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Figures show decline in reoffending

9 September 2013

Reconviction rates for offenders n Scotland are continuing to decline, according to Scottish Government figures published today.

A statistical analysis of the 2010-11 "offender cohort" shows reconviction rates and reconviction frequency rates both at 14-year lows.

Reconviction rates refer to the percentage of offenders released from a custodial sentence, or given a non-custodial sentence, within the relevant period who commit a further offence within one year; reconviction frequency rates refer to the number of further offences per 100 offenders in those categories within the same period.

The one year reconviction frequency rate has declined over the past nine years by just over a fifth, from 63.9 per 100 offenders for the 2002-03 cohort to 50.2 for the 2010-11 cohort. During the same period, the one year reconviction rate has fallen from 32.9 to 28.4%.

For the 8,340 offenders given a community service, probation or community payback order, the reconviction frequency rate was 54.9 per 100 offenders and the one year reconviction rate 31.6%.

Those released from a custodial sentence of three months or less had a reconviction frequency rate of 126.0, over double that of offenders getting community sentences.

The fall in the one year reconviction frequency rate has been particularly marked for the under 21 age group. with a drop since the 1997-98 cohort, from 93.4 per 100 offenders to 59.3.

Reconviction frequency for offenders given drug treatment and testing orders (DTTO) has fallen from 220.3 for the 2003-04 cohort to 146.9 for 2010-11 offenders.

In 2010-11, 80% per cent of police disposals were anti social behaviour fixed penalty notices, with 24.5% per cent of such offenders being given another non-court disposal within one year. Further, 56% of Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal disposals were fiscal fines, and 17.7% of these offenders were given another non-court disposal within one year.

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