Examining adult-onset offending: A case for adult cautioning


This resource summarises research into adult-onset offending and whether adult cautioning is a viable and cost-effective alternative to current court processing. Adult-onset offending was examined in a Queensland population-based offender cohort, including Indigenous offenders. Three key findings were: adult-onset offenders were prevalent, constituting half of all offenders in the cohort; the vast majority of adult-onset offenders were low-rate, less serious offenders; and cautioning first-time, low-rate, less serious adult-onset offenders in this cohort would have saved $32.5m in police and court costs. While Indigenous status did not vary across the offender groups, females were significantly more likely to be early-onset, low-rate offenders than adult-onset, low-rate offenders. Detailed findings are outlined in the seperate report ?Understanding the extent, nature and causes of adult-onset offending: Implications for the effective and efficient use of criminal justice and crime reduction resources? (2014)

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