Three in every ten offenders on probation reoffend within a year, rising to four in ten within two years, according to new figures released today by the Central Statistics Office.
Almost half commit at least one additional crime within three years.
The statistics also show that men are more likely to reoffend than women.
Burglars are also the most likely criminals to reoffend, while sex offenders are least likely to commit further crime following conviction.
The publication includes data for individuals who entered the Probation Service in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
CSO Statistician Olive Loughnane said: "The level of reoffending within one year has fallen from a high of 35.5% in the 2008 cohort to a low of 28% in the 2013 cohort. The 2015 figure was 30.3%.
"These figures exclude Post Release Supervision Orders which were included for the first time in the analysis of the 2013 cohort.
"Those aged under 18 are almost three times more likely to reoffend as those aged 45 and over.
"The level of reoffending by individuals on Post Release Supervision Orders (16.4%) is approximately half that of those on Probation Orders (32.7%)."