Criminal Justice Social Work Statistics 2011-12

This statistical bulletin presents national level information on activity relating to community penalties in Scotland, including Criminal Justice Social Work Reports and “social work orders” - made up of Community Payback Orders (CPOs), the predecessors to CPOs (Community Service Orders, Probation Orders and Supervised Attendance Orders) and Drug Treatment & Testing Orders.

2 Key Points for 2011-12

Criminal Justice Social Work Reports (CJSWRs)

  • A total of 42,100 reports were requested by the courts in 2011-12, down 4 per cent from 44,000 in 2010-11. A total of 36,400 reports (including supplementary reports) were submitted by local authorities to the Courts in 2011-12, down 3 per cent from 37,500 in 2010-11 (Table 1).
  • Just under 31,900 reports (excluding supplementary reports) were submitted to the courts in 2011-12, very similar to the numbers in 2010-11 (Table 2).

Social Work Orders

  • After falling in each of the last two years, the number of social work orders imposed increased during 2011-12 and is currently 19,700, a similar level to that observed during 2009-10. Social work orders include Community Payback Orders (CPOs), Community Service Orders (CSOs), Probation Orders (POs), Supervised Attendance Orders (SAOs) and Drug Treatment & Testing Orders (DTTOs) (Table 1).
  • Just over half of orders commenced in 2011-12 were CPOs, with 10,200 being started during the year. As expected, due to the introduction of the CPO, the numbers of CSOs and POs commenced fell substantially between 2010-11 and 2011-12, to about 3,000 each. The number of SAOs and DTTOs also fell, but to a lesser extent, reaching 2,900 and 560 respectively (Table 1).
  • In 2011-12, social work orders with an element of unpaid work or other activity (CSOs, SAOs and CPOs/POs with unpaid work) comprised just over three quarters (76 per cent) of social work orders commenced. This was a noticeable increase from the previous year when around 68 per cent of orders included a requirement to carry out unpaid work or other activity (Tables 1& 8).
  • Just over three-quarters of CPOs commenced in 2011-12 (about 7,800) included an unpaid work or other activity requirement (averaging 120 hours), while 62 per cent (6,400) included an offender supervision requirement (with an average period of supervision of about 14.6 months). Conduct and programme requirements were imposed in 23 and 8 per cent of cases respectively (Tables 5 & 6 and Chart 6).
  • Breach applications of social work orders fell by 13 per cent in 2011-12 to 6,900, the lowest level since 2005-06 (Table 1).
  • The number of terminations of social work orders in 2011-12 was 17,200, 4 per cent lower than in 2010-11 and the lowest annual total since 2007-08 (Table 1).
  • Nearly 70 percent of social work orders terminated in 2011-12 resulted in successful completion. This is the highest level in any of the last nine years and was a marked increase on the 2010-11 figure of 64 per cent. The rate was highest for CSOs (just under three quarters) and lowest for DTTOs (54 per cent) - for CPOs it was 69 per cent (Table 1).

Statutory Throughcare

  • A total of 2,100 throughcare cases commenced in 2011-12 (including both community and custody). The number of throughcare cases has dropped since 2006-07, fluctuating around the 2,100 mark for the past three years (Table 1).

Diversion from prosecution and bail supervision

  • The number of cases commenced for diversion from prosecution increased by over 30 per cent over the past year to 1,260, after hovering around the 1,000 mark since 2007-08 (Table 1).
  • The number of bail supervision cases rose by about 10 per cent to just less than 500, reaching similar levels to those observed in 2009-10 after a consistent downward trend since 2005-06 (Table 1).


Email: Howard Hooper

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