1.1 This publication presents national-level information on criminal justice social work activity in Scotland. The report includes data on criminal justice social work services and social work orders, as well as the characteristics of offenders involved.
1.2 The number of social work orders issued has been fairly stable over the past seven years with numbers generally around the 20,000 mark, the most recent figures for 2013-14 showing an increase of 4 per cent over the previous year (Chart 1 and Table 1).
Note : Figures for 2010-11 exclude around 300 community payback orders issued in February and March 2011 which were not included in the data collected from local authorities (see §5.2.4 for details).
- The number of diversion from prosecution cases commenced fluctuated around the 1,000 mark between 2007-08 and 2010-11, before more than doubling over the past three years to 2,250 during 2013-14 (Table 1).
- The number of criminal justice social work reports submitted to the courts has shown an overall downward trend over the past five years. The most recent figure for 2013-14 is a drop of 4 per cent on the previous year, from 32,600 to 31,400 (including supplementary reports), and has dropped by over a quarter since 2008‑09 (Table 1).
- The number of social work orders issued has been fairly stable over the past seven years with numbers generally around the 20,000 mark, the most recent figures showing a rise of 4 per cent between 2012-13 and 2013-14 (Table 1).
- The majority (78 per cent) of social work orders commencing in 2013-14 included an element of unpaid work or other activity (Table 1 and Table 10). This is about the same level as in 2012-13, but substantially higher than in 2010-11 (68 per cent).
- The number of terminations of social work orders (including completion/ discharge, revocation and other reasons for termination) rose in 2013-14 to 19,200, the highest level in any of the last seven years (Table 1).
- Seventy one per cent of social work order terminations resulted in completion/ discharge in 2013-14 (Table 1). This reflects a continuation of the upward trend from 59 per cent in 2008-09.
- There were 18,600 community payback orders commenced in 2013-14, representing 91 per cent of social work orders imposed in that year (Table 1).
- Most community payback orders included a requirement for unpaid work or other activity (80 per cent), and 51 per cent included offender supervision (Table 10).
- Successful completion rates for community payback orders were highest for those aged over 40 (81 per cent), those employed/self-employed (82 per cent) and those whose orders only had the one requirement (75 per cent) (Chart 7).
- The statutory custody- and community-based throughcare caseload has been gradually increasing over the years, reaching a peak to date of 6,000 individuals on 31 March 2014 (Table 1). The custody-based caseload is 55 per cent of the total.
Email: Alan Fleming