Publication - FOI/EIR release

Short-term prison sentences - periods of detention 2015 to 2020: FOI release

Published: 25 Jan 2021

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Published:
25 Jan 2021
Short-term prison sentences - periods of detention 2015 to 2020: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202000098638
Date received: 14 Oct 2020
Date responded: 4 Dec 2020
Information requested

1. How many first offenders received short-term prison sentences/periods of detention between 2015 and the present day?

2. How many individuals who did receive short-term prison sentences/periods of detention between 2015 and the present day had previously received community based disposals?

3. How many individuals who received short-term prison sentences/periods of detention during the above time period had previously breached community based disposals?

Response

Following a clarification response, the length of the 'short term sentence' used for the purpose of this answer is 'less than 12 months'.

1. Number of people with no previous convictions receiving a short-term* custodial sentence, 2014-15 to 2018-19.

2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
286 300 244 207 243

* - up to and including sentences of 364 days.


2. Number of people with a previous community sentence*, receiving a short-term custodial sentence*, **, 2014-15 to 2018-19.

2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
10,006 9,554 8,722 8,234 8,286

* - where main result
** - up to and including sentences of 364 days.

Please note: The most recent information held in the Scottish Government's Criminal Proceedings database is for the financial year 2018-19. 2019-20 data will not be available until Spring 2021.

The presumption against short custodial sentences was extended to 12 months or less (from 3 months or less) in 2019. This means the court must not pass a sentence of imprisonment for a term of 12 months or less on a person unless the court considers that no other method of dealing with the person is appropriate.

The extended presumption came into force on 4 July 2019. Initial monitoring data on the extended presumption was published in February. This is can be found here. The publication of further monitoring data has been delayed by COVID related workloads and will be published early next year.

3. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have some of the information requested. The Scottish Government does not hold information on the number of people who received short-term prison sentence of detention and had previously breached community based disposals.

This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have some of the information requested.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG