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

6 Structured deferred sentences

(Tables 1, 25 & 26)

6.1 Structured deferred sentences (SDS) offer courts the option to provide a short period of intensive supervision to individuals post-conviction but prior to final sentencing.

6.2 After rising between 2018-19 and 2019-20, the number of SDS imposed in Scotland fell by 49 per cent to 450 in 2020-21, reflecting the general drop in court volumes due to the COVID-19 pandemic (Table 25). In 2020-21, 71 per cent of SDSs were for males, while 38 per cent were aged 25 or under and 19 per cent were aged over 40.

6.3 Eighty-one per cent of people given SDS in 2020-21 were either unemployed or economically inactive. In addition, 30 per cent of SDS had a length of less than three months with 45 per cent having a length of three months or more but less than six months.

6.4 There were 420 SDS which finished during the 2020-21 year (Table 26). In 42 per cent of these, the outcome was that the person was admonished, while 12 per cent were given a community payback order. Figures on outcomes by local authority area are available from the additional datasets which accompany this publication. As well as judicial decision making, different outcomes may reflect the fact that SDS are not all used in the same way by different local authorities.

6.5 National guidance on structured deferred sentences in Scotland was published in February 2021.



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