The Issue Of Reoffending Rates

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Within this essay I will discuss the issue of reoffending rates in England and Wales, and identify relevant statistics associated with this ever-increasing social problem. The annual cost of reoffending to the UK is between £9.5 and £13 billion, more than the cost of holding the London Olympics each year. David Downes (2001) argues that there is an ideological function of reoffending – to make capitalism look successful. This is because it soaks up a large percentage of the unemployed, therefore making unemployment official statistics look better.
Research has identified a correlation between reoffending rates and the length of sentence. One might expect that the people who had originally been given longer sentences would be the more hardened criminals and therefore more likely to be reconvicted. But the highest reconviction rates are actually given to those who have served less than 12 months. However, these statistics are only records of the number of former prisoners who have been reconvicted. The number who actually return to crime is likely to be higher because many don’t get caught (Wilson & Ashton, 2001). The trend is that typically, the shorter amount of time an inmate serves, the more likely they are to reoffend after they have completed their sentence. Data of adult offenders released from custody between October 2012 and September 2013 in each prison has shown how many will go on to commit further offences, and how many offences they will typically commit. HM
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