November 5, 2010 3.20 pm This story is over 158 months old

Two thirds of Lincoln inmates reoffend

Back in jail: 67% of inmates at Lincoln prison are back after a few years, new figures from the Ministry of Justice show.

Just under 70% of criminals who got sentences under 12 months at the Lincoln prison are reconvicted, according to figures from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).

For sentences over 12 months the reconviction rate is 45% in Lincoln, according to the MoJ statistics based on data from 2007.

This is the first time MoJ released such figures, showing the long-term inability of the criminal justice system at diverting persistent offenders from crime.

Offenders who were discharged from custody or began a court order between January and March 2000, 20% had been reconvicted within three months, 43% within a year, 55% within two years, and 68% within five years.

Community orders were only slightly more effective than short-term prison sentences and over time, most offenders returned to crime regardless of punishment.

“Reoffending rates among short-term prisoners remain unacceptably high,” said the prisons minister, Crispin Blunt.

“Whilst it will be invidious to make comparisons between different prisons with very different types of offenders, this is another important step in focusing our work on ending the cycle of reoffending.

“Prison remains the right place for the most serious, dangerous and persistent offenders,” Crispin added.

Dorchester prison had the highest reconviction rate (74.7%) for male prisoners, and New Hall, in Yorkshire, has the highest rates for female prisoners at 76%.

Other male prisons with reconviction rates above 70% are Bristol, Durham, Exeter, High Down in Surrey, and Holme House in Cleveland.

Instead of shorter prison sentences, the MoJ plans to introduce tough community terms, with long hours of work and strict curfews enforced by electronic tags.

Related Reports: Guardian, BBC News, Telegraph, Daily Mail