Re-imprisonment rates by ethnicity

The re-imprisonment rate over 48 months for Maori offenders (55%) is considerably higher than the rate for both NZ Europeans (45%) and Pacific offenders (36%). This difference is likely to be a reflection of a number of variables. Maori offenders as a group tend on average to be younger than Europeans (see Appendix 1). Maori are also more likely to be serving time for offences which have base-rates, especially dishonesty offences (burglary, car conversion, theft, etc) 4. Pacific offenders on the other hand tend to be in prison for offences which have relatively low base rates (violence and sexual offences). Although the high re-imprisonment rate for Maori undoubtedly contributes to the disproportionate number of Maori in prison, its impact is likely to be considerably less than that of the very large numbers of young Maori entering the criminal justice system for the first time each year.

Graph 6: Reconviction and re-imprisonment rates by ethnicity


4. The high base rates of dishonesty offences can be appreciated from the fact that in the year to June 30 2007, over 230,000 dishonesty offences were recorded by Police; on the other hand, just on 3600 sexual offences were recorded.