Coronavirus (COVID-19): Justice Analytical Services data report - January 2021

Eighth release of a monthly data report on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the justice system in Scotland, including information from Police Scotland, Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service, and Scottish Prison Service.

This document is part of a collection


Prison population

While the total prison population has fallen slightly with reduced court business, the number of people held on remand remains at a historic high level.

In January 2021 (up until the morning of 1st February):

  • the population fell by 25 to 7,440
  • 1,948 were on remand: 1,693 (23%) untried & 255 (3%) awaiting sentence
  • 67% of arrivals in January were untried (546 of 818), and 17% awaiting sentence (140)
Total prison population decreasing from March 2020 but beginning overall rise from June 2020. Remand populations decreasing from March 2020 but untried population rising substantially from May 2020.

Remand Arrivals

There were 686 un-sentenced arrivals to prison with known offence types in January, awaiting trial or sentencing for the following alleged offences

Bar chart showing the number of remand arrivals by offence type, with the highest number of arrivals (untried or awaiting sentence) for crimes against public justice.

Note: Double-counting may occur where an individual is absent from prison for a night in the week and then returns. Where an individual has multiple alleged offence types, the offence towards the top of the list in the chart is used as the index offence.

Revision: The way index offences are identified for remand prisoners changed from December 2020. Offences are now prioritised on the basis of average sentence length from Criminal Proceedings 2018-19. This has increased the proportion where Common Assault, Drugs or Handling Offensive Weapons is the index offence. It has reduced the number of remanded individuals for whom Crimes Against Public Justice and Vandalism are the index offences

Further Information:

Latest published annual prison population statistics can be found here:



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