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Technical Note: Reduce reconviction rates

Reduce reconviction rates

DESCRIPTION:

The average number of reconvictions per offender: The average number of reconvictions per offender within one year for a cohort of offenders released from a custodial sentence or given a non-custodial sentence in a given financial year.

Reconviction rates are one of the main ways of measuring how well we are managing offenders in our criminal justice system.

SOURCE:

The Scottish Offenders Index (SOI).

The data is published in the "Reconviction Rates in Scotland" bulletin, which provides statistics on reconvictions for offenders discharged from custody or given non-custodial sentences. It is an annual National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Crime-Justice/PubReconvictions

The 2014-15 Offender Cohort bulletin was published in May 2017.

The SOI covers all convictions since the start of 1989 in Scottish courts for crimes included in Groups 1-5 of the Scottish Government's classification of crimes and offences (crimes of violence, indecency, dishonesty, fire-raising and drugs offences) and also the following in group 6: common assault, breach of the peace, threatening or abusive behaviour, offence of stalking, offensive behaviour at football, threatening communications (under the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communication Scotland Act 2012), racially aggravated harassment or conduct, miscellaneous firearms offences, and social security offences.

DEFINITIONS:

Average number of reconvictions per offender: Reconvictions received by a cohort of offenders within a year of being given a non-custodial sentence or released from custody in a given financial year, divided by the number of offenders in the cohort, expressed as the average number of convictions per offender.

Non-custodial sentences: These include Community Payback Orders, Community Service Orders, Supervised Attendance Orders, Probation Orders, Drug Treatment and Testing Orders, Restriction of Liberty Orders and monetary penalties. The one year follow up period begins at date of sentence.

BASELINE AND PAST TRENDS:

The baseline is the 2006-07 cohort as this is the last data point before the first term of the current administration. The baseline figure is an average number of reconvictions per offender of 0.60.

                   

Average number of reconvictions per offender

1997-98

0.62

1998-99

0.62

1999-00

0.59

2000-01

0.60

2001-02

0.63

2002-03

0.64

2003-04

0.62

2004-05

0.61

2005-06

0.60

2006-07

0.60

2007-08

0.57

2008-09

0.60

2009-10

0.56

2010-11

0.55

2011-12

0.55

2012-13

0.53
2013-14

0.52

2014-15

0.50

CRITERIA FOR RECENT CHANGE ARROW:

The definition of this national indicator has changed slightly from the 2011-12 cohort onwards, to improve the clarity of the measure. Before the 2011-12 cohort, this indicator was reported as “reconviction frequency rates”, which was calculated as the average number of reconvictions per 100 offenders. The figures for all cohorts are now stated as the “average number of reconvictions per offender”. As the new definition is essentially the same as the previous definition, the change does not affect the relative magnitude of the figures when comparing between cohorts, or the relative magnitude of the threshold for change.

The threshold for determining the direction of change accounts for the fact that the most recent figure tends to be an underestimate due to delays in recording the outcome of particularly complex cases. A published figure for the most recent cohort is typically 0.02 reconvictions lower than its final revised figure and to reflect this, the thresholds for change, compared to the previous year’s figure are: a decrease of 0.03 or more for “Performance Improving”, a decrease of 0.01 or less (or an increase) for “Performance Worsening”, whereas a decrease of 0.02 is given a “Performance Maintaining” rating.

For information on general methodological approach, please click here.

FUTURE ISSUES OR REVIEWS:

No issues.

ASSOCIATED TARGET:

None.