University of Hertfordshire

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)464-483
Number of pages20
JournalCriminology and Criminal Justice
Early online date3 Dec 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2015


This article sought to assess what impact exposure to a court-mandated alcohol treatment requirement (ATR) had on offending. Recidivism risk factors were also investigated. The comparative design involved secondary analysis of three linked administrative datasets which focused upon an experimental group of 112 probationers exposed to the ATR and a comparison group of equal size supervised by the same probation area prior to their introduction. Both groups were selected from a larger pool of cases (N = 476) that were found to be significantly different on a number of key variables. Propensity score matching was used to deal with this non-equivalence. The outcome measures examined were the rate and volume of reoffending, and the time to first reoffence. The results showed no association between exposure to the ATR and the rate of reconviction at 12 months (59.8 per cent vs 63.4 per cent), the time to first reoffence (70.7 vs 81.5 days) and the number of proven reoffences (mean 2.4 vs 2.3). The factor with the largest effect on risk of recidivism was supervision completion status. These findings provide indicative evidence to inform discussions about a future programme of research in this area and potential strategies for enhancing the crime prevention impact of court-mandated alcohol treatment.


© The Author(s) 2014

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