Criminal justice social work statistics in Scotland: 2015-2016

National-level information on criminal justice social work activity in Scotland, including data on criminal justice social work services and social work orders.

This document is part of a collection

5.1 Social work orders

( Tables 2 & 11)

5.1.1 Total social work orders for 2015-16 include community payback, drug treatment & testing and fiscal work orders. Community payback orders replaced community service, probation and supervised attendance orders (the latter three referred to as 'legacy' orders in this report) for offences committed from February 2011 onwards. As the number of legacy orders commenced was very small in 2015-16, this information was not collected for the most recent year. Fiscal work orders were introduced nationally on 1 April 2015 and were therefore collected for the first time in 2015-16. As a result of these issues, it is not possible to meaningfully compare total social work orders in 2015-16 with totals from previous years.

5.1.2 There were 20,400 social work order commencements in 2015-16 ( Table 2). The vast majority (around 95 per cent) of social work orders were community payback orders, with 19,400 commencements. The remaining 5 per cent was made up almost equally of drug treatment and testing orders and fiscal work orders. Local authority and community justice authority level breakdowns for each of these individual order types are available in the additional datasets which accompany this publication.

5.1.3 Seventy-six per cent of orders commencing in 2015-16 (around 15,600) included an element of unpaid work or other activity ( i.e. fiscal work orders ( Table 2) as well as unpaid work or other activity requirements as part of community payback orders ( Table 11)).

5.1.4 The number of terminations of social work orders in 2015-16 (including completion/discharge, revocation and other reasons for termination) was 19,700 ( Table 2). Ninety three per cent of these were community payback orders, with legacy orders and drug treatment and testing orders each accounting for just under 3 per cent of the total and fiscal work orders the remaining 2 per cent.

5.1.5 Sixty-eight per cent of social work order terminations in 2015-16 (13,300) resulted in completion or discharge ( Table 2). This has fallen from 70 per cent in 2013-14 but is around the same level as all other years back to 2011-12. The completion rates varied between different types of order. The highest was for fiscal work orders (80 per cent) and the lowest was for the higher tariff drug treatment and testing orders (50 per cent), reflecting the challenges facing this particular client group. The completion rate for community payback orders was 68 per cent in 2015-16, a slight drop from the level in 2014-15.

5.1.6 The completion rates for legacy orders issued during the past three or four years are not strictly comparable with earlier years as the former will not include cases involving crimes committed after the introduction of the community payback order. Legacy orders issued from 2011-12 onward relate to offences committed before the introduction of CPOs and are therefore likely to involve more complicated court cases compared to cases resulting in a community payback order, meaning that comparison of completion rates between the two groups is not straightforward.


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