issues. First, it evaluates the statistical significance of a number of custodial and socioeconomic variables on the likelihood of a parole breach or reoffence. Factors analysed include family composition, age, occupation, ethnicity, the number of events in custody, the number of prison violations and the length of sentence of the most recent custodial episode. Second, the study compares the role of these factors in determining either breaches of parole or the more serious outcome of readmittance through criminal activity. All other things being equal, the elasticity of readmission with respect to the set of explanatory variables varies markedly according to whether readmission is through a parole breach or through actual recidivist behaviour.
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