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The Violence Prevention Program in South Australia: A Recidivism and Cost–Benefit Analysis Pilot Study
Criminal Justice and Behavior  (IF2.801),  Pub Date : 2021-08-12, DOI: 10.1177/00938548211038333
Gene Mercer, Emma Ziersch, Shawn Sowerbutts, Andrew Day, Henry Pharo

Rehabilitation of incarcerated men is a primary focus of correctional systems across the world. The present pilot study examined the effect of participation in the South Australian Violence Prevention Program (VPP) on recidivism trajectories. Individuals who participated in the VPP were significantly less likely to engage in violent recidivism, with the greatest effect observed between Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders relative to similarly matched comparators. In addition, the types of violent crimes committed were less severe for those who engaged in treatment relative to the comparison group. No differences were observed between groups in overall rates of reoffending, or the length of time following release before reoffending. The study also quantified the economic impacts of treatment and found it was associated with a positive cost–benefit ratio of Aus$1.13. The results provide evidence that the VPP does reduce the rate of violent recidivism, and that these results translate into economic benefits for society.