New figures from the Central Statistics Office reveal that 37% of offenders placed under Probation Service supervision re-offend within two years.
The study looked at 3,576 people who were placed on probation orders or community service orders in 2007.
It found that more men (38.1%) than women (32%) re-offended.
Minister for Justice Alan Shatter welcomed the publication of the study and noted 63% of offenders who were given an alternative sanction by the courts had not re-offended after two years.
Of the 1,322 people who re-offended, the majority (975) did so within the first 12 months.
Rates for re-offending also decreased with age.
The figures show that 53.6% of offenders in the 18-24 age group re-offended compared with 29.5% of those aged between 45-64.
In the 65 and older category, 7.7% of offenders re-offended.
The study also found that 33.5% of offenders placed on community service orders re-offended compared with 39.3% of those issued with probation orders.
It found that 47.7% of those under probation supervision for burglaries and related offences re-offended, while the re-offending rates for those who committed attempts or threats to murder, assaults, harassments and related offences was 30.6%.
The figure was 17% for fraud, deception and related offences.
Mr Shatter said: "I am particularly pleased that the Central Statistics Office was able to assist the Probation Service in completing this study.
"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. I look forward to reading such evidence based material on an annual basis."