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.

This document is part of a collection

5.1 Social work orders

(Tables 2 & 9)

5.1.1 Total social work orders for the years 2015-16 to 2020-21 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 six 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 from 2014-15 and before with numbers after then.

5.1.2 There were 8,500 social work orders commenced in 2020-21 (Table 2), a fall of 52 per cent on 2019-20. The vast majority (96 per cent) of social work orders in 2020-21 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, 57 per cent of orders commencing in 2020-21 (around 4,800) included an element of unpaid work or other activity. This proportion is substantially lower than in previous years and comprised 120 fiscal work orders (Table 2) and 4,700 community payback orders with an unpaid work or other activity requirement (Table 9).

5.1.4 Seventy-five per cent of social work order terminations in 2020-21 were successfully completed or discharged (Table 2). This proportion was relatively stable over the period 2014-15 to 2019-20 but rose in 2020-21. The completion rates in 2020-21 varied substantially between different types of order. The highest was for fiscal work orders (82 per cent) and the lowest for the higher tariff drug treatment and testing orders (66 per cent), reflecting the challenges facing the latter client group. The completion rate for community payback orders was 75 per cent in 2020-21. More details about the completion rates for community payback orders and drug treatment and testing orders and how they compare with previous years can be found in sections 5.2 and 5.3.



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