The ACT Government is investing more than $132 million to develop and implement evidence‑based programs focused on rehabilitation and reintegration, addressing the root causes of recidivism.

Recidivism is repeated criminal activity and is synonymous with terms such as ‘repeat offending’ and ‘reoffending’. To reduce recidivism, a reduction of repeat offences needs to be measured.

The ACT’s Reducing Recidivism Plan (the Plan) sets out the first three years of work towards a goal of reducing recidivism in the ACT by twenty-five percent by 2025. Achieving a twenty-five percent reduction in the recidivism rate by 2025 would mean 146 fewer detainees returning to custody, or a reduction from 42.4% to 31.7% of adults released from prison who are re‑sentenced and returned to prison within two years.

The Plan focuses on seven pillars or priorities to reduce recidivism through addressing the factors that lead to repeat offending, such as social isolation, inadequate housing, drug and alcohol dependence and poor mental health. While there is no single solution to achieving the ambitious target, a combined effort across a range of government, community and academic agencies within the justice and human services systems will help us reduce recidivism and improve community safety.

The Plan expands on the ACT Government’s justice reinvestment initiative, ‘Building Communities Not Prisons’. It is our view that, as a progressive and innovative society, we cannot keep building larger and larger prisons in the hope that this will simply deal with the issue of rising imprisonment rates. Our focus is on ensuring we use prisons correctly by developing smarter, more cost-effective alternatives that improve criminal justice outcomes.

Click here to read the full ACT’s Reducing Recidivism Plan.