A Comprehensive Study of Recidivism Rates among Canadian Federal Offenders

Publication

Lynn A Stewart
Geoff Wilton
Sebastian Baglole
&
Ryan Miller
Correctional Service of Canada
August 2019

Acknowledgements

A large-scale project like this cannot be completed without benefiting from the assistance of many individuals. We wish to acknowledge the timely and conscientious work of Chelsea Sheahan, Kaitlyn Wardrop, Angie-Lee Costeira, and Kate Pardoel in coding and additional data analysis. Chelsea de Moor assisted by developing an annotated bibliography. Tanya Rugge, Guy Bourgon, and Larry Motiuk provided valued advice on the initial methodology. Our thanks to Larry Motiuk, Bruno Jean, Mark Olver, Leslie Anne Keown, Shanna Farrell MacDonald, Kelly Babchishin, and staff at Correctional Operations and Programs and Aboriginal Initiatives who provided feedback on the draft.

Executive Summary

Key words: recidivism rates, federal offenders, women offender recidivism, Indigenous offenders recidivism by age bands, recidivism by reoffence type

This study provides a comprehensive estimate of recidivism rates of federally sentenced offenders based on reconvictions that resulted in returns to federal custody or in provincial or territorial sanctions. Using official records from the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database combined with data from the Offender Management System (OMS), we examined the rates of reoffending of any kind and violent reoffending over various follow-up periods for the following groups: all men, all women, Indigenous men and women offenders, Black offenders, and South East Asian offenders. A five year annual release cohort from the 2007/2008 through 2011/2012 was identified (N = 22,685). Coding of the CPIC records was based on offenders’ release on their first term for two cohorts: one released in 2007/2008, and the second released in 2011/2012 (total N = 8441). Additional analyses examined the rates of recidivism by region, index offence, reoffence type, age, and citizenship.

The most commonly reported outcome reported internationally is based on reconviction rates within two years of release. Using this measure, the overall two year recidivism rate for the 2011-2012 cohort was 23%; the rate was 24% for men and 12% for women. Recidivism of Indigenous offenders was higher, 38% for Indigenous men and 20% for Indigenous women. The violent reoffending rate two year post-release in the total 2011-2012 cohort was 12%. These rates were lower than for offenders released in 2007-2008 and both cohorts had lower rates than those quoted in the previous report on recidivism of federal offenders released in 1996-1997 (Bonta et al., 2003) which found a two year reconviction rate of 41% for all offenders, and 16% for women. In the current study, results based on OMS data indicated that reconviction rates declined each year from 2007-2008 to 2011-2012. These outcomes provide an encouraging indication that reoffending of federal offenders has decreased steadily over time. Analysis of the crime severity on the admitting offence compared to the reoffence while offenders were under federal warrant demonstrated that 61% of recidivists reoffended with an offence of lesser severity.

Longer follow-up periods produced higher recidivism rates. Nearly 38% of all federal offenders released in 2011-2012 reoffended within 5 years and about 60% of Indigenous men reoffended in this time period. The most frequent reoffence category for men and women was ‘other non-violent’ and property offences. Offenders with a property or robbery index offence had the highest rates of reoffending and those with an index offence of robbery had the highest rates of violent reoffending. Younger adult offenders (under 25) had the highest rates of recidivism and violent recidivism, rates of violent recidivism were over six times than that of offenders over age 55.

There was regional variation in recidivism rates. While offenders were under warrant, the Prairies and Pacific regions had the highest rates of returns to federal custody with an offence, and the Ontario and Quebec regions, the lowest. Pacific had the highest rates of new warrants of committal across all follow-up periods.

A standardized measure of recidivism provides a benchmark by which to evaluate an agency’s effectiveness in facilitating crime reduction over time. Common agreement on key measures of recidivism would facilitate the examination of factors that contribute to differences in recidivism some of which could be related to policies and interventions that could be adopted more broadly.

Introduction

Recidivism is commonly defined as an individual’s return to criminal behaviour after receiving a sanction or intervention for previous criminal behaviour (Saris et al., 2016). Recidivism rates serve as the key indicator of the impact of correctional interventions and sanctions, providing direction on the efficacy of correctional practices. Despite its importance to the criminal justice system, there is no consensus on how recidivism should be reported. Definitions, measurements and reporting practices vary across constituencies. A large scale systematic review of recidivism rates worldwide determined that the approach to reporting on recidivism is so variable that the data cannot be considered valid for international comparisons (Fazel & Wolf, 2015). In the last study examining recidivism rates of federal offenders in Canada, Bonta, Rugge, and Dauvergne (2003) provided a framework for the reporting of recidivism specifying that the following four factors should be considered: 1) the definition of return to crime and the data sources used to obtain this information, 2) the nature or type of recidivism, 3) the follow-up period, and 4) variation in the study sample. These recommendations are similar to those previously specified by a White Paper commissioned by the Council of Juvenile Justice Administrators in the US (Harris, Lockwood, & Mengers, 2009) and by Ministry of Justice in Netherlands (Wartna & Nijssen, 2000).

Common definitions of recidivism include new arrests, new convictions, and reincarceration, each providing important information and varying estimates of rates of offenders’ return to crime. For example, arrest data may provide the most accurate details regarding the date and time of the offence, but can overestimate recidivism rates by including individuals who were arrested, but not convicted, of an offence (Bonta et al., 2003; Payne, 2007). New convictions can result in incarceration, but may underestimate recidivism by excluding criminal behaviours where there was insufficient evidence to convict, or when the adjudication results in a plea bargain. Reincarceration may over-represent offenders who commit more serious crimes and have more extensive criminal histories (Bonta et al., 2003; Dunrose, Cooper, & Snyder, 2014; Payne, 2007).

Given that recidivism is usually operationalized by using official counts of criminal behaviour such as new arrests or new convictions, administrative data serve as the main source for this information. Some researchers argue that the use of administrative data may in itself underestimate rates of recidivism by excluding crimes that go undetected by law enforcement (Bonta et al., 2003). In Canada, metrics that examine only returns to federal custody before or after warrant expiry dates do not consider the possibility that a reoffence after warrant expiry could have earned a provincially, or territorially, administered sanction and therefore the calculations will result in an under-estimation of actual recidivism rates.

In the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC), research examining recidivism has typically used returns to federal custody as the key outcome measure. As pointed out by Bonta and colleagues (2003), this allows the Service to examine its impact on criminal behaviour during the period that the offender is under CSC’s direct responsibility. However, it can be argued that, if effective, the impact of programs and sanctions during the time offenders are under warrant should persist after the penalty expires. What is more, the Canadian public is less likely to make the distinction on whether the reoffence earns a provincial or federal sentence. Recently, the Auditor General called for CSC and the Public Safety Ministry to provide standardized statistics on the rates of recidivism that include not only returns to federal custody but also reoffending that results in provincial and territorial sanctions (Office of the Auditor General, 2018). This report is one step in meeting that obligation but in the longer term a more efficient way to integrate provincial and territorial sanctions into the production of ongoing recidivism rate estimates is required.

Various follow-up time frames will produce different results; the longer the follow-up period or time at risk, the higher the recidivism rate. Depending on how the administrative data are collected and from which source, a fixed follow-up period can distort measures of reoffending by restricting the sample to offenders who can be followed for the time period. For example, in Canada, federal offenders who are released late in their sentences (generally the higher risk offenders) may have shorter periods of supervision until their warrant expiry dates, and therefore may not be included in an approach that sets a one year fixed follow-up standard. In addition, a return to crime after the federal warrant expires that earns a provincial/territorial sentence would not be recorded using only estimates based on a return to federal custody, suppressing recidivism estimates. Finally, high rates of return to custody without an offence following release in CSC restricts the time revoked offenders can be considered ‘at risk’. Unless the period of reincarceration following a revocation is not considered in calculating the follow-up time, the resulting estimates on a one year fixed follow-up will also distort the overall measure of recidivism.

Measures of recidivism internationally and in Canada

Various measures of recidivism and various follow-up periods have been used across agencies within Canada and internationally. In their systematic review of international recidivism rates, Fazel and Wolf (2015) observed that the definition of recidivism, the inclusion of some reoffences in the calculation (particularly whether they included fines or traffic violations), and the follow-up time varied to such an extent across studies that international comparisons were not possible. Similar observations were made in the international review conducted by Wartna & Nijssen (2006) in which they proposed a framework for a common measure of recidivism.

Table 1 provides a sample of various definitions and follow-up periods extracted from some seminal studies. Most agencies will make use of multiple definitions depending on the purpose of the study; however, the definition most commonly cited is a reconviction and the follow-up time period most frequently applied is within 2 years of release (Yukhnenko, Sridhar, & Fazel, 2019). This was the time period and definition employed in the previous study on recidivism of federal offenders completed by Public Safety in 2003 (Bonta et al., 2003).

Table 1
Definitions of Recidivism and Follow-Up Periods
Country Study Recidivism Definition Follow-up (yrs)
Australia Payne (2008) Engagement in repeated criminal activity -
Australia Australian Government Productivity Commission (2018) The re-arrest or return to corrective services (prison or community corrections) by individuals who have had contact with the criminal justice system 2
Canada Bonta, Rugge, & Dauvergne (2003) Any new conviction for an offence committed within an established follow-up period (using CPIC) 2
Canada (Ontario) Ontario Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services A return to provincial correctional supervision on a new conviction within two years of completing: (a) probation, parole or conditional sentence, or (b) a provincial jail sentence of 6 months or more 2
Denmark Statistics Denmark A new crime committed after release from serving in jail or receiving a guilty decision 2
Netherlands Wartna, Blom, & Tollenaar (2011) A reconviction(s) as a result of any crime post offending Multiple
New Zealand Nadesu (2009) Reconviction(s) leading to any sentence administered by the Department of Corrections (community-based or prison) Reconvictions leading solely to a term of imprisonment 4
Norway Statistics Norway (2014) The commitment of an offence by a person known to previously have committed at least one other offence 4
United Kingdom Ministry of Justice (2017) Any offence committed in a one year follow-up period that resulted in a court conviction or caution 1 (plus 6 months to determine case outcome)
United States Durose, Copper, & Snyder (2014) An arrest resulting in a conviction with a disposition of a prison sentence A return to prison without a new conviction due to a technical violation 5 (plus 6 months to determine case outcome)
United States Markman, Durose, & Rantala (2016) An arrest within 5 years of being placed on federal supervision An arrest within 5 years of being released from federal or state prison that resulted in a return to prison 5
United States Saris, Breyer, Friedrich, Barkow, Pryor, Morales, & Wilson Smoot (2016) Criminal acts resulting in rearrest, revocation, and/or reincarceration 8

The current study provides a comprehensive estimate of recidivism rates of federally sentenced offenders based on reconvictions that resulted in a return to federal custody or reconvictions that resulted in provincial or territorial sanctions. The study answers the following questions:

  1. Using official records of reoffending based on Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) data combined with Offender Management System (OMS) reoffending data, what are the rates of reoffending of any kind and reoffending with a violent offence based on various follow-up periods for the following groups: all men, all women, all Indigenous offenders (First Nations, Métis, Inuit), all Indigenous men, all Indigenous women, Black offenders, South East Asian offenders?
  2. Using OMS data and information from the Crime Severity Index what is the relative severity of the reoffence for recidivists compared to their index offence?
  3. Using OMS data, what are the recidivism rates for the groups defined in (1) based on:
    • returns to federal custody for any reason;
    • return to federal custody with an offence (pre and post warrant expiry);
    • return to federal custody with a violent offence (including sexual) (pre and post warrant expiry);
    • return with a Schedule 1 sexual offence (pre and post warrant expiry);
    • reoffence type: e.g., return for non-violent offending including drug related crimes and property crimes or a violent offence (pre and post warrant expiry);
  4. Using OMS data and combined OMS and CPIC data what are the recidivism rates and violent recidivism rates by region?
  5. Using OMS data separately and combined OMS and CPIC data what are the recidivism rates and violent recidivism rate by index offence?
  6. Using OMS data separately and combined OMS and CPIC data, what are the recidivism rates and violent recidivism rates based on age groups?
  7. Using OMS data separately and combined OMS and CPIC data what are the recidivism rates and violent recidivism rate by self-reported ethnic group?
  8. Using OMS and CPIC data separately what are the reoffending and violent reoffending rates by Canadian or non-Canadian citizenship?
  9. What are the comparison recidivism rates for released Canadian offenders and non-Canadian offenders?

Method

Participants

An annual release cohortFootnote 1 from the 2007/2008 through 2011/2012 fiscal years was identified for a total sample of 22,685 federally sentenced offenders. Table 2 shows the frequencies of self-identified ethnic groups for men and women. The designation of ethnic group is problematic and reflects a great deal of heterogeneity. We provided the analysis, however, to assist in determining whether some groups with higher recidivism rates may contain require more service in order to improve the gap in outcomes on their release.

CPIC coding was completed for all offenders in a subsample of this group that included all offenders in the 2007/2008 and 2011/2012 release cohorts (N = 8,441). Offenders were typically in their mid-30s at the time of release (median = 35); however, Indigenous men and women had a lower median age than non-Indigenous men and women (32 years versus 36 years).

Table 2
Released Offenders for the 2007/2008 to 2011/2012 Cohorts by Gender and Ethnic Group
Ethnic Group All Men Women
n % n % n %
Non-Indigenous 18,198 80.2 17,126 80.7 1,072 72.9
White 14,511 64.0 13,661 64.4 850 57.8
Black 1,777 7.8 1,668 7.9 109 7.4
S. E. Asian 422 1.9 405 1.9 17 1.2
Other 1,488 6.6 1392 6.6 96 6.5
Indigenous 4,487 19.8 4,088 19.2 399 27.2
First Nation 3,119 13.8 2,827 13.3 292 19.9
Metis 1,181 5.2 1,083 5.1 98 6.7
Inuit 187 0.8 178 0.8 9 0.6
Total 22,685 100 21,214 93.5 1,471 6.5

Procedure/Analytic Approach

Data available in the Offender Management System (OMS), the official electronic record within CSC, was collected for all offenders in the release cohort simultaneously. Revocations and offences between the first release on a sentence and the earliest of reoffence date, readmission date, warrant expiry date, data collection date, date of death, deportation, or extradition were used to calculate revocation and revocation with an offence outcomes.Footnote 2 If an offender had multiple sentences during the five fiscal year timeframe, the first was selected. The date of data collection for revocations and for new warrant of committals was February 25, 2018. Any new federal sentences beginning after offenders’ warrant expiry dates to the data collection date were identified for new warrant of committal outcomes.Footnote 3 Violent offences were defined as schedule 1 or homicide offences. Violent sexual offences were defined as sexual offences that were also schedule 1 offences.

Time at risk of any offence across revocation, new warrant of committal, and CPIC records of convictions began with a first releases from a sentence during the 2007/2008 and 2011/2012 fiscal years. The offenders were followed through their warrant expiry dates until CPIC records were collected December 22nd, 2017, or in some cases, the offender’s death or deportation. If an offender had a revocation without an offence during supervision, the time from readmission to warrant expiry date was subtracted from the follow-up time. Only offences dated between the first release and readmission contributed to revocation offences.Footnote 4 Records from the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) were collected beginning December 22, 2017. CPIC is the central police database where Canada's law enforcement agencies access and input information. As Canada's only national law enforcement networking computer system, it ensures officers across the country access the same information. It is maintained by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Calculations of time at risk were used to restrict the eligible offenders for fixed follow-up analyses. For example offenders with less than 2-years of time at risk from release to data collection were excluded from 2-year fixed follow-up analyses. This procedure disproportionately affected later release cohorts and longer fixed follow-up analyses.

CPIC coding was completed for all offenders in the 2007/2008 and 2011/2012 fiscal year release cohorts. Any convictions from an offender’s warrant expiry date to the date of the offender’s death, deportation, or extradition, or the data collection date of December 22, 2017 were coded. Two coders examined all English files and a third coder completed all French files (6% of CPIC records collected were only available in French). The first reconviction date was recorded. Reconviction types were categorized into homicide, sexual, robbery, assault, other violent, drug, property, other non-violent, and Long Term Supervision Order (LTSO) breaches. The number of convictions of each offence type between warrant expiry date and CPIC records collection were recorded with the date of the first conviction of each offence type. A total of 8,441 offender criminal records were coded. Inter-rater reliability was examined on 396 randomly selected English CPIC records and was deemed to be acceptable. A kappa value of 0.98 was calculated for the variable recording whether an offender had any post-warrant expiry offence on their CPIC record. We conducted an analysis to determine the agreement between OMS and CPIC on the index offences for offenders’ initial sentences. We found that index offences recorded on OMS were also available on CPIC for 99% of cases. This supports the reliability of both the CPIC records and the coding procedure. Rates of return to custody with an offence while under federal warrant were combined with the CPIC records post warrant expiry to produce a composite rate of overall reoffending.Footnote 5 This calculation was made including all offences within the "other non violent" category.

Crime severity was measured using the Crime Severity Index (CSI; Babyak, Campbell, Evra, & Franklin, 2013). The data were derived from the offence serious code in the offence table in OMS. The Crime Severity Index was designed by Statistics Canada through a collaboration with the police, and territorial justice partners and academics across the country. The CSI was developed to create a measure that would provide a meaningful indicator of change in police-reported crime from year to year, and enhance the comparability of crime statistics at the provincial, territorial and municipal level by taking into account the relative seriousness of each offence. Each type of offence is assigned a seriousness weight. The weights are derived from sentences handed down by courts in all provinces and territories with more serious crimes being assigned higher weights.

The specific weight for any given type of offence consists of two parts. The first component is the incarceration rate for that offence type. This is the proportion of people convicted of the offence who are sentenced to time in prison. The second component is the average (mean) length of the prison sentence, in days, for the specific type of offence. Some common index offences with CSI weights less than 100 are: impaired operation of motor vehicle, assault, assault with a weapon or causing bodily harm, cannabis production or trafficking. First- and second-degree murder have the highest CSI weights followed by manslaughter, importing or exporting heroin, and attempted murder. First degree murder for example is weighted 1700. Impaired operation causing death, robbery, sexual assault with a weapon or causing bodily harm have CSI weights in the 500s. Heroin trafficking, level 1 sexual assault, and breaking and entering have CSI weights near the median of 237. The seriousness of the reoffence was compared to that of the index offence for offenders who were returned on a new offence while under federal community supervision.

Measures/Material

A spreadsheet was provided to each CPIC coder pre-populated with offenders’ Finger Print Service (FPS) identifying number, name, sentence commencement date of the initial federal sentence, warrant expiry date, and date of death, deportation or extradition. Coders completed columns indicating whether the index offence from the initial sentence was on the CPIC record, whether there was an offence following Warrant Expiry Date (WED), the most serious type of sentence across reoffences on the CPIC record, the number of charges of each offence type, the conviction date of the first offence for each type, and the date of death, deportation or extradition if indicated on the CPIC record. Sentence types in order of severity included custodial, conditional, suspended sentence, probation, a fine, a prohibition order, or other. Offence types included homicide, sexual offences, robbery, assault, other violent, drug, property, other non-violent, and breach of LTSO conditions. The coding guide can be found in Appendix A.

Ethnic group based designations are derived from the categories selected by offenders at intake. Offenders can select from several categories. The White, Metis, First Nations, Black and South East Asian groups were the most represented and their numbers therefore permitted analyses of their outcomes. This standard is compatible with the recommendations for censuses contained in the United Nations' "Principles and Recommendations for Population and Housing Censuses", Revision 2, 2008 and is the convention used by Statistics Canada in their latest census.

Results

Reoffending and violent reoffending rates (combined OMS returns with an offence and CPIC reconviction records)

Tables 3 and 4 present the rates of reoffending and violent reoffending for the offender groups for two cohort periods overall and also controlling for time at risk by reporting outcomes for fixed follow-up periods. The fixed follow-up periods began at the date of the offenders’ release from federal custody.

Of particular interest are the rates of reconviction for the two year fixed follow-up, the rate most commonly referenced in the literature (Yukhnenko et al., 2019) and the estimate provided in the previous study on federal reoffender recidivism (Bonta et al., 2003).Footnote 6 Figure 1 demonstrates the two year follow-up recidivism rates for all reoffences and for violent reoffences for all offender groups over two release cohorts 2007-2008 and 2011-2012. The two year reoffending rate for all offenders in the 2011-2012 cohort was 23%; the rate for men was 24% and for women 12%. Rates of recidivism for Indigenous offenders were higher – 38% for Indigenous men and 20% for Indigenous women. There is a steady reduction in recidivism rates for both men and women over the two release cohorts. Rates increase with longer follow-up periods. For the 2011-2012 cohort, almost 38% of all federal offenders reoffended within five years of release and almost 60% of Indigenous men reoffended within this time period.

The two-year post release violent reconviction rate for all federal offenders in the latest cohort year was 12%. The rates for Indigenous men and women were higher than for non-Indigenous offenders at 22% and 11% respectively. The rate of violent reoffending increased with each year of follow-up with the five year rate of violent reoffending being just under 20%. We do, however, see a decrease in rates of violent recidivism for offenders released in the 2011-2012 compared to the 2007-2008 year.

Table 3
Rates of Reoffending of Any Kind (Combined CPIC and Returns to Federal Custody with an Offence)
Any new offences
Any Reoffence
(N = 8893)
1 year
(N = 8844)
2 years
(N = 8767)
3 years
(N = 8705)
5 years
(N = 8267)
MDR n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF
All Federal Offenders 1955 4425 49.8 609 1516 17.1 140 2447 27.9 279 3083 35.4 388 3570 43.2 544
2007-2008 1804 2561 55.4 582 921 20.1 135 1406 32.1 271 1814 40.1 369 2126 47.7 481
2011-2012 2004 1864 43.6 653 595 14.0 148 987 23.4 296 1269 30.3 427 1444 37.9 645
Men 1896 4223 50.8 597 1464 17.7 140 2356 28.8 278 2954 36.3 386 3412 44.2 537
2007-2008 1682 2435 56.5 571 886 20.7 135 1401 33.0 270 1728 41.0 365 2022 48.7 470
2011-2012 1963 1788 44.7 643 578 14.5 148 955 24.2 296 1226 31.3 427 1390 39.0 636
Non-Indigenous Men 2115 3041 45.9 632 988 15.0 149 1644 25.2 294 2077 32.0 402 2442 39.5 566
2007-2008 2351 1810 52.0 601 621 18.0 145 1006 29.4 283 1246 36.7 381 1482 44.3 501
2011-2012 2103 1231 39.1 613 367 11.7 157 638 20.5 317 831 26.9 443 960 33.8 668
Indigenous Men 921 1182 69.8 521 476 28.2 106 712 42.8 235 877 53.1 343 970 63.3 473
2007-2008 770 625 74.9 464 265 31.9 100 395 47.9 227 482 58.7 317 540 66.8 387
2011-2012 1099 557 64.8 571 211 24.7 119 317 37.7 249 395 47.6 369 430 59.4 592
Women 2237 202 35.0 828 52 9.0 158 91 15.9 304 129 22.6 520 158 28.7 689
2007-2008 3441 126 41.0 789 35 11.4 172 59 19.3 289 86 28.1 545 104 34.2 658
2011-2012 2172 76 28.2 912 17 6.3 156 32 12.0 353 43 16.2 427 54 22.0 639
Non-Indigenous Women 2299 114 27.5 921 24 5.8 106 48 11.6 350 66 16.0 545 87 21.8 713
2007-2008 3586 73 33.3 925 17 7.8 96 30 13.8 273 43 19.7 561 57 26.4 703
2011-2012 2209 41 20.9 878 7 3.6 156 18 9.2 397 23 11.9 520 30 16.4 718
Indigenous Women 1625 88 54.3 732 28 17.3 198 43 27.0 278 63 39.6 451 71 47.0 667
2007-2008 1121 53 60.2 706 18 20.5 223 29 33.0 304 43 48.9 518 47 53.4 572
2011-2012 1854 35 47.3 946 10 13.5 128 14 19.7 205 20 28.2 417 24 38.1 754

MDR = median days from release to the earliest of revocation with an offence readmission, new warrant of committal sentence commencement, earliest CPIC offence conviction, death, deportation, or data collection on December 22nd, 2017. For offenders with a revocation without an offence, time from readmission to WED was subtracted from the follow-up time. MDF = median days from release to first reoffence (revocation with an offence readmission, new warrant of committal sentence commencement, or CPIC conviction). Time from a revocation without an offence to WED was subtracted from the follow-up time.

Table 4
Rates of Violent Reoffending (Combined CPIC and Returns to Federal Custody with an Offence)
Any Violent Reoffence
(N = 8893)
1 year
(N = 8844)
2 years
(N = 8767)
3 years
(N = 8705)
5 years
(N = 8267)
MDR n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF
All Federal Offenders 2068 2418 27.2 630 697 7.9 206 1340 15.3 358 1749 20.1 463 2033 24.6 589
2007-2008 2261 1495 32.4 620 435 9.5 205 830 18.3 355 1076 23.8 454 1288 28.9 566
2011-2012 2023 923 21.6 642 262 6.2 208 510 12.1 368 673 16.1 476 745 19.6 644
Men 2007 2342 28.2 621 680 8.2 206 1307 16.0 358 1694 20.8 460 1971 25.5 584
2007-2008 2107 1445 33.5 609 423 9.9 202 809 19.1 355 1042 24.7 452 1248 30.0 563
2011-2012 1988 897 22.4 631 257 6.5 207 498 12.6 367 652 16.6 478 723 20.3 636
Non-Indigenous Men 2136 1570 23.7 654 425 6.5 206 852 13.1 370 1095 16.9 471 1312 21.2 602
2007-2008 2737 1001 28.8 653 274 7.9 202 543 15.9 366 695 20.5 465 853 25.5 581
2011-2012 2103 569 18.1 654 151 4.8 210 309 9.9 378 400 13.0 476 459 16.2 656
Indigenous Men 1070 772 45.6 571 255 15.1 205 455 27.3 333 599 36.3 443 659 43.0 529
2007-2008 926 444 53.2 654 149 17.9 207 266 32.3 332 347 42.3 429 395 48.9 489
2011-2012 1233 328 38.2 583 106 12.4 203 189 22.3 336 252 30.4 467 264 36.5 603
Women 2272 76 13.2 828 17 3.0 232 33 5.8 342 55 9.6 687 62 11.3 723
2007-2008 3472 50 16.3 904 12 3.9 236 21 6.9 320 34 11.1 676 40 13.2 732
2011-2012 2172 26 9.6 789 5 1.9 213 12 4.5 394 21 7.9 687 22 8.9 677
Non-Indigenous Women 2307 32 7.7 943 6 1.5 135 13 3.2 380 20 4.9 667 24 6.0 737
2007-2008 3587 22 10.1 1025 5 2.3 90 9 4.1 320 13 6.0 561 15 6.9 718
2011-2012 2209 10 5.1 792 7 3.6 713 9 4.9 756
Indigenous Women 1868 44 27.2 806 11 6.8 240 20 12.6 334 35 22.0 706 38 25.2 721
2007-2008 2016 28 31.8 829 7 8.0 278 12 13.6 323 21 23.9 714 25 28.4 736
2011-2012 1854 16 21.6 745 8 11.3 366 14 19.7 667 13 20.6 667

† = results with a frequency of less than five are suppressed. MDR = median days from release to the earliest of revocation with a violent offence readmission, new warrant of committal sentence commencement, earliest CPIC offence conviction, death, deportation, or data collection on December 22nd, 2017. For offenders with a revocation without an offence or with a non-violent offence, time from readmission to WED was subtracted from the follow-up time. MDF = median days from release to first violent reoffence (revocation with a violent offence readmission, new warrant of committal sentence commencement, or CPIC conviction). Time from a revocation without an offence or with a non-violent offence to WED was subtracted from the follow-up time.

Figure 1. Rates of any new reoffence 2 years post release (rate of violent reoffending 2 years post release in brackets)Footnote 7

Rates of any new reoffence 2 years post release

NIM: non-Indigenous men | IM: Indigenous men
NIW: non- Indigenous women | IW: Indigenous women

Figure 1. Rates of any new reoffence 2 years post release (rate of violent reoffending 2 years post release in brackets)
Reoffence Type Study Group
All offenders
2007-2008
All offenders
2011-2012
Non-Indigenous Men 2007-2008 Non-Indigenous Men 2011-2012 Indigenous Men 2007-2008 Indigenous Men 2011-2012 Non-Indigenous Women 2007-2008 Non-Indigenous Women 2011-2012 Indigenous Women 2007-2008 Indigenous Women 2011-2012
Any New Offence 32.1% 23.4% 29.4% 20.5% 47.9% 37.7% 13.8% 9.2% 33.0% 19.7%
Any New Violent Offence 18.3% 12.1% 15.9% 9.9% 32.3% 22.3% 4.1% 2.1% 13.6% 11.3%

Rates of return to federal custody

Rates of returns to federal custody, particularly the rates of return for a new offence, during the time that an agency is responsible for the offenders’ supervision, is a key marker of an agency’s success in promoting public safety. Ideally, revocation of a conditional release in the absence of a new offence can be viewed as a suppression strategy that deters potential reoffending. Offenders can be revoked without having committed an offence based on the parole officers’ observation that risk is escalating or due to violation of the conditions of release.

Rates of return to federal custody pre warrant expiry (revocation rates)

Table 5 provides the revocation rates including revocations for a reoffence and revocation with a violent reoffence by gender and Indigenous ancestry for each year of release. Figure 2 based on these results illustrates the gradual improvement in revocation rates over each year. With some exceptions, the pattern of improvement in results is evident across offender groups. Rates for women are more erratic because of their low rate of reoffending and smaller numbers. Rates of violent reoffending while offenders are under warrant were low, under 3% for men and under 1% for women, and rates of sexual offending while under warrant were well under 1% for all groups. In order to confirm that the decline in rates over time was not related to varying time at risk, we completed an analysis with a 6 month fixed follow up. Table B1 in Appendix B provides these results in which only revocations and revocations with an offence that occurred within 6 months of release are considered, and only offenders with at least 6 months from release to WED, deportation or death are included. The results confirmed a similar pattern to that in Table 5. In particular, the rates of revocation for any reason are sharply improved for the later cohort groups for women (from 21% among the 2007-2008 cohort to 11% for the later 2011-2012 cohort) as were rates of revocation with an offence for women (from 7% to 3%).

Table 5
Revocation Rates by Fiscal Year of Release (N = 21,915)
Any Return to
Federal Custody
Any Revocation with an Offence Revoked with a Schedule 1 or Homicide Revoked with a Schedule 1 Sexual Offence
MDR n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF
All Federal Offenders 311 10136 46.3 176 2763 12.6 100 507 2.3 99 32 0.2 170
2007-2008 290 2267 50.8 161 678 15.2 85 131 2.9 88 9 0.2 228
2008-2009 305 2202 47.9 174 601 13.1 105 113 2.5 111
2009-2010 317 2049 45.6 178 567 12.6 107 102 2.3 114 5 0.1 167
2010-2011 347 1839 43.6 189 491 11.6 112 70 1.7 99 6 0.1 242
2011-2012 325 1779 43.0 181 426 10.3 103 91 2.2 118 8 0.2 180
Men 306 9567 46.8 175 2620 12.8 99 495 2.4 100 32 0.2 170
2007-2008 285 2141 51.4 160 648 15.6 83 127 3.1 88 9 0.2 228
2008-2009 301 2073 48.3 173 570 13.3 106 110 2.6 113
2009-2010 308 1922 46.0 176 538 12.9 103 101 2.4 112 5 0.1 167
2010-2011 342 1731 43.8 189 454 11.5 113 67 1.7 98 6 0.2 242
2011-2012 315 1700 43.9 179 410 10.6 101 90 2.3 119 8 0.2 180
Non-Indigenous Men 340 7128 42.8 183 1892 11.4 112 359 2.2 104 21 0.1 187
2007-2008 310 1596 47.4 169 472 14.0 104 93 2.8 89 7 0.2 285
2008-2009 320 1599 45.0 179 441 12.4 107 87 2.5 99
2009-2010 346 1430 42.1 186 391 11.5 108 74 2.2 114
2010-2011 366 1298 39.9 201 315 9.7 138 44 1.4 100 5 0.2 146
2011-2012 347 1205 39.2 187 273 8.9 126 61 2.0 129
Indigenous Men 244 2439 64.0 151 728 19.1 73 136 3.6 91 11 0.3 139
2007-2008 213 545 68.5 139 176 22.1 58 34 4.3 87
2008-2009 235 474 64.2 154 129 17.5 97 23 3.1 147
2009-2010 244 492 62.8 156 147 18.8 80 27 3.5 110
2010-2011 244 433 61.8 156 139 19.8 72 23 3.3 80
2011-2012 244 495 62.5 153 137 17.3 62 29 3.7 62
Women 428 569 39.2 197 143 9.8 131 12 0.8 76
2007-2008 389 126 41.5 181 30 9.9 109
2008-2009 406 129 41.8 197 31 10.0 77
2009-2010 463 127 40.6 203 29 9.3 196
2010-2011 411 108 41.2 191 37 14.1 108
2011-2012 444 79 29.8 200 16 6.0 175
Non-Indigenous Women 500 350 32.9 204 84 7.9 152 5 0.5 90
2007-2008 545 75 34.6 185 16 7.4 93
2008-2009 466 88 37.9 205 22 9.5 121
2009-2010 514 86 36.3 202 21 8.9 189
2010-2011 510 59 32.1 258 18 9.8 86
2011-2012 487 42 21.8 216 7 3.6 211
Indigenous Women 274 219 56.2 191 59 15.1 106 7 1.8 64
2007-2008 247 51 58.6 172 14 16.1 185
2008-2009 290 41 53.3 190 9 11.7 39
2009-2010 310 41 54.0 212 8 10.5 216
2010-2011 256 49 62.8 160 19 24.4 108
2011-2012 292 37 51.4 199 9 12.5 95

† = results with a frequency of less than five are suppressed. MDR = median days from release to revocation readmission, warrant expiry, death, deportation, or February 25th, 2018. MDF = median days from release to revocation readmission.

Figure 2. Revocation rates by fiscal year of release for all federal offenders

Revocation rates by fiscal year of release for all federal offenders
Figure 2. Revocation rates by fiscal year of release for all federal offenders
Revocation Type Fiscal year of release
2007-2008 2008-2009 2009-2010 2010-2011 2011-2012
Any Return to Custody 50.8% 47.9% 45.6% 43.6% 43.0%
Any Revocation with an Offence 15.2% 13.1% 12.6% 11.6% 10.3%
Revoked with a Schedule 1 or Homicide Offence 2.9% 2.5% 2.3% 1.7% 2.2%

Rates of return to federal custody post-warrant expiry (new warrants of committal)

Offenders who returned to federal custody post-warrant expiry have reoffended after their warrants were completed and committed an offence that earned a sentence of two years or more. Table 6 shows the same decline in rates of reoffending and returning to federal custody with each cohort with the exception of sexual offending which remained under 1% across the cohort years for all groups except for Indigenous men.

Controlling for variable follow-up time across groups using fixed follow-up periods, Table 7 shows that the rate of reoffending increased the longer the follow-up period. The mean rate of return to federal custody with an offence within 5 years for the combined cohorts is 18%; the rate for women is 10%. The rate of return to federal custody with an offence for Indigenous men offenders is substantially higher over this time period at 27%. However, for all offender groups we see a gradual decline in rates of return until the 2011-2012 cohort where there was a slight uptick across most groupsFootnote 8.

Rates of reoffending post-WED based on CPIC records

Table 8 provides the rates of reoffending post WED-based on CPIC records. These reoffences could have resulted in either a provincial/territorial or federal sentence. Again, we see the gradual increase in recidivism with increased follow-up time. The sharpest increase with longer follow-up is for Indigenous women in the 2011-2012 cohort where there is an increase from 10% within one year of release to 44% after 5 years of release. Rates of reoffending declined at all fixed follow-up periods for the later cohort group providing additional evidence for the gradual improvement in correctional results over time. Figure 3 further illustrates this trend. We conducted an analysis of the types of violent reoffences committed by offenders post WED that were recorded on CPIC. The most frequent offence category among the violent offences was assault (58% of violent crimes on CPIC records). Within this category over half were for common assault Level 1. Other categories of violent reoffending included homicide (0.6%), sexual assault (3%), robbery (6%) and other violent offences (38%) of which the largest category was criminal harassment and uttering threats.

Table 6
Rates of Reoffending Post Warrant Expiry Resulting in a New Warrant of Committal (Return to Federal Custody (N = 22,038)
Any New WOC New WOC with Schedule 1 or Homicide Offence New WOC with Schedule 1 Sexual Offence
MDR n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF
All Federal Offenders 2259 4386 19.9 784 2052 9.3 783 147 0.7 1155
2007-2008 3121 1061 23.7 789 518 11.6 837 27 0.6 1507
2008-2009 2797 1035 22.5 831 483 10.5 831 35 0.8 1589
2009-2010 2439 922 20.4 773 421 9.3 746 29 0.6 1155
2010-2011 2111 713 16.7 788 325 7.6 808 25 0.6 881
2011-2012 1793 655 15.7 735 305 7.3 750 31 0.7 886
Men 2247 4231 20.6 784 1987 9.7 779 145 0.7 1155
2007-2008 3113 1032 24.7 786 507 12.1 826 27 0.7 1507
2008-2009 2796 1002 23.3 836 468 10.9 842 34 0.8 1591
2009-2010 2441 891 21.1 775 407 9.7 745 29 0.7 1155
2010-2011 2114 673 16.8 794 308 7.7 811 25 0.6 881
2011-2012 1793 633 16.2 722 297 7.6 746 30 0.8 876
Non-Indigenous Men 2266 3061 18.4 794 1352 8.1 765 94 0.6 1259
2007-2008 3122 741 22.0 789 348 10.3 778 21 0.6 2025
2008-2009 2792 765 21.7 872 354 10.0 833 24 0.7 1714
2009-2010 2438 625 18.5 766 257 7.6 716 17 0.5 749
2010-2011 2102 494 15.2 802 210 6.5 802 16 0.5 893
2011-2012 1794 436 14.2 736 183 6.0 744 16 0.5 844
Indigenous Men 2182 1170 29.4 764 635 16.0 811 51 1.3 971
2007-2008 3059 291 36.1 779 159 19.7 889 6 0.7 840
2008-2009 2827 237 32.2 773 114 15.0 891 10 1.3 1358
2009-2010 2453 266 32.1 802 150 18.1 801 12 1.5 1171
2010-2011 2164 179 24.1 763 98 13.2 849 9 1.2 873
2011-2012 1791 197 23.5 715 114 13.6 748 14 1.7 929
Women 2358 155 10.7 797 65 4.5 842
2007-2008 3188 29 9.6 1037 11 3.7 1054
2008-2009 2798 33 10.7 876 15 4.9 690
2009-2010 2421 31 9.9 696 14 4.5 845
2010-2011 2100 40 15.2 716 17 6.5 684
2011-2012 1781 22 8.3 935 8 3.0 1244
Non-Indigenous Women 2338 98 9.3 748 33 3.1 715
2007-2008 3134 16 7.4 1082 5 2.3 1054
2008-2009 2760 24 10.3 773 9 3.9 748
2009-2010 2411 19 8.1 438 7 3.0 438
2010-2011 2080 24 13.0 633 9 4.9 684
2011-2012 1739 15 7.8 883
Indigenous Women 2418 57 14.6 868 32 8.2 957
2007-2008 3269 13 15.1 674 6 7.0 1051
2008-2009 2887 9 11.7 698 6 7.8 523
2009-2010 2467 12 15.8 1166 7 9.2 1262
2010-2011 2132 16 20.3 810 8 10.1 688
2011-2012 1883 7 9.6 1167 5 6.9 1664

WOC = warrant of committal. † = results with a frequency of less than five are suppressed. MDR = median days from warrant expiry to WOC sentence commencement, death, deportation or data collection on February 25th, 2018. MDF = median days from warrant expiry to WOC sentence commencement.

Table 7
Rates of Reoffending Based on New Warrants of Committal (Returns to Federal Custody)
One Year
(N = 21,977)
Two Years
(N = 21,824)
Three Years
(N = 21,526)
Five Years
(N = 18,827)
n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF
All Federal Offenders 1090 5.0 197 2041 9.4 349 2753 12.8 482 3401 18.1 672
2007-2008 273 6.1 186 493 11.1 337 663 14.9 471 839 19.2 644
2008-2009 262 5.7 205 468 10.2 335 604 13.3 432 825 18.8 650
2009-2010 220 4.9 198 433 9.7 361 581 13.1 475 741 17.8 667
2010-2011 168 4.0 206 327 7.8 361 478 11.6 522 573 16.2 733
2011-2012 167 4.0 178 320 7.8 354 427 10.8 515 423 18.0 704
Men 1052 5.1 198 1973 9.7 347 2654 13.2 482 3274 18.6 669
2007-2008 269 6.4 182 482 11.6 332 645 15.6 458 814 19.9 639
2008-2009 252 5.9 205 452 10.6 336 582 13.8 430 795 19.4 648
2009-2010 212 5.0 196 417 10.0 361 560 13.5 482 715 18.5 667
2010-2011 156 3.9 208 308 7.8 362 452 11.7 524 541 16.3 741
2011-2012 163 4.2 180 314 8.2 357 415 11.2 510 409 18.5 702
Non-Indigenous Men 762 4.6 198 1414 8.6 340 1908 11.8 486 2338 16.6 664
2007-2008 196 5.8 189 344 10.3 325 460 13.8 469 581 17.7 633
2008-2009 195 5.5 203 337 9.6 332 439 12.6 432 599 17.8 648
2009-2010 145 4.3 195 296 8.8 371 400 12.0 489 495 16.0 664
2010-2011 109 3.4 213 223 6.9 376 324 10.3 526 385 14.5 751
2011-2012 117 3.8 181 214 7.1 314 285 9.8 506 278 16.5 704
Indigenous Men 290 7.3 197 559 14.2 360 746 19.1 467 936 26.7 685
2007-2008 73 9.1 164 138 17.2 350 185 23.1 455 233 29.5 654
2008-2009 57 7.5 231 115 15.2 377 143 19.0 411 196 26.5 644
2009-2010 67 8.1 198 121 14.7 343 160 19.6 446 220 28.1 696
2010-2011 47 6.3 201 85 11.5 350 128 17.6 523 156 23.4 710
2011-2012 46 5.5 170 100 12.2 425 130 16.2 517 131 25.1 678
Women 38 2.6 181 68 4.7 356 99 7.0 495 127 10.3 737
2007-2008 11 3.7 393 18 6.0 633 25 8.4 790
2008-2009 10 3.2 170 16 5.2 255 22 7.3 461 30 10.1 694
2009-2010 8 2.6 325 16 5.2 367 21 6.8 375 26 9.1 633
2010-2011 12 4.6 129 19 7.3 357 26 10.1 471 32 14.5 633
2011-2012 6 2.3 177 12 4.8 628 14 10.2 1007
Non-Indigenous Women 26 2.5 192 46 4.4 355 67 6.5 453 79 8.9 692
2007-2008 8 3.7 745 13 6.2 882
2008-2009 7 3.0 176 11 4.8 250 16 7.1 461 22 9.9 687
2009-2010 7 3.0 322 13 5.6 361 16 6.8 373 17 8.0 438
2010-2011 8 4.4 150 13 7.1 357 18 9.9 459 19 12.4 495
2011-2012 5 2.7 249 9 5.0 518 8 9.1 1035
Indigenous Women 12 3.1 175 22 5.7 365 32 8.4 570 48 13.6 834
2007-2008 7 8.1 507 10 11.6 577 12 14.0 633
2008-2009 5 6.5 355 6 7.9 523 8 10.7 694
2009-2010 5 6.6 543 9 12.0 1015
2010-2011 6 7.8 405 8 10.5 527 13 19.1 820
2011-2012 6 12.2 1007

† = results with a frequency of less than five are suppressed. MDF = median days from warrant expiry to WOC sentence commencement within 1-, 2-, 3-, or 5-years.

Table 8
Rates of Reoffending Post WED Based on CPIC Records
Any Reoffence Post WED
(N = 8,439)
1 year
(N = 8,418)
2 years
(N = 8,352)
3 years
(N = 8,171)
5 years
(N = 6,213)
MDR n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF
All Federal Offenders 1552 3879 46.0 502 1506 17.9 172 2450 29.3 287 2959 36.2 364 2955 47.6 432
2007-2008 1994 2287 52.9 493 912 21.1 172 1445 33.6 279 1746 40.8 347 1995 47.3 419
2011-2012 1494 1592 38.7 512 594 14.5 176 1005 24.8 299 1213 31.2 394 960 48.1 475
Men 1528 3704 47.0 495 1457 18.5 171 2353 30.2 285 2825 37.0 358 2823 48.6 428
2007-2008 1866 2175 54.0 489 879 21.8 169 1378 34.4 273 1658 21.6 342 1900 48.4 411
2011-2012 1482 1529 39.6 507 578 15.0 176 975 25.7 299 1167 32.0 391 923 49.3 470
Non-Indigenous Men 1636 2627 41.9 518 993 15.9 174 1638 26.4 292 1972 32.6 369 2000 43.7 449
2007-2008 2308 1591 49.1 519 608 18.8 173 980 30.4 282 1187 37.0 356 1377 43.6 434
2011-2012 1533 1036 34.3 518 385 12.8 178 658 22.1 307 785 27.5 391 623 43.8 485
Indigenous Men 900 1077 66.3 439 464 28.7 164 715 44.6 264 853 54.1 328 823 67.1 373
2007-2008 707 584 74.2 403 271 34.5 157 398 50.7 256 471 60.2 301 523 67.7 345
2011-2012 1074 493 58.9 485 193 23.3 175 317 38.7 289 382 48.1 374 300 66.2 425
Women 1828 175 31.8 639 49 8.9 197 97 17.7 360 134 25.1 478 132 32.3 504
2007-2008 2794 112 38.5 563 33 11.3 204 67 23.0 381 88 30.3 476 95 33.0 491
2011-2012 1606 63 24.2 734 16 6.2 175 30 11.7 320 46 18.8 488 37 30.6 733
Non-Indigenous Women 1859 98 24.8 625 27 6.9 197 54 13.8 365 74 19.3 466 72 25.4 486
2007-2008 2849 64 30.9 567 18 8.7 191 37 17.9 381 50 24.3 486 53 26.0 491
2011-2012 1617 34 18.1 698 9 4.8 249 17 9.2 314 24 13.5 465 19 23.8 466
Indigenous Women 1515 77 49.4 652 22 14.1 196 43 27.7 360 60 39.7 504 60 48.0 541
2007-2008 1915 48 57.1 541 15 17.9 208 30 35.7 390 38 45.2 468 42 50.0 494
2011-2012 1434 29 40.3 790 7 9.7 163 13 18.3 325 22 32.8 712 18 43.9 792

MDR = median days from warrant expiry to earliest CPIC conviction, death, deportation, December 22nd, 2017. MDF = median days from warrant expiry to CPIC conviction.

Figure 3. Rates of any reoffending post WED based on CPIC records for two release cohorts: Two year fixed follow-up

Rates of any reoffending post WED based on CPIC records for two release cohorts: Two year fixed follow-up
Figure 3. Rates of any reoffending post WED based on CPIC records for two release cohorts: Two year fixed follow-up
Study Group
Non-Indigenous Men 2007-2008 Non-Indigenous Men 2011-2012 Indigenous Men 2007-2008 Indigenous Men 2011-2012 Non-Indigenous Women 2007-2008 Non-Indigenous Women 2011-2012 Indigenous Women 2007-2008 Indigenous Women 2011-2012
30.4% 22.1% 50.7% 38.7% 17.9% 9.2% 35.7% 18.3%

Recidivism Rates by Index Offence Type

Although offenders are typically criminally versatile there are established patterns in reoffending rates among offenders convicted for certain offence categories. Tables 9 and 10 provide the overall reoffending and violent reoffending rates for offenders who were released on a federal sentence for various crime categories. Tables B2-B5 in Appendix B provide the results related to the analysis of reoffending by offence categories pre- and post-warrant expiry.

Across all groups, on all measures of recidivism (i.e., rates of returns to federal custody for any reason and returns for an offence, rates of return to federal custody with new warrants of committal and rates of return post-WED based on CPIC) the highest rates of reoffending were for offenders who had been serving a sentence for robbery or property offences. The lowest rate of reoffending was among offenders who had served a sentence for a sexual offence. The highest rates of violent reoffending were consistently for male offenders with an index offence for robbery and assault. The rate of recidivism was higher for Indigenous than non-Indigenous men for every index offence type, and at each time period with the exception of homicide-related offences which were higher for non-Indigenous men at one- and two-year follow up periods. The 5 year reoffending rate for Indigenous men released on robbery or property offences is approximately 76%. Rates of reoffending for Indigenous women with robbery or property offences are also high at over 60%.

Table 9
Rates of Reoffending by Index Offence (Based on OMS and CPIC Records)
Any Reoffence
(N = 8,881)
1 year
(N = 8,832)
2 years
(N = 8,767)
3 years
(N = 8,705)
5 years
(N = 8,267)
MDR n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF
All Offence types 1957 4417 49.7 610 1511 17.1 140 2440 27.9 279 3075 35.4 388 3562 43.2 545
Homicide 2208 147 30.5 746 42 8.7 166 72 15.1 286 90 19.2 455 103 23.6 631
Sexual 2243 323 30.9 753 87 8.4 187 154 14.9 319 208 20.4 444 251 25.4 624
Robbery 1073 1015 64.2 560 377 24.0 114 603 39.0 273 738 48.4 383 799 57.1 524
Assault 1267 728 62.2 599 264 22.7 146 404 35.0 258 505 44.1 356 584 54.2 529
Other Violent Offence 1991 214 47.7 792 54 12.1 190 99 22.4 342 136 30.8 452 185 43.4 721
Drug 2241 671 34.8 838 174 9.0 146 294 15.3 320 402 21.0 447 517 28.0 703
Property 834 891 68.6 477 366 28.2 134 577 45.1 264 703 55.1 350 773 63.6 464
Other Non-Violent 2108 428 46.1 580 147 16.1 132 237 26.2 294 293 32.6 379 350 40.4 531
Men 1898 4215 50.8 599 1459 17.7 140 2349 28.7 278 2946 36.3 386 3404 44.2 538
Homicide 2208 135 30.9 757 39 8.9 168 65 15.1 270 82 19.3 455 96 24.2 642
Sexual 2243 320 31.0 751 86 8.4 189 153 15.0 319 207 20.5 449 249 25.5 624
Robbery 1021 947 64.8 526 363 25.1 114 576 40.3 268 697 49.5 373 746 57.9 503
Assault 1235 702 63.4 598 255 23.2 142 390 35.8 258 489 45.2 360 564 55.6 530
Other Violent Offence 1928 208 48.9 779 54 12.8 190 97 23.2 333 132 21.5 443 180 44.7 720
Drug 2230 630 35.9 841 165 9.4 152 277 15.9 319 378 21.7 443 486 29.0 704
Property 797 860 70.6 477 354 29.1 132 560 46.6 268 679 56.8 350 746 65.4 463
Other Non-Violent 2094 413 47.7 571 143 16.7 132 231 27.4 298 282 33.7 377 337 41.9 516
Non-Indigenous Men 2115 3037 45.9 632 985 15.0 149 1641 25.2 294 2073 32.0 402 2438 39.5 566
Homicide 2271 88 27.0 980 22 6.8 166 36 11.2 303 48 15.0 461 60 19.7 743
Sexual 2284 180 23.2 863 38 4.9 194 79 10.3 373 106 14.0 540 133 18.2 697
Robbery 1263 691 60.4 562 247 21.8 142 407 36.3 286 495 44.8 389 542 53.1 525
Assault 1680 419 56.2 660 138 18.6 157 219 29.9 257 278 38.2 392 331 48.3 591
Other Violent Offence 2111 157 43.6 775 42 11.8 195 73 20.6 308 100 28.3 433 136 39.7 706
Drug 2248 527 33.4 863 129 8.2 159 226 14.4 334 314 20.1 465 407 27.0 752
Property 853 676 68.2 488 268 27.1 138 432 44.1 283 525 53.8 366 583 62.4 470
Other non-Violent 2141 299 42.9 567 101 14.7 119 169 24.9 302 207 30.6 387 246 37.8 509
Indigenous Men 923 1178 69.8 521 474 28.2 106 708 42.7 234 873 53.0 343 966 63.3 473
Homicide 1412 47 42.3 589 17 15.3 173 29 26.6 244 34 32.1 423 36 39.1 595
Sexual 1833 140 54.0 662 48 18.7 182 74 28.9 260 101 39.5 393 116 47.2 498
Robbery 615 256 80.8 429 116 36.6 72 169 54.9 187 202 66.5 322 204 75.8 439
Assault 764 283 78.2 488 117 32.7 120 171 47.9 258 211 59.4 329 233 70.8 437
Other Violent Offence 1099 51 78.5 801 12 18.5 174 24 36.9 381 32 49.2 477 44 73.3 729
Drug 1854 103 57.5 732 36 20.1 66 51 28.5 209 64 36.0 332 79 46.5 526
Property 581 184 81.4 416 86 38.1 93 128 57.7 186 154 70.0 249 163 78.7 396
Other Non-Violent 1147 114 67.5 604 42 25.0 174 62 37.8 288 75 46.3 349 91 59.1 531
Women 2237 202 35.0 828 52 9.0 158 91 15.9 304 129 22.6 520 158 28.7 689
Homicide 2216 12 26.7 647 7 15.9 451 8 18.2 512 7 17.5 572
Sexual
Robbery 1649 68 57.1 937 14 11.8 155 27 22.9 325 41 34.8 646 53 48.2 763
Assault 2276 26 41.3 687 9 14.3 179 14 22.2 286 16 25.4 331 20 31.8 384
Other Violent Offence 2275 6 25.0 1022 5 21.7 1008
Drug 2356 41 23.7 801 9 5.2 106 17 9.9 411 24 14.0 572 31 18.5 703
Property 2213 31 38.3 687 12 14.8 185 17 21.5 213 24 30.4 374 27 36.0 687
Other Non-Violent 2221 15 24.2 878 6 9.7 235 11 17.7 658 13 21.3 849
Non-Indigenous Women 2299 114 27.5 921 24 5.8 106 48 11.6 350 66 16.0 545 87 21.8 713
Homicide 2351 5 22.7 2333
Sexual
Robbery 1982 37 50.0 1036 14 18.9 594 20 27.0 646 27 39.7 763
Assault 2390 11 29.0 441 6 15.8 286 6 15.8 286 9 23.7 383
Other Violent Offence 2323 5 22.7 1035
Drug 2416 27 19.0 1021 9 6.3 412 14 9.9 633 14 10.0 633
Property 2237 20 30.8 705 8 12.3 75 11 17.2 181 14 21.9 200 17 28.3 722
Other Non-Violent 2246 7 15.9 658 6 13.6 474 6 14.0 474
Indigenous Women 1625 88 54.3 732 28 17.3 198 43 27.0 278 63 39.6 451 71 47.0 667
Homicide 2151 7 30.4 572 5 21.7 451 6 26.1 512 5 26.3 572
Sexual
Robbery 1105 31 68.9 827 10 22.2 219 13 29.6 240 21 47.7 667 26 61.9 763
Assault 2053 15 60.0 706 5 20.0 172 8 32.0 278 8 32.0 278 11 44.0 385
Other Violent Offence
Drug 2158 14 45.2 588 6 19.4 123 8 26.7 169 10 33.3 358 11 39.3 518
Property 817 11 68.8 572 6 40.0 321 10 66.7 500 10 66.7 500
Other non-Violent 2123 8 44.4 950 5 27.8 849 7 38.9 931

† = results with a frequency of less than five are suppressed. MDR = median days from release to the earliest of revocation with an offence readmission, new warrant of committal sentence commencement, earliest CPIC offence conviction, death, deportation, or data collection on December 22nd, 2017. For offenders with a revocation without an offence, time from readmission to WED was subtracted from the follow-up time. MDF = median days from release to first reoffence (revocation with an offence readmission, new warrant of committal sentence commencement, or CPIC conviction). Time from a revocation without an offence to WED was subtracted from the follow-up time.

Table 10
Rates of Violent Reoffending by Index Offence (Based on OMS and CPIC Records)
Any Violent Reoffence
(N = 8881)
1 year
(N = 8,844)
2 years
(N = 8,767)
3 years
(N = 8,705)
5 years
(N = 8,267)
MDR n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF
All Offence types 2070 2412 27.2 631 693 7.9 206 1335 15.3 359 1743 20.1 463 2027 24.6 590
Homicide 2224 81 16.8 688 22 4.6 204 42 8.8 321 54 11.5 457 62 14.2 635
Sexual 2248 185 17.7 748 41 4.0 224 90 8.7 392 124 12.1 537 157 15.9 683
Robbery 1281 685 43.3 578 225 14.4 152 402 26.0 337 505 33.1 444 542 38.7 562
Assault 1467 483 41.3 604 151 13.0 205 271 23.5 336 349 30.5 437 398 36.9 577
Other Violent Offence 2052 131 29.2 772 30 6.7 235 60 13.5 370 89 20.1 510 116 27.2 740
Drug 2262 235 12.2 830 41 2.1 253 104 5.4 430 147 7.7 565 196 10.6 711
Property 1095 386 29.7 536 121 9.3 233 245 19.1 366 318 24.9 465 357 29.4 512
Other Non-Violent 2122 226 24.4 625 62 6.8 205 121 13.4 373 157 17.4 448 199 23.0 584
Men 2008 2336 28.1 622 676 8.2 206 1302 15.9 360 1688 20.8 461 1965 25.5 585
Homicide 2220 75 17.2 668 21 4.8 185 40 9.3 321 50 11.7 455 58 14.6 625
Sexual 2248 184 17.8 744 41 4.0 224 90 8.8 392 124 12.3 537 157 16.1 683
Robbery 1231 648 44.4 566 216 14.9 152 387 27.1 345 480 34.1 442 513 39.8 558
Assault 1388 470 42.5 604 146 13.3 203 262 24.0 335 337 31.2 437 385 37.9 579
Other Violent Offence 1991 128 30.1 771 30 7.1 235 59 14.1 364 86 20.5 503 113 28.0 738
Drug 2248 230 13.1 830 41 2.3 253 102 5.8 428 145 8.3 565 193 11.5 709
Property 1021 378 31.0 532 119 9.8 236 241 20.1 366 311 26.0 465 349 30.6 512
Other Non-Violent 2101 223 25.8 622 62 7.3 205 121 14.4 373 155 18.5 445 197 24.5 583
Non-Indigenous Men 2136 1567 23.7 654 423 6.4 206 850 13.0 371 1092 16.9 472 1309 21.2 602
Homicide 2286 42 12.9 761 11 3.4 158 19 5.9 304 25 7.8 453 31 10.2 688
Sexual 2284 93 12.0 768 19 2.5 239 45 5.9 393 55 7.3 544 75 10.3 683
Robbery 1540 452 39.5 594 142 12.5 152 263 23.5 350 326 29.5 449 356 34.9 565
Assault 1809 258 34.6 693 67 9.0 196 134 18.3 367 171 23.5 460 207 30.2 645
Other Violent Offence 2120 97 26.9 742 25 7.0 239 47 13.3 363 65 18.4 453 86 25.1 678
Drug 2271 180 11.4 921 25 1.6 251 72 4.6 444 108 6.9 589 148 9.8 771
Property 1140 282 28.4 540 91 9.2 242 182 18.6 365 230 23.6 464 261 27.9 512
Other Non-Violent 2156 163 23.4 626 43 6.3 190 88 13.0 377 112 16.6 447 145 22.3 611
Indigenous Men 1072 769 45.6 571 253 15.1 205 452 27.2 334 596 36.2 443 656 43.0 530
Homicide 1488 33 29.7 600 10 9.0 204 21 19.3 378 25 23.6 456 27 29.4 589
Sexual 1897 91 35.1 734 22 8.6 222 45 17.6 373 69 27.0 529 82 33.3 694
Robbery 741 196 61.8 518 74 23.3 145 124 40.3 311 154 50.7 440 157 58.4 513
Assault 904 212 58.6 508 79 22.1 214 128 35.9 315 166 46.8 381 178 54.1 458
Other Violent Offence 1163 31 47.7 813 5 7.7 171 12 18.5 432 21 32.3 707 27 45.0 813
Drug 1876 50 27.9 574 16 8.9 270 30 16.8 349 37 20.8 431 45 26.5 498
Property 754 96 42.5 515 28 12.4 201 59 26.6 382 81 36.8 465 88 42.5 501
Other Non-Violent 1190 60 35.5 580 19 11.3 232 33 20.1 349 43 26.5 417 52 33.8 532
Women 2272 76 13.2 828 17 3.0 232 33 5.8 342 55 9.6 687 62 11.3 723
Homicide 2333 6 13.3 1048
Sexual
Robbery 1702 37 31.1 868 9 7.6 240 15 12.7 3.04 25 21.2 667 29 26.4 736
Assault 2304 13 20.6 441 5 7.9 252 9 14.3 342 12 19.1 418 13 20.6 441
Other Violent Offence 2275
Drug
Property 2235 8 9.9 758 7 8.9 687 8 10.7 758
Other Non-Violent
Non-Indigenous Women 2307 32 7.7 943 6 1.5 135 13 3.2 380 20 4.9 667 24 6.0 737
Homicide
Sexual
Robbery 2056 15 20.3 1059 6 8.1 471 8 10.8 604 9 13.2 713
Assault 2390 6 15.8 381 5 13.2 320 6 15.8 381
Other Violent Offence
Drug
Property
Other Non-Violent
Indigenous Women 1868 44 27.2 806 11 6.8 240 20 12.6 334 35 22.0 706 38 25.2 721
Homicide
Sexual
Robbery 1155 22 48.9 809 7 15.6 278 9 20.5 278 17 38.6 714 20 47.6 763
Assault 2066 7 28.0 667 5 20.0 395 5 20.0 395 7 28 667
Other Violent Offence
Drug
Property
Other non-Violent

† = results with a frequency of less than five are suppressed. MDR = median days from release to the earliest of revocation with a violent offence readmission, new warrant of committal sentence commencement, earliest CPIC offence conviction, death, deportation, or data collection on December 22nd, 2017. For offenders with a revocation without an offence or with a non-violent offence, time from readmission to WED was subtracted from the follow-up time. MDF = median days from release to first violent reoffence (revocation with a violent offence readmission, new warrant of committal sentence commencement, or CPIC conviction). Time from a revocation without an offence or with a non-violent offence to WED was subtracted from the follow-up time.

Results by Crime Severity Index

Crime Severity Index (CSI) weights were available for the index offences of 22,646 of the 22,685 offenders released during the 2007/2008 to 2011/2012 fiscal years. The mean CSI weight was 467, and the median CSI was 237, with a standard deviation of 898. Table 11 compares the mean CSI weights of the index offence and the reoffence for offenders who were under a federal warrant at the time of the reoffence. As depicted in the table, 61% of offenders who reoffended while under warrant had a CSI score that was lower than their original index offence.

Table 11
Mean Crime Severity Index Weights of Index and Reoffence by Offender Group
Index Offence Reconviction Offence Lower CSI on revocation
n M SD M SD %
All Federal Offenders 2688 403 704 190 462 61.3
All Men 2554 405 717 190 450 61.0
All Non-Indigenous Men 1851 399 723 202 514 58.1
All Indigenous Men 703 420 701 156 201 68.7
All Women 134 368 393 189 651 65.7
All Non-Indigenous Women 81 330 369 138 110 61.7
All Indigenous Women 53 427 425 268 1028 71.7

Recidivism by Region of Release

The following tables (Tables 12-16) show various measures of recidivism rates for each of the five regions over the 2007/2008 through 2011/2012 fiscal years. General recidivism rates (Table 12) for the total population post release for all time frames were usually highest for the Prairie region and lowest for the Quebec region. Rates for Indigenous men were more similar across the regions but the 2, 3, and 5 year follow up periods showed the highest rates of reoffending among Indigenous offenders in the Ontario region. The highest overall rates for violent reoffending were in the Prairie region and the lowest in Quebec and the Atlantic regions (Table 12). However, among non-Aboriginal offenders the highest rate of violent reoffending was in the Ontario region and among women offenders, the highest rate of reoffending among non-Indigenous women was in the Atlantic region.


Table 12
Rates of Reoffending by Region (Based on OMS and CPIC records)
Any reoffence
(N = 8,893)
1 year
(N = 8,844)
2 years
(N = 8,767)
3 years
(N = 8,705)
5 years
(N = 8,267)
MDR n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF
All Federal Offenders 1955 4425 49.8 609 1516 17.1 140 2447 27.9 279 3083 35.4 388 3570 43.2 544
Atlantic 2042 472 47.6 616 159 16.1 142 266 27.2 299 327 33.8 383 368 40.6 521
Quebec 2172 794 42.1 707 256 13.7 148 394 21.2 274 513 27.8 396 623 35.1 604
Ontario 2031 1127 48.5 640 325 14.0 160 622 27.1 345 795 34.8 458 959 43.3 595
Prairie 1470 1515 58.2 543 589 22.8 121 876 34.2 237 1079 42.5 344 1206 50.9 473
Pacific 1956 517 47.6 579 187 17.3 150 289 27.0 271 369 34.8 370 414 41.3 513
Men 1896 4223 50.8 597 1464 17.7 140 2356 28.8 278 2954 36.3 386 3412 44.2 537
Atlantic 1992 441 48.8 617 150 16.7 142 245 27.5 282 305 34.6 381 346 41.7 524
Quebec 2163 774 42.6 700 248 13.7 148 386 21.6 277 504 28.3 409 606 35.5 603
Ontario 1929 1083 50.0 627 318 14.8 159 603 28.2 341 764 35.9 453 923 44.8 588
Prairie 1391 1430 59.1 526 565 23.5 122 838 35.2 240 1024 43.4 337 1137 51.9 464
Pacific 1859 495 49.1 566 183 18.3 150 284 28.6 273 357 36.3 368 400 43.2 503
Non-Indigenous Men 2115 3041 45.9 632 988 15.0 149 1644 25.2 294 2077 32.0 402 2442 39.5 566
Atlantic 2094 391 47.2 636 128 15.6 147 215 26.3 296 271 33.5 390 308 40.4 535
Quebec 2178 695 41.4 735 224 13.4 148 338 20.4 265 449 27.3 393 538 34.1 602
Ontario 2097 901 46.9 644 260 13.6 162 490 25.8 341 620 32.8 452 765 41.8 590
Prairie 1962 712 50.0 578 255 18.1 137 405 28.9 282 492 35.5 366 555 42.6 509
Pacific 2101 342 44.3 566 121 15.8 151 196 25.8 286 245 32.6 381 276 38.8 536
Indigenous Men 921 1182 69.8 521 476 28.2 106 712 42.8 235 877 53.1 343 970 63.3 473
Atlantic 1151 50 65.8 455 22 29.3 77.5 30 41.1 212 34 47.2 262 38 56.7 394
Quebec 1294 79 56.8 617 24 17.4 106 48 35.3 382 55 40.7 487 68 52.3 612
Ontario 786 182 73.7 591 58 23.6 155 113 46.9 361 144 59.8 466 158 69.3 584
Prairie 867 718 72.2 465 310 31.3 99 433 44.2 207 532 54.8 297 582 65.3 424
Pacific 1094 153 64.8 533 62 26.3 120 88 37.5 233 112 48.3 300 124 57.4 413
Women 2237 202 35.0 828 52 9.0 158 91 15.9 304 129 22.6 520 158 28.7 689
Atlantic 2201 31 35.2 529 9 10.2 179 21 24.1 383 22 25.3 398 22 28.2 453
Quebec 2363 20 29.4 1195 8 11.8 173 8 11.9 173 9 13.6 189 17 25.8 878
Ontario 2297 44 27.9 797 7 4.4 240 19 12.0 515 31 19.6 703 36 23.2 720
Prairie 2151 85 46.0 849 24 13.0 106 38 20.9 213 55 30.2 518 69 39.2 690
Pacific 2274 22 28.2 1053 5 6.4 181 12 15.4 817 14 18.7 906
Non-Indigenous Women 2299 114 27.5 921 24 5.8 106 48 11.6 350 66 16.0 545 87 21.8 713
Atlantic 2201 25 32.9 529 6 7.9 146 18 24.0 427 19 25.­­­3 441 18 26.9 492
Quebec 2367 18 30.0 1219 6 10.0 173 6 10.2 173 7 12.1 189 15 25.9 1180
Ontario 2299 29 22.5 917 10 7.8 635 19 14.7 713 24 18.9 816
Prairie 2272 30 31.6 997 6 6.3 72 10 10.5 144 16 16.8 587 23 24.7 878
Pacific 2307 12 21.8 1181 5 9.1 181 7 13.0 1008
Indigenous Women 1625 88 54.3 732 28 17.3 198 43 27.0 278 63 39.6 451 71 47.0 667
Atlantic 2233 6 50.0 724
Quebec
Ontario 1991 15 51.7 706 9 31.0 385 12 41.4 500 12 42.9 500
Prairie 1176 55 61.1 690 18 20.0 166 28 32.2 225 39 44.8 451 46 55.4 674
Pacific 1997 10 43.5 974 7 30.4 880 7 33.3 880

† = results with a frequency of less than five are suppressed. MDR = median days from release to the earliest of revocation with an offence readmission, new warrant of committal sentence commencement, earliest CPIC offence conviction, death, deportation, or data collection on December 22nd, 2017. For offenders with a revocation without an offence, time from readmission to WED was subtracted from the follow-up time. MDF = median days from release to first reoffence (revocation with an offence readmission, new warrant of committal sentence commencement, or CPIC conviction). Time from a revocation without an offence to WED was subtracted from the follow-up time


Table 13
Rates of Violent Reoffending by Region (Based on OMS and CPIC records)
Any Violent Offences
(N = 8893)
1 year follow-up
(N = 8,844)
2 year follow-up
(N = 8,767)
3 year follow-up
(N = 8,705)
5 year follow-up
(N = 8,267)
MDR n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF
All Federal 2068 2418 27.2 630 697 7.9 206 1340 15.3 358 1749 20.1 463 2033 24.6 589
Atlantic 2119 228 23.0 617 64 6.5 171 132 13.5 370 170 17.5 443 187 20.6 557
Quebec 2182 447 23.7 712 125 6.7 197 221 11.9 332 297 16.1 486 370 20.9 664
Ontario 2098 644 27.7 640 160 6.9 237 363 15.8 400 467 20.4 493 563 25.4 595
Prairie 1671 809 31.1 586 254 9.8 201 463 18.1 334 600 23.6 439 672 28.4 554
Pacific 2010 290 26.7 594 94 8.7 210 161 15.0 334 215 20.3 466 241 24.1 577
Men 2007 2342 28.2 621 680 8.2 206 1307 16.0 358 1694 20.8 460 1971 25.5 584
Atlantic 2110 216 23.9 639 57 6.4 169 121 13.6 373 158 17.9 458 176 21.2 566
Quebec 2178 438 24.1 707 123 6.8 197 219 12.2 340 294 16.5 487 364 21.3 658
Ontario 2038 629 29.0 631 157 7.3 234 356 16.6 399 456 21.4 491 551 26.8 593
Prairie 1611 780 32.3 574 250 10.4 201 451 19.0 332 577 24.5 434 645 29.4 537
Pacific 1923 279 27.7 579 93 9.3 206 160 16.1 335 209 21.2 457 235 25.4 568
Non-Indigenous Men 2136 1570 23.7 654 425 6.5 206 852 13.1 370 1095 16.9 471 1312 21.2 602
Atlantic 2126 181 21.9 673 46 5.6 166 100 12.2 386 132 16.3 476 149 19.6 567
Quebec 2191 382 22.8 734 107 6.4 205 187 11.3 329 251 15.3 480 314 19.9 664
Ontario 2118 509 26.5 647 124 6.5 228 281 14.8 400 359 19.0 488 445 24.3 601
Prairie 2101 317 22.3 649 87 6.2 210 175 12.5 373 217 15.6 445 252 19.4 602
Pacific 2109 181 23.5 566 61 8.0 192 109 14.4 348 136 18.1 461 152 21.4 570
Indigenous Men 1070 772 45.6 571 255 15.1 205 455 27.3 333 599 36.3 443 659 43.0 529
Atlantic 1231 35 46.1 579 11 14.7 205 21 28.8 369 26 36.1 422 27 40.3 496
Quebec 1301 56 40.3 632 16 11.6 106 32 23.5 387 43 31.9 588 50 38.5 632
Ontario 874 120 48.6 591 33 13.4 239 75 31.1 393 97 40.3 514 106 46.5 573
Prairie 1032 463 46.5 529 163 16.5 188 276 28.2 312 360 37.1 423 393 44.1 491
Pacific 1221 98 41.5 634 32 13.6 225 51 21.7 302 73 31.5 412 83 38.4 532
Women 2272 76 13.2 828 17 3.0 232 33 5.8 342 55 9.6 687 62 11.3 723
Atlantic 2201 12 13.6 331 7 8.0 179 11 12.6 320 12 13.8 331 11 14.1 342
Quebec 2374 9 13.2 1307 6 9.1 1044
Ontario 2299 15 9.5 790 7 4.4 427 11 7.0 713 12 7.7 720
Prairie 2192 29 15.7 827 12 6.6 463 23 12.6 718 27 15.3 822
Pacific 2285 11 14.1 1089 6 7.7 944 6 8.0 944
Non-Indigenous Women 2307 32 7.7 943 6 1.5 135 13 3.2 380 20 4.9 667 24 6.0 737
Atlantic 2201 9 11.8 380 8 10.7 350 9 12.0 380 8 11.9 411
Quebec 2388 8 13.3 1348 5 8.6 1210
Ontario 2340 7 5.4 1035 5 3.9 828 6 4.7 932
Prairie
Pacific
Indigenous Women 1868 44 27.2 806 11 6.8 240 20 12.6 334 35 22.0 706 38 25.2 721
Atlantic
Quebec
Ontario 1991 8 27.6 717 5 17.2 427 6 20.7 567 6 21.4 567
Prairie 1583 25 27.8 827 10 11.5 401 20 23.0 725 24 28.9 825
Pacific 1997 7 30.4 1016 5 21.7 880

† = results with a frequency of less than five are suppressed. MDR = median days from release to the earliest of revocation with a violent offence readmission, new warrant of committal sentence commencement, earliest CPIC offence conviction, death, deportation, or data collection on December 22nd, 2017. For offenders with a revocation without an offence or with a non-violent offence, time from readmission to WED was subtracted from the follow-up time. MDF = median days from release to first violent reoffence (revocation with a violent offence readmission, new warrant of committal sentence commencement, or CPIC conviction). Time from a revocation without an offence or with a non-violent offence to WED was subtracted from the follow-up time.

Revocation Rates Pre-Warrant Expiry

The pre-WED return to custody outcomes demonstrated notable differences in the regional rates of offenders’ return to custody, revocations with an offence, as well as revocations with a Schedule 1 or homicide offence. Numbers were too small to meaningfully compare revocations due to Schedule 1 sexual offences. The region with the lowest median days to return (272), and the highest rate of return to custody (54%) and revocation with offence (17%) was the Prairie region; Quebec had the highest median days to return (366), lowest rate of any return (40%), and one of the lowest rate of revocation with offence (10%; Ontario was slightly lower). Indigenous men in the Prairie region had the highest overall rate of return prior to their warrant expiry date at 67%. The rate of violent reoffending across regions was under 4%; the rates of violent reoffending while under federal warrant was highest in the Pacific region (4%) and lowest in the Ontario region (2%).

Table 14
Rates of Revocations by Region of Release*: Pre Warrant Expiry (N = 21,911)
Any Return to Custody Any Revocation with an Offence Revoked with a Schedule 1 or Homicide Revoked with a Schedule 1 Sexual Offence
MDR n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF
All Offenders 311 10136 46.3 176 2763 12.6 100 507 2.3 99 32 0.2 170
Atlantic 326 1216 48.0 169 323 12.8 105 50 2.0 99
Quebec 366 1948 39.9 194 477 9.8 118 124 2.5 99 11 0.2 173
Ontario 317 2426 42.2 177 555 9.6 105 84 1.5 87 9 0.2 285
Prairie 272 3327 54.2 163 1059 17.2 95 157 2.6 112 7 0.1 167
Pacific 313 1219 46.9 188 349 13.4 88 92 3.5 72
Men 306 9567 46.8 175 2620 12.8 99 496 2.4 100 33 0.2 170
Atlantic 318 1121 48.2 169 300 12.9 109 49 2.1 100
Quebec 366 1878 40.2 193 466 10.0 117 123 2.6 99 11 0.2 173
Ontario 307 2311 43.3 176 537 10.1 106 83 1.6 87 9 0.2 285
Prairie 266 3098 54.5 161 985 17.3 93 152 2.7 112 7 0.1 167
Pacific 307 1159 47.6 186 332 13.6 81 89 3.7 71
Non-Indigenous Men 340 7128 42.8 183 1892 11.4 112 360 2.2 104 22 0.1 187
Atlantic 331 1005 47.3 170 263 12.4 116 40 1.9 100
Quebec 367 1712 39.1 195 431 9.8 122 110 2.5 116 9 0.2 212
Ontario 327 1946 40.9 180 436 9.2 112 66 1.4 89 6 0.1 216
Prairie 317 1657 46.7 177 534 15.0 112 79 2.2 117
Pacific 338 808 43.9 188 228 12.4 90 64 3.5 72
Indigenous Men 244 2439 64.0 151 728 19.1 73 136 3.6 91 11 0.3 139
Atlantic 257 116 58.0 154 37 19.0 62 8 4.0 102
Quebec 254 166 56.3 170 35 11.9 74 13 4.4 74
Ontario 244 365 62.6 154 101 17.3 79 17 2.9 47
Prairie 221 1441 67.4 142 451 21.1 73 73 3.4 110
Pacific 247 351 59.0 175 104 17.5 73 25 4.2 69
Women 428 569 39.2 197 143 9.8 131 12 0.8 76
Atlantic 390 95 45.9 173 23 11.1 64
Quebec 492 70 34.0 215 11 5.3 156
Ontario 523 115 27.5 200 18 4.3 98
Prairie 332 229 50.1 196 74 16.2 161 5 1.1 87
Pacific 398 60 36.6 229 17 10.4 226
Non-Indigenous Women 500 350 32.9 204 84 7.9 152 5 0.5 90
Atlantic 421 81 44.5 155 21 11.5 47
Quebec 498 60 32.1 215 10 5.4 173
Ontario 546 85 24.0 203 14 4.0 130
Prairie 463 91 40.8 216 28 12.6 171
Pacific 511 33 28.2 253 11 9.4 253
Indigenous Women 274 219 56.2 191 59 15.1 106 7 1.8 64
Atlantic 259 14 56.0 210
Quebec 417 10 52.6 187
Ontario 267 30 46.2 160
Prairie 272 138 59.0 191 46 19.7 141
Pacific 269 27 57.5 220 6 12.8 62

* Note that offences committed after release may not have occurred in the same region as the institution from which they were released † = results with a frequency of less than five are suppressed. MDR = median days from release to revocation readmission, warrant expiry, death, deportation, or February 25th, 2018. MDF = median days from release to revocation readmission.

Return to federal custody post warrant expiry (new warrants of committal) by region of release

Table 15 presents the rates of return to federal custody with fixed follow-up periods by region. The Pacific region has the highest rates of return to custody for a new federal sentence across all the years of follow-up and Ontario has the lowest. Pacific region had the highest rates of return to federal custody on a new warrant of committal. Among the women, the Atlantic and Pacific regions have comparable rates of reoffending in the 2, 3 and 5 year follow-up periods. Indigenous men from the Prairie region had the lowest rates of return on new warrants of committal relative to Indigenous men from the other regions. Table 16 looks at regional rates of reoffending post WED.

Table 15
New Warrant of Committals within Fixed Follow-Up Time Periods by Region of Release
  One Year
(N = 21,977)
Two Years
(N = 21,824)
Three Years
(N = 21,526)
Five Years
(N = 18,827)
n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF
All Federal Offenders 1090 5.0 197 2041 9.4 349 2753 12.8 482 3401 18.1 672
Atlantic 153 6.0 213 285 11.3 346 373 15.0 460 444 20.3 605
Quebec 208 4.3 185 423 8.8 380 573 12.0 532 721 17.6 705
Ontario 227 3.9 191 440 7.6 357 593 10.4 482 761 15.1 700
Prairie 300 4.8 198 556 9.0 349 779 12.7 473 944 17.8 705
Pacific 202 7.9 192 337 13.4 291 435 17.7 438 531 24.4 582
Men 1052 5.1 198 1973 9.7 347 2654 13.2 482 3274 18.6 669
Atlantic 146 6.3 213 268 11.6 340 350 15.3 458 416 20.7 604
Quebec 205 4.4 185 419 9.1 381 565 12.4 530 706 18.0 700
Ontario 221 4.1 191 430 8.0 358 574 10.9 482 736 15.7 695
Prairie 288 5.0 199 532 9.3 349 749 13.2 474 907 18.5 705
Pacific 192 8.1 192 324 13.8 291 416 18.1 439 509 25.0 585
Non-Indigenous Men 762 4.6 198 1414 8.6 340 1908 11.8 486 2338 16.6 664
Atlantic 130 6.2 214 232 11.0 334 305 14.7 458 363 19.9 605
Quebec 178 4.1 192 356 8.2 380 481 11.3 532 605 16.6 706
Ontario 178 3.7 197 347 7.3 359 459 9.8 482 582 14.0 687
Prairie 153 4.3 191 264 7.5 317 382 11.1 473 451 15.3 704
Pacific 123 6.9 182 215 12.2 308 281 16.3 450 337 22.4 597
Indigenous Men 290 7.3 197 559 14.2 360 746 19.1 467 936 26.7 685
Atlantic 16 7.6 198 36 17.1 380 45 21.6 457 53 27.8 603
Quebec 27 8.7 157 63 20.5 391 84 27.5 520 101 36.6 681
Ontario 43 7.1 169 83 13.7 352 115 19.1 493 154 27.7 729
Prairie 135 6.0 210 268 12.0 369 367 16.6 474 456 23.4 706
Pacific 69 11.7 195 109 18.6 269 135 23.4 365 172 32.6 558
Women 38 2.6 181 68 4.7 356 99 7.0 495 127 10.3 737
Atlantic 7 3.4 328 17 8.3 393 23 11.3 495 28 16.0 695
Quebec 8 4.0 716 15 8.4 1106
Ontario 6 1.5 198 10 2.4 240 19 4.7 591 25 7.3 777
Prairie 12 2.6 155 24 5.2 352 30 6.6 384 37 9.2 690
Pacific 10 6.1 218 13 8.1 322 19 12.1 438 22 15.7 541
Non-Indigenous Women 26 2.5 192 46 4.4 355 67 6.5 453 79 8.9 692
Atlantic 7 3.9 328 15 8.3 367 20 11.1 458 24 15.8 649
Quebec 8 4.4 716 13 8.0 1088
Ontario 5 1.4 209 7 2.0 230 13 3.8 470 17 5.9 748
Prairie 10 4.5 373 12 5.4 383 10 5.3 452
Pacific 7 6.0 250 10 8.7 291 14 12.4 400 15 15.5 438
Indigenous Women 12 3.1 175 22 5.7 365 32 8.4 570 48 13.6 834
Atlantic
Quebec
Ontario 6 9.5 684 8 13.8 813
Prairie 8 3.4 155 14 5.9 331 18 7.7 459 27 12.7 820
Pacific 5 11.4 507 7 16.3 799

† = results with a frequency of less than five are suppressed. MDF = median days from warrant expiry to WOC sentence commencement within 1-, 2-, 3-, or 5-years.

Table 16
Rate of Reoffending Post WED Based on CPIC Records by Region of Release
  Any CPIC Offence
(N = 8,439)
1 year
(N = 8,418)
2 years
(N = 8,352)
3 years
(N = 8,171)
5 years
(N = 6,213)
MDR n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF
All Federal Offenders 1552 3879 46.0 502 1506 17.9 172 2450 29.3 287 2959 36.2 364 2955 47.6 432
Atlantic 1710 375 39.5 466 148 15.6 195 247 26.2 303 288 31.1 363 286 40.3 420
Quebec 1689 659 37.2 576 217 12.3 175 384 21.9 314 489 28.6 442 491 39.1 519
Ontario 1556 1028 46.4 481 413 18.7 170 672 30.6 287 807 37.3 357 842 49.5 421
Prairie 1364 1352 53.7 489 539 21.5 177 846 34.0 277 1015 41.8 348 977 53.4 411
Pacific 1505 465 47.3 494 189 19.3 150 301 31.0 268 360 38.2 357 359 50.1 417
Men 1528 3704 47.0 495 1457 18.5 171 2353 30.2 285 2825 37.0 358 2823 48.6 428
Atlantic 1716 348 40.3 486 133 15.4 199 227 26.4 304 265 31.5 377 266 40.7 429
Quebec 1682 643 37.6 575 213 12.5 174 376 22.3 314 477 28.9 442 478 39.6 519
Ontario 1526 989 47.9 479 401 19.4 170 647 31.5 283 776 38.4 356 810 50.9 415
Prairie 1309 1281 54.9 473 523 22.5 174 810 35.2 272 958 42.6 339 924 54.8 396
Pacific 1446 443 48.5 469 187 20.6 150 293 32.5 259 349 39.8 344 345 51.7 393
Non-Indigenous Men 1636 2627 41.9 518 993 15.9 174 1638 26.4 292 1971 32.5 368 2000 43.7 449
Atlantic 1736 306 38.7 486 114 14.4 187 201 25.5 304 233 30.3 387 236 39.6 434
Quebec 1699 571 36.2 579 188 12.0 173 331 21.2 313 416 27.4 443 417 37.8 522
Ontario 1604 822 44.8 505 324 17.7 170 523 28.8 282 633 35.4 357 667 47.6 433
Prairie 1562 621 45.4 508 238 17.4 188 380 28.2 298 446 34.0 350 438 45.1 422
Pacific 1549 307 44.2 458 129 18.6 154 203 29.6 259 243 36.5 339 242 47.9 416
Indigenous Men 900 1077 66.3 439 464 28.7 164 715 44.6 264 853 54.1 328 823 67.1 373
Atlantic 1278 42 57.5 472 19 26.4 241 26 36.1 308 32 44.4 337 30 52.6 358
Quebec 1140 72 54.6 490 25 19.1 219 45 34.9 315 61 47.3 429 61 58.7 487
Ontario 661 167 71.4 402 77 32.9 169 124 53.0 288 143 61.6 328 143 75.7 364
Prairie 876 660 68.3 438 285 29.6 157 430 45.1 256 512 54.8 311 486 68.2 370
Pacific 1042 136 62.1 492 58 26.7 149 90 41.7 262 105 50.0 357 103 63.2 359
Women 1828 175 31.8 639 49 8.9 197 97 17.7 360 134 25.1 478 132 32.3 504
Atlantic 1681 27 31.4 324 15 17.4 176 20 23.5 262 23 27.7 275 20 35.1 274
Quebec 1908 16 25.0 718 8 12.7 373 12 19.7 556 13 26.5 655
Ontario 1850 39 26.2 534 12 8.1 206 25 16.9 381 31 21.5 465 32 29.1 491
Prairie 1770 71 38.8 727 16 8.7 212 36 19.7 440 57 31.5 563 53 36.8 563
Pacific 1881 22 31.9 976 8 11.8 519 11 16.7 638 14 28.6 760
Non-Indigenous Women 1859 98 24.8 625 27 6.9 197 54 13.8 365 74 19.3 466 72 25.4 486
Atlantic 1674 21 28.0 324 12 16.0 216 17 23.0 275 19 26.4 314 16 34.0 295
Quebec 1908 14 25.0 831 6 10.7 377 10 18.5 647 11 25.6 880
Ontario 1916 26 21.3 517 7 5.8 267 16 13.2 388 21 17.8 465 21 23.6 483
Prairie 1897 25 26.3 749 11 11.6 466 18 19.0 638 17 23.6 612
Pacific 1906 12 25.5 1117 6 13.3 584 7 21.2 762
Indigenous Women 1515 77 49.4 652 22 14.1 196 43 27.7 360 60 39.7 504 60 48.0 541
Atlantic 1835 6 54.6 511
Quebec
Ontario 1279 13 48.2 566 5 18.5 139 9 33.3 325 10 38.5 403 11 52.4 566
Prairie 1409 46 52.3 680 12 13.6 220 25 28.4 419 39 45.4 518 36 50.0 541
Pacific 1780 10 45.5 832 5 23.8 652 7 43.8 757

† = results with a frequency of less than five are suppressed. MDR = median days from warrant expiry to earliest CPIC conviction, death, deportation, December 22nd, 2017. MDF = median days from warrant expiry to CPIC conviction.

Recidivism Results by Age of Release

The next analyses demonstrated the effect of aging on rates of recidivism for various follow up periods post release. The results in Tables 17 and 18 present the reoffending and violent reoffending rates based on combined OMS and CPIC records. Canadian federal offenders younger than 25 had the highest rate of reoffending and of violent reoffending. We see an age effect for reoffending and violent reoffending for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous offenders, with outcomes demonstrating a gradual improvement with age. The decline in reoffending becomes steeper after aged 50 and earlier than that for women where after 45 very few women, Indigenous or non-Indigenous, reoffended even within a 5 year follow-up period. The number of offenders in the women’s cohorts for some age bands is too low to provide reliable estimates, therefore the results should be interpreted with caution. Similar patterns with respect to the decline in offending with age are found when results were analyzed separately for pre and post warrant expiry outcomes (see Tables B6 to B9 in Appendix B).

Table 17
Rates of Reoffending by Age Bands (Combined OMS and CPIC Records)
Any Reoffence 1 year
(N = 8,844)
2 years
(N = 8,767)
3 years
(N = 8,705)
5 years
(N = 8,267)
MDF n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF
All Federal Offenders 1955 4425 49.8 609 1516 17.1 140 2447 27.9 279 3083 35.4 388 3570 43.2 544
Less than 25 1146 906 62.8 497 381 26.6 128 557 39.1 227 677 47.8 316 748 56.5 469
25 to < 30 1444 998 60.7 621 324 19.8 116 552 33.9 291 691 42.7 414 805 52.3 561
30 to < 35 1569 768 56.1 635 253 18.6 150 413 30.7 291 535 40.0 409 627 49.4 566
35 to < 40 2010 607 50.0 573 220 18.2 155 348 29.0 280 428 35.9 369 487 42.7 508
40 to < 45 2102 551 47.3 670 174 15.0 140 278 24.2 283 361 31.6 392 437 40.3 587
45 to < 50 2178 354 38.9 662 101 11.2 153 190 21.3 352 242 27.3 464 277 33.2 614
50 to < 55 2335 157 29.6 752 42 8.0 158 74 14.2 331 100 19.3 472 128 25.4 658
55+ 2303 84 13.6 909 21 3.4 126 35 5.8 271 49 8.3 462 61 10.7 836
Men 1896 4223 50.8 597 1464 17.7 140 2356 28.8 278 2954 36.3 386 3412 44.2 537
Less than 25 1105 867 63.8 489 369 27.3 127 538 40.1 232 647 48.6 310 714 57.4 463
25 to < 30 1315 947 61.9 601 312 20.5 116 529 34.9 286 663 44.1 414 770 53.9 554
30 to < 35 1538 722 56.7 603 243 19.2 150 395 31.6 295 505 40.5 399 588 49.9 544
35 to < 40 1938 582 52.0 569 213 19.0 157 334 30.1 279 412 37.4 368 469 44.5 508
40 to < 45 2063 527 48.2 668 165 15.2 140 267 24.8 290 345 32.3 393 417 41.2 587
45 to < 50 2157 346 40.9 656 101 12.0 153 188 22.6 348 239 29.0 463 271 35.0 600
50 to < 55 2234 149 30.2 762 40 8.2 147 70 14.4 315 95 19.8 448 123 26.3 662
55+ 2298 83 13.8 938 21 3.5 126 35 6.0 271 48 8.4 434 60 10.9 846
Non-Indigenous Men 2115 3041 45.9 632 988 15.0 149 1644 25.2 294 2077 32.0 402 2442 39.5 566
Less than 25 1526 558 57.2 560 212 21.8 136 328 33.9 270 402 41.8 347 455 50.0 505
25 to < 30 1722 646 56.3 629 201 17.6 136 347 30.6 294 441 39.1 416 518 48.3 567
30 to < 35 1812 535 52.2 544 180 17.7 157 296 29.4 307 377 37.5 402 442 46.1 541
35 to < 40 2121 433 48.7 604 148 16.7 158 239 27.1 288 297 33.8 376 344 40.8 535
40 to < 45 2124 404 45.6 650 129 14.6 151 209 23.9 293 263 30.2 388 320 38.7 570
45 to < 50 2218 273 38.3 708 67 9.5 167 139 19.9 378 183 26.5 537 213 32.5 645
50 to < 55 2248 118 27.1 773 30 7.0 138 53 12.4 310 71 16.8 435 97 23.4 671
55+ 2293 74 13.5 846 21 3.9 126 33 6.2 235 43 8.2 380 53 10.6 757
Indigenous Men 921 1182 69.8 521 476 28.2 106 712 42.8 235 877 53.1 343 970 63.3 473
Less than 25 527 309 80.9 345 157 41.5 106 210 56.3 177 245 66.2 253 259 77.3 334
25 to < 30 763 301 78.6 577 111 29.1 94 182 47.9 255 222 58.9 406 252 70.8 523
30 to < 35 967 187 75.4 670 63 25.4 108 99 40.6 229 128 53.1 382 146 66.1 608
35 to < 40 923 149 64.8 455 65 28.3 146 95 42.0 244 115 51.6 349 125 59.8 408
40 to < 45 1457 123 59.7 742 36 17.6 71 58 29.0 275 82 41.4 461 97 51.9 606
45 to < 50 1370 73 54.1 390 34 25.4 134 49 36.8 234 56 42.1 281 58 48.7 386
50 to < 55 1595 31 54.4 662 10 17.5 215 17 29.8 319 24 42.1 472 26 48.2 613
55+ 2323 9 17.3 1091 - - - 5 9.6 943 7 13.7 951
Women 2237 202 35.0 828 52 9.0 158 91 15.9 304 129 22.6 520 158 28.7 689
Less than 25 2102 39 46.4 763 12 14.3 166 19 22.6 211 30 35.7 564 34 42.5 670
25 to < 30 2207 51 44.4 978 12 10.4 236 23 20.0 325 28 24.4 426 35 31.8 681
30 to < 35 1951 46 48.4 864 10 10.5 142 18 19.4 238 30 32.3 640 39 42.9 787
35 to < 40 2285 25 26.9 658 7 7.5 90 14 15.1 353 16 17.2 423 18 20.7 647
40 to < 45 2299 24 32.9 861 9 12.3 140 11 15.1 156 16 22.2 267 20 28.6 667
45 to < 50 2443 8 12.7 1179 6 10.0 1047
50 to < 55 2244 8 21.6 638 5 13.9 572 5 13.9 572
55+
Non-Indigenous Women 2299 114 27.5 921 24 5.8 106 48 11.6 350 66 16.0 545 87 21.8 713
Less than 25 2158 19 37.3 763 9 17.7 515 15 29.4 652 18 37.5 770
25 to < 30 2298 26 31.7 1352 7 8.5 411 10 12.2 501 15 18.8 978
30 to < 35 2201 26 40.0 994 6 9.2 63 10 15.4 180 15 23.1 627 22 34.4 902
35 to < 40 2277 19 26.8 648 6 8.5 72 12 16.9 377 12 16.9 377 13 19.7 646
40 to < 45 2377 15 27.8 804 5 9.3 156 7 13.0 181 9 17.0 256 12 23.1 456
45 to < 50
50 to < 55
55+
Indigenous Women 1625 88 54.3 732 28 17.3 198 43 27.0 278 63 39.6 451 71 47.0 667
Less than 25 1582 20 60.6 613 9 27.3 172 10 30.3 184.5 15 45.5 213 16 50.0 278
25 to < 30 827 25 75.8 681 9 27.3 232 16 48.5 323 18 54.6 366 20 66.7 667
30 to < 35 921 20 66.7 789 8 28.6 334 15 53.6 727 17 63.0 736
35 to < 40 2309 6 27.3 921 5 23.8 880
40 to < 45 1991 9 47.4 939 7 36.8 278 8 44.4 954
45 to < 50
50 to < 55
55+

† = results with a frequency of less than five are suppressed. MDR = median days from release to the earliest of revocation with an offence readmission, new warrant of committal sentence commencement, earliest CPIC offence conviction, death, deportation, or data collection on December 22nd, 2017. For offenders with a revocation without an offence, time from readmission to WED was subtracted from the follow-up time. MDF = median days from release to first reoffence (revocation with an offence readmission, new warrant of committal sentence commencement, or CPIC conviction). Time from a revocation without an offence to WED was subtracted from the follow-up time.

Table 18
Violent Reoffending Rates by Age of Release (Combined OMS and CPIC Records)
Any Violent Reoffence
(N = 8893)
1 year
(N = 8,844)
2 years
(N = 8,767 )
3 years
(N = 8,705)
5 years
  (N = 8,267)
MDR n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF
All  Offenders 2068 2418 27.2 630 697 7.9 206 1340 15.3 358 1749 20.1 463 2033 24.6 589
< 25 1377 551 38.2 521 202 14.1 212 344 24.1 319 420 29.7 386 458 34.6 495
25 - <30 1615 602 36.6 668 150 9.2 221 320 19.6 388 434 26.8 504 507 32.9 601
30 - <35 1741 420 30.7 616 123 9.0 210 232 17.3 360 308 23.0 457 358 28.2 565
35 - <40 2103 327 27.0 594 101 8.3 185 183 15.2 344 237 19.9 456 275 24.1 568
40 - <45 2133 262 22.5 728 61 5.3 174 130 11.3 391 181 15.9 535 226 20.8 680
45 - <50 2192 168 18.5 689 41 4.6 193 90 10.1 398 118 13.3 547 140 16.8 665
50 - <55 2241 57 10.8 677 12 2.3 213 27 5.2 433 33 6.4 476 43 8.5 617
55+ 2304 31 5.0 943 7 1.1 166 14 2.3 360 18 3.1 454 26 4.6 708
All Men
(N = 8267)
2007 2342 28.2 621 680 8.2 206 1307 16.0 358 1694 20.8 460 1971 25.5 584
< 25 1339 536 39.5 517 198 14.7 212 336 25.1 318 406 30.5 380 445 35.7 493
25 - <30 1558 575 37.6 659 142 9.3 217 304 20.1 388 413 27.4 503 483 33.8 599
30 - <35 1715 404 31.7 584 121 9.5 214 227 18.1 359 298 23.9 454 345 29.3 562
35 - <40 2044 321 28.7 587 100 8.9 185 181 16.3 344 234 21.3 456 272 25.8 556
40 - <45 2118 256 23.4 720 59 5.4 174 128 11.9 391 176 16.5 534 220 21.7 677
45 - <50 2163 165 19.5 669 41 4.9 193 90 10.8 398 118 14.3 547 139 17.9 664
50 - <55 2236 55 11.2 662 12 2.5 213 27 5.6 433 32 6.7 472 42 9.0 614
55+ 2303 30 5.0 998 7 1.2 166 14 2.4 360 17 3.0 406 25 4.5 588
Non-Indigenous Men
(N = 6581)
2136 1570 23.7 654 425 6.5 206 852 13.1 370 1095 16.9 471 1312 21.2 602
< 25 1845 315 32.3 611 99 10.2 216 183 18.9 336 221 23.0 428 255 28.0 567
25 - <30 1857 357 31.1 725 81 7.1 215 179 15.8 387 246 21.8 502 294 27.4 624
30 - <35 1967 282 27.5 566 86 8.4 219 163 16.2 363 211 21.0 455 250 26.1 561
35 - <40 2152 224 25.2 605 65 7.3 198 127 14.4 361 156 17.8 450 188 22.3 578
40 - <45 2143 196 22.1 667 51 5.8 166 103 11.8 381 135 15.5 473 165 19.9 637
45 - <50 2227 127 17.8 720 27 3.8 192 65 9.3 463 87 12.6 567 105 16.0 690
50 - <55 2256 43 9.9 748 9 2.1 187 19 4.4 433 24 5.7 487 33 8.0 617
55+ 2296 26 4.7 891 7 1.3 166 13 2.4 334 15 2.9 386 22 4.4 587
Indigenous Men
(N = 1686)
1070 772 45.6 571 255 15.1 205 455 27.3 333 599 36.3 443 659 43.0 529
< 25 651 221 57.9 405 99 26.2 207 153 41.0 302 185 50.0 345 190 56.7 388
25 - <30 942 218 56.9 602 61 16.0 221 125 32.9 397 167 44.3 505 189 53.1 582
30 - <35 1092 122 49.2 684 35 14.1 156 64 26.2 338 87 36.1 451 95 43.0 565
35 - <40 1128 97 42.2 508 35 15.2 181 54 23.9 288 78 35.0 459 84 40.2 508
40 - <45 1608 60 29.1 882 8 3.9 215 25 12.5 446 41 20.7 642 55 29.4 874
45 - <50 1507 38 28.2 478 14 10.5 221 25 18.8 354 31 23.3 382 34 28.6 427
50 - <55 1845 12 21.1 613 8 14.0 432 8 14.0 432 9 16.7 609
55+
All Women
(N = 577)
2272 76 13.2 828 17 3.0 232 33 5.8 342 55 9.6 687 62 11.3 723
< 25 2163 15 17.9 718 8 9.5 361 14 16.7 703 13 16.3 687
25 - <30 2207 27 23.5 706 8 7.0 246 16 13.9 366 21 18.3 561 24 21.8 667
30 - <35 2117 16 16.8 929 5 5.4 4.27 10 10.8 732 13 14.3 790
35 - <40 2332 6 6.5 992 3 3.2 646
40 - <45 2333 6 8.2 863 5 6.9 756 6 8.6 863
45 - <50
50 - <55
55+
Non-Indigenous Women
(N = 415)
2307 32 7.7 943 6 1.5 135 13 3.2 380 20 4.9 667 24 6.0 737
< 25 2195 5 9.8 718 - - - 5 9.8 718 5 10.4 718
25 - <30 2298 11 13.4 713 6 7.3 381 8 9.8 501 9 11.3 561
30 - <35 2209 6 9.2 1289
35 - <40 2338 5 7.0 1104
40 - <45
45 - <50
50 - <55
55+
Indigenous Women
(N =162)
1868 44 27.2 806 11 6.8 240 20 12.6 334 35 22.0 706 38 25.2 721
< 25 2158 10 30.3 609 5 15.2 278 9 27.3 395 8 25.0 369
25 - <30 1105 16 48.5 687 5 15.2 240 10 30.3 366 13 39.4 667 15 50.0 667
30 - <35 1096 10 33.3 819 8 28.6 763 9 33.3 790
35 - <40
40 - <45 1991 5 26.3 969 5 27.8 969
45 - <50
50 - <55
55+

† = results with a frequency of less than five are suppressed. MDR = median days from release to the earliest of revocation with a violent offence readmission, new warrant of committal sentence commencement, earliest CPIC offence conviction, death, deportation, or data collection on December 22nd, 2017. For offenders with a revocation without an offence or with a non-violent offence, time from readmission to WED was subtracted from the follow-up time. MDF = median days from release to first violent reoffence (revocation with a violent offence readmission, new warrant of committal sentence commencement, or CPIC conviction). Time from a revocation without an offence or with a non-violent offence to WED was subtracted from the follow-up time.

Results by Self-Identified Ethnic Group

When the group size was sufficient, recidivism rates were compared for the largest self-identified ethnic groups in CSC. Rates were too low for women in some categories. Tables 19 and 20 demonstrate the variability in reoffending and violent reoffending rates based on these groups. The lowest rates of reoffending are among the South East Asian offenders and the highest rates are among the Indigenous offenders. Black offenders’ rates of reoffending are intermediate between the White and South East Asian offenders. A similar pattern holds for rates of violent reoffending by group. Among Indigenous men the reoffending and violent reoffending rates for First Nation offenders are slightly higher than for the Metis. Among Indigenous women this trend is reversed. The five year violent reoffending rate for First Nations men is over 45%. Results by ethnic group for outcomes based on OMS data pre and post warrant expiry and for CPIC post warrant expiry demonstrated the same pattern by ethnic identity. These results are presented in Appendix B Tables B10-13.

Given the strength of the age-crime relationship we ran a regression analysis to determine whether the relatively younger age of Indigenous offenders would account for their higher rates of reoffending (See Tables B14 and B15 in Appendix B). The results revealed that age at release partially but weakly mediated the association between Indigenous ancestry and revocations with an offence. Controlling for age, Indigenous men continued to have a nearly 2 times greater odds of having a revocation with an offence compared to non-Indigenous men and Indigenous women still had between a 1.5 and 3 times greater odds of a revocation for an offence than non-Indigenous women. It can be concluded therefore that the younger age at release of Indigenous offenders (median of 32 for Indigenous men, 36 for non-Indigenous men, 31 for Indigenous women, and 36 for non-Indigenous women) made a minimal contribution to the higher rates of revocations with an offence observed among Indigenous offenders.

Table 19
Rates of Reoffending Post Release by Ethnic Group (Combined OMS and CPIC Records)
  Any Reoffence
(N = 8,324)
1 year
(N = 8,278)
2 years
(N = 8, 202)
3 years
(N = 8,141)
5 years
(N = 7,724)
MDR n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF
All Federal Offenders 1871 4264 51.2 604 1473 17.8 140 2365 28.8 278 2978 36.6 386 3444 44.6 543
Non-Indigenous 2129 3155 44.8 643 1012 14.5 149 1692 24.4 295 2143 31.1 407 2529 38.4 566
White 2097 2679 47.6 621 900 16.1 148 1473 26.6 290 1845 33.5 394 2138 40.8 557
Black 2156 281 41.0 856 63 9.2 152 127 18.7 368 173 25.4 453 238 36.0 741
S.E. Asian 2299 34 22.7 932 6 4.0 164 10 6.7 331 20 13.4 742 27 19.0 786
Indigenous 958 1270 69.5 530 504 27.3 110 755 41.4 238 940 51.9 347 1041 61.9 481
First Nation 928 898 70.0 533 353 27.7 119 531 42.1 244 666 53.3 354 728 63.0 479
Metis 1006 329 67.1 521 136 27.8 106 197 40.9 214 240 50.1 297 274 61.2 491
Inuit 1610 43 52.4 475 15 18.3 118 27 32.9 307 34 41.5 400 39 48.8 442
Men 1807 4070 52.3 594 1423 18.4 139 2279 29.7 278 2857 37.6 383 3294 45.7 536
Non-Indigenous 2115 3041 45.9 632 988 15.0 149 1644 25.2 294 2077 32.0 402 2442 39.5 5
White 2034 2577 48.6 603 878 16.7 148 1430 27.4 289 1788 34.6 391 2061 41.9 544
Black 2135 277 43.0 841 63 9.8 152 127 19.8 368 172 26.8 453 236 37.9 728
S.E. Asian 2991 34 23.6 932 6 4.2 164 10 7.0 331 20 14.0 742 27 19.9 786
Indigenous 921 1182 69.8 521 476 28.2 106 712 42.8 235 877 53.1 343 970 63.3 473
First Nation 889 839 71.8 529 332 28.6 104 500 43.5 244 623 54.8 350 680 64.7 473
Metis 927 302 67.7 497 130 29.2 105 187 42.7 209 222 51.0 279 253 62.5 481
Inuit 1610 41 52.6 489 14 18.0 125 25 32.1 307 32 41.0 411 37 48.7 475
Women 2229 194 36.1 848 50 9.3 158 86 16.1 297 121 22.7 515 150 29.3 697
Non-Indigenous 2299 114 27.5 921 24 5.8 106 48 11.6 350 66 16.0 545 87 21.8 713
White 2297 102 30.9 952 22 6.7 106 43 13.1 320 57 17.4 515 77 23.4 713
Black
S.E. Asian
Indigenous 1625 88 54.3 732 28 17.3 198 43 27.0 278 63 39.6 451 71 47.0 667
First Nation 1600 59 51.8 706 21 18.4 213 31 27.9 240 43 38.7 451 48 46.2 674
Metis 1748 27 61.4 939 6 13.6 123 10 22.7 321 18 40.9 593 21 48.8 736
Inuit

† = results with a frequency of less than five are suppressed. MDR = median days from release to the earliest of revocation with an offence readmission, new warrant of committal sentence commencement, earliest CPIC offence conviction, death, deportation, or data collection on December 22nd, 2017. For offenders with a revocation without an offence, time from readmission to WED was subtracted from the follow-up time. MDF = median days from release to first reoffence (revocation with an offence readmission, new warrant of committal sentence commencement, or CPIC conviction). Time from a revocation without an offence to WED was subtracted from the follow-up time.

Table 20
Rates of Violent Reoffending Post Release by Ethnic Group (Combined OMS and CPIC Records)
Any Violent Reoffence
(N = 8893)
1 year
(N = 8,278)
2 years
(N = 8, 202)
3 years
(N = 8,141)
5 years
(N = 7,724)
MDR n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF n % MDF
All Federal Offenders (N = 8278) 1989 2347 28.2 628 683 8.3 206 1302 15.9 355 1704 20.9 463 1975 25.6 590
Non-Indigenous 2150 1602 22.8 659 431 6.2 206 865 12.5 370 1115 16.2 474 1336 20.3 605
White 2122 1380 24.5 649 388 6.9 205 753 13.6 363 970 17.6 475 1143 21.8 604
Black 2160 141 20.6 735 28 4.1 204 70 10.3 394 93 13.7 453 125 18.9 691
S.E. Asian 2311 10 6.7 771 7 4.7 725 10 7.0 771
Indigenous 1119 816 44.0 580 266 14.4 207 475 26.0 333 634 35.0 446 697 41.4 532
First Nation 1072 588 45.8 580 194 15.2 217 341 27.1 329 471 37.7 449 506 43.8 530
Metis 1166 190 38.8 572 63 12.9 162 113 23.4 342 134 28.0 439 157 35.0 537
Inuit 1788 38 46.3 621 9 11.0 131 21 25.6 393 29 35.4 442 34 42.5 581
All Men
(N = 7740)
1933 2272 29.2 620 666 8.6 205 1269 16.6 355 1650 21.7 460 1914 26.5 585
Non-Indigenous 2136 1570 23.7 654 425 6.5 206 852 13.1 370 1095 16.9 471 1312 21.2 602
White 2105 1350 25.5 647 382 7.3 206 740 14.2 362 951 18.4 474 1120 22.8 602
Black 2142 140 21.7 728 28 4.4 204 70 10.9 394 93 14.5 453 125 20.1 691
S.E. Asian 2311 10 6.9 771 7 4.9 725 10 7.4 771
Indigenous 1070 772 45.6 571 255 15.1 205 455 27.3 333 599 36.3 443 659 43.0 529
First Nation 1034 556 47.6 574 184 15.8 213 325 28.3 331 445 39.1 446 478 45.5 529
Metis 1131 180 40.4 535 63 14.1 162 111 25.3 339 127 29.2 397 149 36.8 516
Inuit 1788 36 46.2 661 8 10.3 155 19 24.4 393 27 34.6 475 32 42.1 621
Women
(N = 538)
2252 75 13.9 827 17 3.2 232 33 6.2 342 54 10.2 677 61 11.9 718
Non-Indigenous 2307 32 7.7 943 6 1.5 135 13 3.2 380 20 4.9 667 24 6.0 737
White 2299 30 9.1 853 6 1.8 135 13 4.0 380 19 5.8 646 23 7.3 718
Black
S.E. Asian
Indigenous 1868 44 27.2 806 11 6.8 240 20 12.6 334 35 22.0 706 38 25.2 721
First Nation 1769 32 28.1 759 10 8.8 259 16 14.4 315 26 23.4 687 28 26.9 710
Metis 2022 10 22.7 972 7 15.9 880 8 18.6 904
Inuit

† = results with a frequency of less than five are suppressed. MDR = median days from release to the earliest of revocation with a violent offence readmission, new warrant of committal sentence commencement, earliest CPIC offence conviction, death, deportation, or data collection on December 22nd, 2017. For offenders with a revocation without an offence or with a non-violent offence, time from readmission to WED was subtracted from the follow-up time. MDF = median days from release to first violent reoffence (revocation with a violent offence readmission, new warrant of committal sentence commencement, or CPIC conviction). Time from a revocation without an offence or with a non-violent offence to WED was subtracted from the follow-up time.

Results by Citizenship

While the vast majority of offenders in CSC custody have Canadian or dual citizenship, in the 2007/2008 through 2011/2012 release cohorts there were 953 offenders with non-Canadian citizenship who had at least 30 days of supervised release in the community. Table 21 shows the recidivism rates for offenders with Canadian citizenship compared to non-Canadians. Given the low number of offenders who were non-Canadian, the results are not disaggregated by gender (for example, 120 of the 129 non-Canadian offenders who returned to custody were men). The table combines results for the period in which the offenders were under federal warrant as well as the post-WED reconviction rates based on new warrants of committal and CPIC records. While under federal supervision, rates of reoffending for non-citizens were 4%, a rate lower than for Canadians. Post warrant expiry reoffending rates remain substantially lower among non-citizens.

Table 21
Rates of Revocations by Canadian Citizenship Based on CPIC and OMS Records (N = 21,911)
All Offenders Canadian or Dual Non-Canadian
MDR n % MDF MDR n % MDF MDR n % MDF
Any Return to Custody 311 10,136 46.3 176 306 10,007 47.8 175 484 129 13.5 184
Revocation with Offence 2,763 12.6 100 2,725 13.0 100 38 4.0 163
Revoked with Schedule 1 or Homicide 507 2.3 99 504 2.4 99
Revoked with Schedule 1 Sexual Offence 32 0.2 170 32 .02 170
Any CPIC Offence
(N = 8,439)
1,552 3,879 46.0 502 1519 3,830 47.4 500 1,911 49 13.4 790
CPIC Offence 1 year
(N = 8,418)
1,506 17.9 172 1,490 18.5 172 16 4.4 192
CPIC Offence 2 years
(N = 8,352)
2,450 29.3 287 2,427 30.4 286 23 6.4 295
CPIC Offence 3 years
(N = 8, 171)
2,958 36.2 364 2,927 37.4 364 31 8.9 361
CPIC Offence 5 years
(N = 6,213)
2,955 47.6 432 2,917 48.9 432 38 15.1 577

† = results with a frequency of less than five are suppressed. MDR = median days from release to revocation readmission, warrant expiry, death, deportation, or February 25th, 2018. MDF = median days from release to revocation readmission.

Discussion

Measures of recidivism, variably defined across constituencies, provide a key indication of the success of a correctional agency’s efforts in promoting public safety. Knowing the recidivism rates of offenders during the period while they are the direct responsibility of an agency is critical to the planning and evaluation of the agency’s services, but a longer term measure of reoffending rates post-release provides an indication of the extent to which the effectiveness of the sanctions and programs are sustained over time. The public is particularly concerned about violent and sexual reoffending, with high rates signalling the failure of interventions and sanctions in reducing serious reoffending.

The present study examined recidivism rates over several time periods based on multiple lines of enquiry including: rates of returns to federal custody, rates of return to federal custody with an offence (new warrants of committal), and rates of return to federal custody with a violent or sexual reoffence. The analysis also examined rates of recidivism based on reconvictions recorded on CPIC records which, combined with the rates of reoffending from OMS data, provided overall recidivism resulting in reconvictions and a criminal justice sanction. These results were presented by gender, self-identified ethnic group, age, index offence category, reoffending offence category, and region of release. A supplementary analysis looked at rates of reconvictions and returns to federal custody by Canadian or non-Canadian citizenship and a comparison of the reoffence severity relative to the index offence. The study represents the most comprehensive examination of recidivism rates among Canadian federal offenders and the first such study for the last 16 years.

Overall rates of reoffending and violent reoffending. Overall reconviction rates for all federal offenders applying a two year post release follow-up in the latest release cohort of 2011-2012 was 23%; the two year rate for men was 24% and for women, 12%. Rates of recidivism for Indigenous offenders were higher – 38% for Indigenous men and 20% for Indigenous women. The longer the follow-up period, the higher the reoffending rates; over 38% of all federal offenders reoffended after 5 years and, for Indigenous men, this increased to over 60%.

The previous study of recidivism rates of federal offenders released in 1996-1997 (Bonta et al., 2003) found considerably higher rates of general reoffending and a slightly higher rate of violent recidivism using a comparable follow-up time period and definition of reconviction. The authors reported an overall rate of reconviction for the last cohort year (1996-1997) of 41% and a rate of 53% for all Indigenous offenders. The two year rate of reoffending for all women in their cohort was 16% (they did not disaggregate rates for women by Indigenous ancestry). The two year reconviction rate of federal offenders provided in this study is the lower range of recidivism rates cited in a recent systematic review of international studies on criminal reoffending. Cautioning that variability in definitions and methodology can affect estimates, they reported that the two year reconviction rate ranged from 20% to 63% (Yukhnenko et al., 2019).

Fear of violent reoffending has fueled "tough on crime" policies and, in the US in particular, contributed to high levels of incarceration. There is, however, generally a wide gap between public perception of the rate of violent and sexual reoffending among offenders and their actual rates (Jackson, 2011). Two year rates of violent reoffending crime in the 2003 study were much lower than general reoffending rates, ranging from 13% to 14% across the three cohort years for the entire sample; for women the rates ranged from 6.7% to 7.4% and the overall rate of violent reoffending for Indigenous offenders was about 20%. In the current study, rates of violent reoffending were also lower than general reoffending rates and had decreased since the 2003 study period. For the 2011-2012 release cohort, within two years of release the rate of reoffending with a violent offence was 12% overall: 13% for men and 5% for women. An analysis of CPIC records indicated that 58% of the violent reoffences were for assault, over half of which were for common assault Level 1.

Our current study appears to provide an encouraging indication that reoffending of federal offenders has decreased over time. We see that, generally, each later release cohort in the current study had lower rates of recidivism than the previous. Many factors could explain reductions in recidivism rates, effective interventions that target criminogenic factors, and provision of appropriate supervision and support are certainly among them. But demographic features within a population also affect rates of recidivism. For example, variations in the prevalence of offenders within a population, in particular, the proportion of the population comprised of young men, the group most likely to be involved in crime, can be expected to contribute to higher crime rates. Trends in illicit drug use, as was seen during the initial years of the crack crisis in the 1990’s, the “war on drugs” policies, economic downturns, and the proportion of the population coping with significant social disadvantages are other influences. All estimates of recidivism in both the current study and previous study of federal offenders (Bonta et al., 2003) were higher for Indigenous offenders. However, this group is also the segment of the federal population that is younger (median age at release of 32 compared to 36 among non-Indigenous men and 31 for Indigenous women, and 36 for non-Indigenous women), has higher rates of substance use disorders (Beaudette & Stewart, 2016), and suffers from significantly higher rates of various measures of social disadvantage such as child abuse, poverty, unemployment, and witnessing family violence (Stewart et al., 2017). Rates of reoffending for other ethnic groups (Black and South East Asian) were lower than for both the Indigenous and White groups, although the differences diminish between the Black and White offenders’ results by the five year follow-up period. We note that the ethnic groups although provided by the offenders themselves reflect a great deal of heterogeneity. We believe it important however to distinguish differences in base rates of reoffending according to patterns which would allow for more tailored interventions, at least at a general level.

Reoffending rates by gender. Studies of criminal behaviour have noted a much lower involvement of women in crime (Statistics Canada, 2011). In Canada, for example, Statistics Canada estimated that less than one-quarter of all crime is committed by female offenders (Savage, 2019). This gender gap is even larger for violent and serious offending (Mallicoat, 2019). Research also points to lower rates of reoffending of criminal justice involved women relative to men (Bonta et al., 2003; Motiuk & Vuong, 2018). In fact, the low base rates of reoffending among women offenders has been cited as an impediment to research on the impact of interventions given the resulting reduction in statistical power. In our analyses, we confirmed that women’s reoffending rates pre- and post-warrant expiry were lower than men’s and that women are also less likely than men to reoffend with a violent offence. Reoffending among women in the five-year follow-up, however, increases to 22% overall, and 38% for Indigenous women, which is a rate higher than that of non-Indigenous men. This suggests that research on women offenders may require a longer term follow-up window in order to detect the impact of criminal justice policies and programs, or these studies will need to rely on returns to custody as an alternative, though less adequate, outcome measure.

Rates of reoffending by age. The age-crime curve is one of the most established findings in criminological research and appears to be invariant across culture, gender, and time (Farrington, 1986; Hirschi & Gottfredson, 1983). The literature demonstrates that involvement in crime is highest among young men 15-19 and thereafter decreases precipitously. The results of this study of federally sentenced offenders found a similar pattern albeit our timeline follows only offenders from age 18 and older. For the entire sample, the highest rates of recidivism were among offenders under age 25 and the lowest rates, among offenders over 55. For example, the reoffending rate two years post release for federal offenders under 25 was more than 6 times higher than that of offenders over age 55. This decline in crime with age begins earlier for women. The overall pattern applies across the offender groups examined in this study. Since crime rates are affected by the number of individuals in the cohort who are offenders, we would expect an increase in rates of crime among offending groups with a younger median age. This is, in fact, what we find among Indigenous men and women in the federal offender population; the rates of reoffending are higher among this group and they have a younger median age at release. A regression analysis demonstrated that although there was a significant interaction between age and Indigenous ancestry, younger age did not entirely account for the difference in recidivism rates between Indigenous and non-Indigenous offenders.

Rates of reoffending by region. The analysis of recidivism rates by region of release demonstrated significant variability among the regions. During the period in which offenders were under warrant, the Prairie region had the highest rates of returns to federal custody with an offence, and the Ontario and Quebec regions, the lowest. Post WED, the Pacific region had the highest rates of return to federal custody with a new federal warrant of committal within all of the 1, 2 3, and 5 year follow-up periods. Relying on CPIC records post warrant expiry, rates of reoffending of any kind were lowest in Quebec and highest in the Prairie region. Overall, the results point to the Prairie region having the highest rates of reoffending, but the Pacific region having highest rates of serious reoffending measured by new warrants of committal. Factors that contribute to these consistent results should be examined to determine whether variability across regions in correctional policies, programs, and case management practices are contributing to these differences or whether they are more likely accounted for by regional variability in demographics and the availability of social programs and support. Of note, according to Statistics Canada in 2017 the crime rate per 100,000 in British Columbia was about twice that of Ontario and Quebec (7416 compared to 3359 and 3803 respectively). The rate of violent crime in 2017 in British Columbia was also higher than Quebec and Ontario (Statistics Canada, nd).

Rates of reoffending based on index offence. Generally, research indicates that offenders, particularly younger offenders, are criminally versatile (Gottfredson & Hirschi, 1990) involved in a variety of crimes over the course of their criminal careers. Nevertheless, there are patterns of reoffending specific to an index offence. Typically, the literature points to lower reoffending rates for individuals with sexual offences (Hanson & Bussiere, 1998) and the highest rates of reoffending among offenders involved in acquisitive crime (Stewart & Usher, 2017). The analysis of recidivism rates by index offence conducted in this study found that offenders with a property offence as their index offence had the highest rates of reoffending followed by offenders with index offences for robbery and assault. Those with homicide, sexual, and drug offences had the lowest rates of reoffending. While the reoffence was not always within the same category as the index offence, there was a greater likelihood that offenders will recommit a crime that is within the same category as their index offence than there is for offenders with other categories of index offences. For example, sexual offenders were more likely than those with other index offences to reoffend sexually; offenders with a violent index offence (with the exception of homicide) were more likely to recommit another violent offence than those whose index offence that was for a non-violent offence. The offence category with the highest rates of violent reoffending for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous offenders was robbery.

Rates of return to federal custody based on citizenship. We assessed differences in reoffending rates between individuals with Canadian citizenship and non-Canadians within the time frame that both were under federal supervision and also through CPIC records. The results should be interpreted with caution since the rates of reoffending for non-citizens could have been suppressed by unreliable reporting of deportations. Nevertheless, we can note that within the period they were under federal warrant, 38 of the 950 (4%) non-citizens in the cohort reoffended, a rate substantially lower than among Canadian citizens.

Measuring recidivism. There are a number of decisions that need to be taken when conducting research on estimates of recidivism. The results provided in this study illustrated that rates of reoffending as measured by OMS data on returns to federal custody were significantly lower than those that combined OMS with CPIC records. Additionally, there is no consensus among criminal justice agencies internationally on whether crimes such as driving offences and administration of justice offences should be included in the overall recidivism rates. A number of reoffences recorded in CPIC were for a category of non-violent crimes that are generally of low severity. Eliminating these offences when they are the only offence for which an offender was reconvicted would result in a reduction in the overall base rate. The extent to which this would decrease the base rate would vary for each follow-up period examined. Future discussions on how recidivism rates should be reported need to consider a calculation based on estimates when these lower severity offences are omitted (i.e., an adjusted rate) as well as one in which they are included.

We found that including data from CPIC added substantially to estimates of reoffending. For the full time period of the study, CPIC added another 23.0% to the estimate of reoffending over that provided by OMS data on revocations with an offence. We also found that for cases of new warrants of committal almost all (>99%) appeared on CPIC, providing a validation for the way these offences are recorded on OMS and a confirmation of the accuracy of the CPIC coding.

Some researchers have observed that the majority of recidivism takes place within two-years of release (Putkonen et al., 2003), and others have even questioned the utility of longer follow-up periods (Gobeil & Robeson-Barrett, 2007). The results of the current study, however, indicate that longer follow-up periods generally produce increasingly higher rates of recidivism and that the nature of the trajectories can vary by offending group and age bands. This argues for the value of longer-term longitudinal analysis which can contribute important additional information on the pattern of reoffending. We see, for example, that the rate of reoffending for federal offenders nearly doubles from the one year follow-up period to the five year window. Similar trends are evident when we looked at reci