A – Correct
In the sentence “giving offenders a community service order instead of a prison sentence”, the words “instead of” suggests that the offenders could either have been given community service or a prison sentence.
Therefore, the comparison between the passage and study 2 is invalid.
B – Wrong
It does not matter whether the offenders are first-time. There is no relevance between this statement and the question.
C – Wrong
Again, it does not matter whether offenders have already served a sentence before or not.
D – Wrong
This is be a distracting statement and could confuse you. However, according to the passage, suspended sentences reduce the rate of reoffends by 9%. They are not related to comparison made in the question.