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 between 1,000 and 1,100 over the past six years, with 1,060 cases in 2018-19 (Table 1). Forty-four per cent involved determinate sentences of four years or more in 2018-19, while supervised release orders and short-term sex offenders accounted for 21 and 18 per cent respectively (Table 34).
6.3 The number of commencements for statutory throughcare cases in the community have generally been around the same level as custody cases during the last several years, with 970 cases in 2018-19 (Table 1). Twenty-three per cent of all cases commenced in 2018-19 related to supervised release orders, while non-parole licences and short-term sex offenders accounted for 20 and 17 per cent respectively (Table 35).
6.4 The statutory custody- and community-based throughcare caseload totalled 5,800 individuals on 31 March 2019 (Tables 1, 34 and 35). Numbers have been relatively stable over the last four years. The custody-based caseload is 60 per cent of the total.
6.5 After rising to around 1,100 in 2016-17 and 2017-18, the number of completions of statutory throughcare cases in the community fell back to 960 in 2018-19, around the level in the years prior (Tables 1 and 35).
6.6 The number of voluntary throughcare cases in 2017-18 was 1,700. This fell for the fourth year in a row and represented a drop of 29 per cent from the historic high of 2014-15 (Table 1).