Criminal justice social work statistics: 2020 - 2021

Mainly national-level information on criminal justice social work activity in Scotland in the first full year affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Includes data on justice social work services and social work orders, as well as characteristics of the individuals involved.

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7 Statutory/voluntary throughcare

(Tables 1 and 27-28)

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 four years or more (or six months or more for sexual offences) 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 generally fluctuated on, or just above, 1,000 over the previous six years, but fell to 630 cases in 2020-21 (Table 1). Thirty-seven per cent involved determinate sentences of four years or more in 2020-21, while supervised release orders and short-term sex offenders accounted for 28 and 18 per cent respectively (Table 27).

7.3 The number of commencements for statutory throughcare cases in the community has generally been around 1,000 in recent years, although numbers have been falling in recent years and fell further to 870 cases in 2020-21, the lowest in the last seven years (Table 1). Twenty-six per cent of all cases commenced in 2020-21 related to supervised release orders, while short-term sex offenders and non-parole accounted for 17 and 16 per cent respectively (Table 28).

7.4 The statutory custody-based and community-based throughcare caseload totalled 5,800 individuals on 31 March 2021 (Tables 1, 27 and 28). While this represented a drop of six per cent on March 2020, numbers across the last seven years have generally been just below the 6,000 mark. The custody-based caseload was 61 per cent of the total at March 2021.

7.5 The number of completions of statutory throughcare cases in the community have fluctuated either side of 1,000 over the last seven years, sitting at 1,000 in 2020-21 (Tables 1 and 28).

7.6 The number of voluntary throughcare cases in 2020-21 was 1,400, 30 per cent lower than in 2019-20 (Table 1).



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