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Developing Measures of Severity and Frequency of Reconviction

Research output: Working paper


Publication date2005
Number of pages86
Original languageEnglish


This report examines the scope for focusing on the seriousness and frequency of recidivism and presents methodology for determining how to measure offence seriousness, and how to measure frequency of offending. It also discusses the advantages and disadvantages of combining these two measures into a combined seriousness/frequency score. However, one needs to recognise that the task of providing alternative measures of recidivism is not simply a technical exercise, for there are both philosophical and practical issues to confront.
Hence, while the main body of the report focuses largely on the feasibility of producing the alternative measures and provides some solid evidence of developing these approaches (sections 3-5), the philosophical issues – which embrace definitional, conceptual and moral concerns – are not overlooked (see section 2). Furthermore, some of the practical issues of introducing these measures are recognised in the final section (section 6). First, however, what are the stated aims and objectives of the work.