NI: More than half of NI prisoners released in 2012/13 went on to re-offend

Justice Minister David Ford
Justice Minister David Ford

Almost half of prisoners released from custody in Northern Ireland in 2012/13 went on to re-offend, according to new figures published by Justice Minister David Ford.

Responding to a written question in the Northern Ireland Assembly, Mr Ford said 1,624 prisoners were released from custody during 2012/13 and a total of 760 (46.8 per cent) went on to re-offend.

The re-offending rate was highest, at 63.2 per cent, for those convicted of burglary offences.

More than half (50.7 per cent) of those convicted of drug offences went on to re-offend, while the rate was marginally lower for those convicted of violent crime (49.8 per cent) and armed robbery (42.7 per cent).

Sex offenders and those convicted of child abuse were less likely to re-offend, at 9.4 per cent and 21.6 per cent respectively.

Geraldine Hanna, CEO of Victim Support NI, told the Belfast Telegraph: “These alarming figures raise questions about the effectiveness of the sentences imposed and the level of work being done with offenders to stop them re-offending when they are released from prison.

“The majority of victims want to ensure that the crime they suffered doesn’t ever happen to anyone else. Sadly, victims are being let down.

“We at Victim Support NI would welcome any initiative to explore more effective remedies for offenders so victims can get the justice they deserve.”

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