Criminal justice social work statistics in Scotland: 2016-17

A national statistics publication for Scotland.

6 Statutory/voluntary throughcare

( Tables 1 and 32-33)

6.1 Criminal justice social work departments are expected to provide a throughcare service to all those who are subject to statutory supervision on release from prison. This includes people serving sentences of four years or more (or six months or more for sexual crimes) as well as those subject to an extended sentence or supervised release order. Throughcare begins at the start of the sentence and is implemented through the Scottish Prison Service’s integrated case management process. Voluntary throughcare services are also available to those who are not subject to supervision on release from prison. These services may be requested while in custody or up to 12 months after release.

6.2 Commencements for statutory throughcare in custody have fluctuated around the 1,000 mark over the past seven years, with 1,040 cases in 2016-17 ( Table 1). Forty-three per cent involved determinate sentences of four years or more in 2016-17, while supervised release orders and extended sentences accounted for 27 and 16 per cent respectively ( Table 32).

6.3 The number of commencements for statutory throughcare cases in the community have also hovered around the 1,000 mark in the last seven years, with 1,100 cases in 2016-17 ( Table 1). Twenty-six per cent of all cases commenced in 2016-17 related to supervised release orders, while parole and non-parole licences accounted for 17 and 24 per cent respectively ( Table 33).

6.4 The statutory custody- and community-based throughcare caseload totalled 5,800 individuals on 31 March 2017, down from the peak of 6,000 in 2014 but still historically high ( Tables 1, 32 and 33). The custody-based caseload is 57 per cent of the total.

6.5 After fluctuating between 800 and 1,000 between 2010-11 and 2015-16, the number of completions of statutory throughcare cases in the community rose by 12 per cent to 1,100 in 2016-17 ( Table 33). More years of data will be required to assess whether constitutes a trend or simply yearly fluctuation.

6.6 The number of voluntary throughcare cases in 2016-17 was 2,200. This was a drop from previous years with numbers generally fluctuating between 2,500 and 2,700 ( Table 1).


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