e-space
Manchester Metropolitan University's Research Repository

Is custody an effective sentencing option for the UK? Evidence from a meta-analysis of existing studies

Marsh, Kevin and Fox, Chris and Sarmah, Rashmi (2009) Is custody an effective sentencing option for the UK? Evidence from a meta-analysis of existing studies. Probation Journal, 56 (2). pp. 129-151. ISSN 1741-3079

Full text not available from this repository.

Abstract

Prison numbers in the UK are at record levels and continue to rise. The rise in prison numbers has led to a renewed focus on the relative effectiveness of different sentences and in particular the effectiveness of prison when compared to alternative, community-based, sentences. The aim of this research is to test the hypothesis that prisons are an effective means of reducing re-offending in the UK. A review of existing studies identified 91 estimates of the effect on re-offending of prison for adults when compared against alternative sentences and 15 estimates of the effect on re-offending of prisons for juveniles when compared against alternative sentences. A meta-analysis was conducted on the different combinations of intervention and counterfactual information identified in the literature. The analysis suggests that the following alternative sentences for adult offenders reduce re-offending when compared to prison: residential drug treatment, surveillance, surveillance with drug treatment, prison in combination with educational/vocational interventions, prison in combination with behavioural interventions, prison in combination with sex offender treatment, and prison in combination with drug treatment. The analysis also identified the following alternative sentences for juvenile offenders which reduced re-offending when compared with prison: community supervision with victim reparation, and a community programme with aftercare and surveillance. The hypothesis that prisons are an effective means of reducing re-offending in the UK is generally rejected.

Impact and Reach

Statistics

Downloads
Activity Overview
0Downloads
55Hits

Additional statistics for this dataset are available via IRStats2.

Altmetric

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item