Evaluation of the Violent Offender Treatment Program

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Sara Rahman

NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research

Evaluation of the Violent Offender Treatment Program

The Violent Offender Treatment Program (VOTP) is an intervention offered to a medium to high-risk violent offenders by Corrective Services NSW. Currently, there is little research evaluating the effectiveness of these violence-specific programs, partly due to the significant challenges in evaluating voluntary treatment programs in correctional settings. Firstly, selection bias may cause over- or under-estimation of program effects and secondly, differences in release time and returns to custody cause variation in time outside custody to observe re-offending. Here I show how instrumental variables and OLS techniques were used in this context to evaluate the effect of VOTP on recidivism using data from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research’s Re-offending Database. We found evidence that completing the program is associated with a reduction in the likelihood of re-offending within 24 months, but could not confirm these as causal due to low statistical power. These findings and the relevant challenges of empirical evaluation in correctional and criminal justice contexts will be discussed.


Sara Rahman is a Senior Research Officer at the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research. Previously Sara was a researcher at the Australia and New Zealand School of Government. Sara has published empirical research in the areas of criminal justice, public policy and labour economics. Sara holds a Bachelor of Economics (Hons) from the University of Sydney.

When: 25/06/2018
Time: 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Cost: Free
Location: UTS Maths Grid Room CB04.05.430,
Room 430, Level 5, Building 4, University of Technology,

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