The data share updates and expands an initial data-share conducted in 2011. It forms part of a series of ongoing annual data-shares between the departments with the aim of improving understanding of the links between offending, employment and benefits.
Analysis is based on 4.3 million offenders who have received at least one caution or conviction for a recordable offence in England and Wales between 2000 and February 2013 and who were successfully matched to at least one benefit and/or P45 employment record. All of these individuals’ offending, benefit and P45 employment episodes are included in the data-share, providing a rich new data source.
Some caution should be exercised when interpreting findings from this data share. Notable issues include: the fact that results only relate to offenders who were successfully matched to benefit or P45 employment records, and therefore do not cover all offenders; the reliance on estimated prison spell dates for the periods pre 2008 and post June 2011; and the fact that P45 employment and P14 income data do not capture all employment and income. The 2008 recession and its impact on the labour market should also be borne in mind when interpreting results.
As understanding and use of the new data-share is increased, these findings may need to be updated, and therefore should be treated as provisional.