Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence



Publication Details

Successfully submitted to the Technological University Dublin in part fulfilment of the requirements for award of Masters in Criminology, 2014.


Extended Custodial Sentences for serious offenders were introduced under the Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 2008. Recall rates for these offenders appear disproportionately high compared with other types of public protection sentenced offenders in Northern Ireland. Guided by life-course theories and using mixed methods of quantitative and qualitative research, the study investigates the outcomes for ECS offenders released into the community between 2010 and 2013. Content analysis developed profiles of all (N=57) ECS offenders released under supervised licence by 31 December 2013 and examined characteristics of recalled (N=31) and non-recalled (N=26) offenders to identify possible contributing factors to recall. The recall rate was established at 54%. Childhood trauma, substance misuse, mental health issues, prolific offending and length of time spent on remand characterised the total ECS population. Poly-substance misuse, lack of family support and hostel accommodation on release emerged as key factors amongst the recalled population, nearly half of whom were recalled within four weeks. Despite the small population, findings provide initial indications of factors contributing to the ECS recall rate, highlight the importance of transition services and increase knowledge of an area in which no research has been done to date in Northern Ireland.