Criminal justice social work statistics: 2016-17

A National Statistics publication for Scotland.

The statistics report Criminal justice social work statistics in Scotland: 2016-17 has been published today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician. This includes information on criminal justice social work services and social work orders, as well as characteristics of the people involved.

The number of social work orders issued has been stable over the past six years, with the most recent figures showing a total of 20,500 in 2016-17. The vast majority of those (19,100) were community payback orders.

Most community payback orders included a requirement for unpaid work or other activity (76%) and 53% included offender supervision.

In 2016-17, 67% of community payback orders were successfully completed. This was around the level observed over the past six years which has been consistently higher than the completion rates for the orders they replaced.

Older people were more likely than younger people to successfully complete their orders, with completion rates 77% for those aged over 40 and 60% for under 18s. In addition, those in employment (81%) were substantially more likely to complete than those unemployed or economically inactive (62%).

There were 480 drug treatment and testing orders issued in 2016-17, and numbers have been decreasing since 2012-13.

Almost 900 fiscal work orders were issued in 2016-17, 76% more than the previous year.


This publication is available on the Scottish Government website and contains information on criminal justice social work services and social work orders, as well as the characteristics of people involved. Information is provided for 2016-17 and, where possible, for earlier years too in order to identify longer-term trends.

Tables at local authority area level, which have been updated to include 2016-17, further information on Crime and Justice statistics within Scotland, and more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland – which are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – are all available on the Scottish Government website.

Back to top