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Evaluation of Community Payback Orders, Criminal Justice Social Work Reports and the Presumption Against Short Sentences – Appendices Report

Evaluation of Community Payback Orders, Criminal Justice Social Work Reports and the Presumption Against Short Sentences – Appendices Report

Friday, March 20, 2015

ISBN: 9781785440854

This document presents the findings of an evaluation of Community Payback Orders, Criminal Justice Social Work Reports and the Presumption Against Short Sentences. The evaluation was conducted by Scotcen Social Research during 2013-14.

Executive Summary

As part of the Scottish Government’s commitment to ‘a coherent penal policy that uses prison for serious and dangerous offenders but deals with lower-risk offenders in the community’ (Scottish Government, 2007), three related reforms were introduced in early 2011: Community Payback Orders (CPOs), the Presumption Against Short Sentences (PASS) and Criminal Justice Social Work Reports (CJSWRs). This evaluation aimed to examine whether the reforms were implemented as intended; consider the extent to which the short and medium term outcomes were realised; and identify potential obstacles to realising those and longer-term goals.

In summary, the evaluation found that the reforms have provided a framework that has helped to move community penalties in the right direction. However, the key long-term outcomes – around reducing reoffending, increasing reintegration and reducing 'churn' in the prison population – will only be realised if all three elements are subjected to ongoing scrutiny and analysis and there is a system-wide commitment to partnership working and continuous improvement.