Offender Profile and Recidivism among Domestic Violence Offenders in Ontario

7. Correlation Analysis of Variables Influencing Recidivism

Table 24 presents Pearson correlation coefficients for variables selected following the results presented in the earlier sections of this report. While most of the correlation coefficients are statistically significant (p<0.001), more than one-half of them are actually closer to zero, indicating that the relationship between those variables and recidivism is weak. There were, however, a few notable exceptions. The strongest relationship was found between the offender's total number of lifetime convictions where the overall coefficient was 0.44. The offender's total number of previous convictions (0.34) also has a strong relationship with recidivism followed by total number of lifetime charges without convictions (0.27).

Table 24: Pearson Correlation Coefficients for Selected Variables Influencing Recidivism, 2001

Table 25 presents correlation coefficients for the same variables by court type. The same four variables (total number of convictions - lifetime, number of prior convictions and total number of charges without convictions - lifetime) appear to play a statistically significant role in recidivism for offenders who either appeared in a DVC or in other Ontario courts. It is interesting to note that the seriousness of the index domestic violence conviction does not appear to be statistically significant in relation to recidivism in both court types.

Table 25: Pearson Correlation Coefficients for Selected Variables Influencing Recidivism, by Court Type, 2001
  Domestic Violence Court Other Ontario Courts
Most Serious Prior Conviction -0.17 **T25 -0.15 *T25
Most Serious Sentence for Prior Conviction -0.19 ***T25 -0.20 ***T25
Seriousness of Prior Conviction 0.24 ***T25 0.24 ***T25
Number of Prior Convictions 0.32 ***T25 0.36 ***T25
Most Serious Index Domestic Violence Conviction -0.05 0.07
Most Serious Sentence for Index Domestic Violence Conviction -0.29 ***T25 -0.25 ***T25
Total Number of Convictions, Concurrent to Index Domestic Violence Conviction 0.16 ***T25 0.20 ***T25
Prison Sentence – Index Domestic Violence Conviction 0.25 ***T25 0.27 ***T25
Probation Sentence – Index Domestic Violence Conviction -0.17 ***T25 -0.20 ***T25
Total Number of Convictions – Lifetime 0.42 ***T25 0.47 ***T25
Total Number of Charges without Convictions – Lifetime 0.32 ***T25 0.21 ***T25
Probation Sentence Length – Index Domestic Violence Conviction -0.16 ***T25 -0.21 ***T25
Offender Age -0.17 ***T25 -0.16 ***T25
Gender -0.12 **T25 0.10 *T25

1. * = p<.05; **=p<.01; ***=p<.001

Table 26 presents the correlation coefficients for all the criminal history variables by court type. As mentioned earlier, the existence of criminal history for offenders who appeared either in a DVC or other Ontario courts appears to play a statistically significant role in the likelihood of recidivism. However, different variables have stronger coefficients depending on the court type. For instance, existence of prior convictions (0.31), total number of prior convictions for administrative offences (0.30), total number of prior convictions for property and violent offences (0.27 each), and existence of prior convictions for violent offences (0.26) correlate positively with recidivism for offenders who appeared in a DVC. In contrast, total number of prior convictions for administrative offences (0.35), existence of prior prison sentence (0.33), total number of prior convictions for other violent offences (0.31), existence of prior convictions, and total number of prior convictions for administrative offences (0.27 each) are the strongest variables for offenders who appeared in other Ontario courts.

Table 26: Pearson Correlation Coefficients for Criminal History Variables Influencing Recidivism, by Court Type, 2001
  Domestic Violence Court Other Ontario Courts
Existence of Prior Convictions 0.31 ***T26 0.27 ***T26
Seriousness of Prior Convictions 0.24 ***T26 0.24 ***T26
Most Serious Prior Conviction -0.17 **T26 -0.15 *T26
Most Serious Sentence for Prior Conviction -0.19 ***T26 -0.20 ***T26
Total Number of Prior Convictions for Spousal Offences 0.15 ***T26 0.15 **T26
Total Number of Prior Convictions for Other Violent Offences 0.27 ***T26 0.31 ***T26
Total Number of Prior Convictions for Administrative Offences 0.30 ***T26 0.35 ***T26
Total Number of Prior Convictions for Property Offences 0.27 ***T26 0.25 ***T26
Total Number of Prior Convictions for Other CC Offences 0.22 ***T26 0.27 ***T26
Total Number of Prior Convictions for Drug Offences and Other Federal Statutes 0.12 **T26 0.17 ***T26
Existence of Prior Prison Sentence 0.34 ***T26 0.33 ***T26
Existence of Prior Convictions for Spousal Offences 0.15 ***T26 0.14 **T26
Existence of Prior Convictions for All Violent Offences 0.26 ***T26 0.24 ***T26

1. * = p<.05; **=p<.01; ***=p<.001

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