Federal Offenders with a High Reintegration Potential (RP): Characteristics and Community Outcomes

To obtain a PDF version of the full report, contact the following address: research@csc-scc.gc.ca

Key Words

risk assessment, correctional outcome, release, reintegration plan, reintegration potential

Why we did this study

Among the challenges of managing a diverse population of offenders is identifying those who are suitable for early release.  The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) utilizes an assessment process which includes several measures of risk, including a reintegration potential (RP) score. Together these assessments form the basis of the offender’s correctional plan and pave the way for a specific correctional path. This study followed those offenders identified at admission as being lower risk (high RP) to determine if they are following a correctional trajectory that is consistent with what would be expected for this group.

What we did

This study examined the characteristics of 21,746 offenders admitted to the CSC between 2002 and 2006 and recorded the success of their releases into the community until January 2010. A profile of offenders with a high RP (n = 8,824) was created and compared against those who were designated as offenders with medium or low RPs. Analyses were conducted separately for four groups of offenders: non-Aboriginal males, Aboriginal males, non-Aboriginal women, and Aboriginal women.

What we found

Offenders with a high RP were generally less likely to be admitted with a violent offence, and more likely to be admitted for a drug-related offence than those with medium or low RPs.

High RP non-Aboriginal women offenders were more likely than their medium RP counterparts to start and complete programs, and high RP non-Aboriginal male offenders were less likely than their low RP counterparts to complete programs. Where there were significant differences in institutional employment, the high RP groups were employed for significantly fewer days than the other RP levels, even when time served in the institution was taken into account.

No differences were found in involvement in institutional incidents between high vs. medium RP Aboriginal groups and high vs. low RP Aboriginal women.  However, in all other instances, the high RP groups were significantly less likely than the medium and low RP groups to be involved in institutional incidents as the instigator/associate.

All high RP offenders served a significantly smaller percentage of their sentence prior to their first release than those in the other RP groups. High RP offenders were more likely than those in the other groups to participate in escorted and unescorted temporary absences and to be granted day or full parole as their first release from custody, with limited exceptions for women offenders.  High RP offenders were also less likely than the other groups to be released on statutory release.

Survival analyses conducted to determine the risk of failure upon release found that for all four groups, offenders with a high RP were significantly less likely to be revoked or commit a new offence after release.

What it means

Offenders with a high RP are generally following a correctional trajectory appropriate for their RP level. However not all are released early, nor do they all succeed after release. This demonstrates the variability of risk within the high RP group, and suggests the need for adjustments in the RP assessment.

For more information

Stys, Y., Dunbar, L., Axford, M., Grant, B.A. (2012).  Federal Offenders with a High Reintegration Potential (RP): Characteristics and Community Outcomes. Research Report R260. Ottawa, Canada:  Correctional Service of Canada.

A PDF version of the full report can be obtained from: research@csc-scc.gc.ca

Prepared by: Yvonne Stys


Research Branch

(613) 995-3975