Factors Related to Community Supervision Outcomes: Revocations

Factors associated with revocation vary for men and women offenders and Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal offenders

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

Why we did this study

An understanding of factors associated with revocations on release allows for the refinement of correctional interventions and policies in order to improve release outcomes. There is very little Canadian research examining the relationship between risk factors and revocation of conditional release. In fact, no research was identified examining whether risk factors vary by Aboriginal ancestry or gender, even though rates of revocation differ greatly across these groups.

What we did

We included all 12,690 Canadian federal offenders who were granted their first day/full parole or statutory release between April 1, 2010 and March 31, 2013. First revocation of conditional release for any reason and first revocation for an offence were both examined. The relationship between demographic-, risk-, sentence, and release-related factors and the outcomes were assessed using statistical procedures to control for time at risk.

What we found

Across groups, between 24% and 56% of offenders were revoked for any reason. Of these revocations, 80% happened in the first year of release. Non-Aboriginal women offenders had the lowest rates of return whereas Aboriginal men had the highest.

The factors associated with any type of revocation were different across groups. For men, those most likely to be revoked were young, had poor institutional adjustment, were on statutory release, and had needs relating to employment and community functioning. For non-Aboriginal men, having a substance abuse problem or low reintegration potential were both related to revocation. For Aboriginal men, having a need related to attitude was a key factor. Among women, risk increased for those with a need for substance abuse treatment, for those who had incurred an institutional offence, and for those released from higher security levels or on statutory release.

Rates of revocation for an offence were much lower than rates of general revocation, ranging from 4% to 12%. Rates of violent reoffending in this time frame were too low to analyze. Non-Aboriginal men and women had lower rates of revocation with an offence than Aboriginal men or women. Only non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal men were examined in these analyses because there were too few returns for an offence among women.

Several factors were related revocation for an offence. These included: being on statutory release, being younger, and having an institutional offence. Having a first suspension for a failure to report and having a need related to community functioning were also related to this type of return. For non-Aboriginal men having a residency condition decreased the chance of revocation for an offence by almost half for and for Aboriginal men having a condition to follow treatment reduced revocation for an offence by half.

What it means

Factors having an impact on offenders' risk for revocation on conditional release differed by offender group. They also differed depending on whether the revocation was for an offence or for any reason. This suggests that promoting successful reintegration might require targeted approaches depending on the group of offenders supervised. Understanding the factors that influence offenders' release outcomes allows for the development and refinement of interventions and case management strategies that promote offenders' success in the community.

For more information

Thompson, J., Forrester, T., & Stewart, L. (2015). Factors related to community supervision outcomes: Revocations (Research Report R-304). Ottawa, ON: Correctional Service of Canada.

To obtain a PDF version of the full report, or for other inquiries, please e-mail research@csc-scc.gc.ca or contact us by phone at (613) 995-3975.

You can also visit the Research Publications section for a full list of reports and one-page summaries.