7 Statutory/voluntary throughcare
7.1 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 4 years or more (or 6 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.
7.2 Commencements for statutory throughcare in custody have generally fluctuated on or just above 1,000 over the past seven years, with 1,000 cases in 2019-20 (Table 1). Forty per cent involved determinate sentences of four years or more in 2019-20, while supervised release orders and short-term sex offenders accounted for 27 and 16 per cent respectively (Table 35).
7.3 The number of commencements for statutory throughcare cases in the community have generally been around 1,000 in recent years, although numbers fell to 910 cases in 2019-20, the lowest in the last seven years (Table 1). Twenty-eight per cent of all cases commenced in 2019-20 related to supervised release orders, while short-term sex offenders and extended sentences accounted for 20 and 15 per cent respectively (Table 36). The number of commencements related to non-parole fell substantially, from being 20 per cent of all cases in 2018-19 to 12 per cent in 2019-20.
7.4 The statutory custody- and community-based throughcare caseload totalled 6,100 individuals on 31 March 2020 (Tables 1, 35 and 36). Numbers have fluctuated around the 6,000 mark over the last seven years. The custody-based caseload was 61 per cent of the total in 2019-20.
7.6 The number of voluntary throughcare cases in 2019-20 was 2,000. This rose for the first time since 2014-15, though remained 24 per cent below the historic high in that year (Table 1).
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