Justice Social Work Statistics in Scotland: 2021-22

This publication presents national-level information on justice social work activity in Scotland. It 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

7 Statutory/voluntary throughcare

(Tables 1 and 27 to 28)

7.1 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 around 1,000 in the years 2012-13 to 2019-20. Numbers fell in 2020-21 to 630 cases and then rose to 850 in 2021-22. Thirty-eight per cent of cases in 2021-22 involved determinate sentences of four years or more. Supervised release orders and short-term sex offenders accounted for a further 23 and 19 per cent respectively.

7.3 Similarly, the number of commencements for statutory throughcare cases in the community was generally around 1,000 up to 2019-20. In the last two years, the number has declined slightly and there were 850 cases in 2021-22. This was the lowest in the last decade. Twenty-three per cent of all cases commenced in 2021-22 related to supervised release orders. Parole, short-term sex offenders and non-parole accounted for a further 17, 16 and 15 per cent respectively.

7.4 The statutory custody-based and community-based throughcare caseload totalled 5,400 individuals on 31 March 2022. This was seven per cent lower than in March 2021 and the lowest in ten years. On 31 March 2022, two thirds of the caseload was custody-based compared to one third that was community-based.

7.5 The number of completions of statutory throughcare cases in the community has ranged from 890 to 1,120 over the last ten years. The lowest of 890 was in 2021-22.

7.6 The number of voluntary throughcare cases in 2021-22 was 1,800, the second lowest in ten years. This was 27 per cent higher than in 2020-21, which was the lowest at 1,400.


Email: justice_analysts@gov.scot

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