More than a third of convicted criminals re-offend within two years of going under probation, figures show.
A study of recidivism rates in 2007 has found that men are more likely to commit crimes again - a 38% rate against 32% for women.
The research, based on Garda and Probation Service records, showed that as criminals get older they are less likely to re-offend - a 53.6% re-offending rate for under-18s compared to 30% in the 45-64 age group.
A report on the figures by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) said 3,576 people were placed under probation supervision or community service in 2007 and 1,332 re-offended within two years.
Those under probation supervision for burglaries and related offences had the highest recidivism rate of 47.7%.
The CSO said that most of those on probation or community service re-offend within 12 months of being put on the programme.
Justice Minister Alan Shatter said it was interesting to note that 63% of offenders were not found to be committing crime within two years.
"This study has established reliable recidivism data on offenders under probation supervision and on community service orders and considers variations in recidivism as they relate to the type of original order, gender and age of offenders, category of offence and subsequent offence," he said.
The report also found that public order offences were the most common original offence and these offenders had the highest recidivism rate.
Mr Shatter added: "The value of their work is that it provides a clearer overview of community sanctions outcomes which will better inform the work of the Probation Service in helping to make our communities safer."