Recidivism rates in Western Australia have been relatively stable over the past decade, with the return to prison rate typically between 40 and 45 per cent. However, for prisoners released in 2009/10, there was a sharp decrease in recidivism. There is no clear explanation for what caused this decline.
This decline is in contrast to other jurisdictions, none of whom have experienced a rate drop of this magnitude during the past decade. With the exception of the Northern Territory, Western Australia’s recidivism rate has typically been higher than all other states. Western Australia went from having a recidivism rate 4.4 percentage points higher than the national average for prisoners released in 2008/09, to being 3.2 percentage points lower than the national average for prisoners released in the following year.