Reconviction rates continue to fall

Number of reconvictions reaches 17 year low.

The proportion of people being reconvicted within 12 months has reached the lowest level in 17 years.

Scotland’s Chief Statistician today published Reconviction Rates in Scotland 2013-14, which also shows a drop in the average number of times a person reoffends.

Over the last ten years the average number of reconvictions per offender has dropped by nearly a third for offenders aged 21 to 25.

On average, offenders who are sentenced to six months or less in prison are reconvicted twice as often as those given community payback orders, the most common type of community sentence.

While the number of reconvictions for people on Drug Treatment and Testing Orders (DTTOs) has risen since last year, the rate has dropped by a third over the past 10 years.

Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Michael Matheson, said: “Today’s figures show we are continuing to make good progress on tackling reoffending – a key goal of this government’s justice strategy.

“The continued fall in reconvictions is testament to the work done by our police, courts and other partners in communities across Scotland to prevent offending and, where crimes do occur, stop people going on to commit further offences.

“I have set out my vision for a Scotland where people are held to account for their offending and are then given the opportunity to change their lives and become active members of society. The evidence backs up our approach that robust community sentences, such as CPOs, are more effective at reducing reoffending than short custodial sentences.

“Today’s statistics build on the strong work being done in Scotland’s justice system, with recorded crime at a 41-year low, youth offending and knife crime down and an end to automatic early release for all long-term prisoners. It is encouraging to see but we will not be complacent in our efforts to reduce crime even further.”

Notes to editors

Full details of today’s figures are available from:


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