A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.
The latest reconviction statistics for the 2016-17 offender cohort have been published today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician. The figures show that reconvictions are at the same level as they were the previous year.
The reconviction rate was 27.2% in 2016-17, which means that just over a quarter of offenders were reconvicted within a year. The average number of reconvictions per offender – a measure of how often offenders are reconvicted – was 0.48 in 2016-17, or just under half a conviction per offender on average. Both of these measures in 2016-17 were the same as they were in 2015-16.
Over the longer term, in the decade between 2007-08 and 2016-17, the reconviction rate decreased by 4 percentage points from 31.2% to 27.2%. In the same period, the average number of reconvictions per offender has decreased by 16% from 0.57 to 0.48.
As in previous years, male offenders are reconvicted more often, on average, than female offenders. In 2016-17, the average number of reconvictions per offender for male offenders was 0.49 which was 14% higher than the value of 0.43 for female offenders. Reconviction rates and average number of reconvictions for males were near identical between 2015-16 and 2016-17, but slightly increased for females over the same period.
Offenders who committed a crime of dishonesty had the highest average number of reconvictions per offender (0.94 in 2016-17), whereas offenders who committed a sexual crime had the lowest average number of reconvictions per offender (0.16 in 2016-17). The type of crime committed by offenders is one of a range of factors associated with the likelihood of being reconvicted, including the sentence received, offending history, and characteristics of individual offenders.
20.4% of domestic abuse offenders were reconvicted of a further offence within a year. Of this group, 9.2% of offenders were reconvicted for a further domestic abuse crime, with the other 11.2% of offenders reconvicted for a non-domestic abuse crime or offence.
The reconviction rate for custodial sentences was 42.3% in 2016-17, which is a decrease of 1.4 percentage points from 43.7% in 2015-16. The average number of reconvictions for custodial sentences decreased by 5% from 0.86 to 0.82 in the same period.
The reconviction rate for CPOs, the most commonly used community sentence, was 31.2% in 2016-17, which was nearly identical to the figure of 31.1% 2015-16. The average number of reconvictions per offender for CPOs was 0.55 in 2016-17 which was the same as the previous year.
18.5% of individuals given a non-court disposal by the police in 2016-17 (such as a warning or fine), and 14.5% of individuals given a non-court disposal by COPFS, received another non-court disposal within a year.
Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed here.
The full statistical publication is available here.
This publication contains detailed analyses of reconviction rates and the average number of reconvictions per offender by: offender characteristics, sentence type, crime type, and local authority.
The reconviction rate is defined as the proportion of offenders who are reconvicted within a year after being released from a custodial sentence or given a non-custodial sentence.
The average number of reconvictions per offender is the number of times, on average, that offenders in a cohort are reconvicted within a year after being released from a custodial sentence or given a non-custodial sentence.
Users of these data on reconviction rates for planning and targeting of resources include: the Scottish Government, Local Authorities, the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service, Police Scotland, and Community Justice Scotland.
Further information on Crime and Justice statistics within Scotland can be accessed here.
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