Criminal justice social work statistics: 2019 to 2020

National-level information, as well as some local authority breakdowns, on criminal justice social work activity in Scotland. Also includes data on justice social work services and social work orders, as well as characteristics of the individuals involved.

This document is part of a collection

5.1 Social work orders

(Tables 2 & 12)

5.1.1 Total social work orders for the years 2015-16 to 2019-20 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. Due to the low numbers involved, the number of legacy orders commenced was not collected for these most recent five years. Fiscal work orders were introduced nationally on 1 April 2015 and have therefore been collected since 2015-16. As a result of these changes in order types, caution should be exercised when comparing total social work orders in the most recent five years with totals from previous years.

5.1.2 There were 17,500 social work orders commenced in 2019-20 (Table 2), a fall of one per cent on 2018-19, though 15 per cent lower than the peak in 2016-17. The vast majority (96 per cent) of social work orders in 2019-20 were community payback orders. Local authority level breakdowns for each of these individual order types are available in the additional datasets which accompany this publication.

5.1.3 In total, 69 per cent of orders commencing in 2019-20 (around 12,000) included an element of unpaid work or other activity. This comprised 250 fiscal work orders (Table 2) and 11,800 community payback orders with an unpaid work or other activity requirement (Table 12).

5.1.4 Sixty-eight per cent of social work order terminations in 2019-20 resulted in completion or discharge (Table 2). This proportion has been relatively stable over the last six years. The completion rates in 2019-20 varied substantially between different types of order. The highest was for fiscal work orders (78 per cent) and the lowest for the higher tariff drug treatment and testing orders (39 per cent), reflecting the challenges facing the latter client group. The completion rate for community payback orders was 69 per cent in 2019-20.



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