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

5.1 Social work orders

(Tables 2 & 9)

5.1.1 Total social work orders since 2015-16 include community payback, drug treatment & testing and fiscal work orders only. Community payback orders (CPOs) 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 from 2015-16 onwards.

5.1.2 There were 12,600 social work orders commenced in 2021-22. This was a rise of 48 per cent on the level of 8,500 in 2020-21 but still the second lowest in the last ten years. In the previous eight years, social work orders commenced has ranged from 17,600 to 20,600. The temporary closure of many courts early in 2020-21, as well as reduced capacity when courts reopened, mean that statistics for most areas of justice social work are lower than in previous years.

5.1.3 The vast majority (97 per cent) of social work orders in 2021-22 were CPOs. Local authority level breakdowns for each of the individual order types are available in the additional datasets which accompany this publication.

5.1.4 In total, 62 per cent of social work orders commencing in 2021-22 included an element of unpaid work or other activity. This proportion was substantially lower than in the years before 2020-21. It comprised less than 80 fiscal work orders and 7,700 CPOs with an unpaid work or other activity requirement.

5.1.5 Seventy-three per cent of social work order terminations in 2021-22 were successfully completed or discharged. This proportion was relatively stable, ranging from 68 to 70 per cent, in the years 2014-15 to 2019-20. It then rose to 75 per cent in 2020-21 and dropped to 73 per cent in 2021-22. The completion rates in 2021-22 varied between different types of order. The highest rate was for fiscal work orders (76 per cent) and the lowest for the higher tariff drug treatment and testing orders (50 per cent). The completion rate for CPOs was 74 per cent in 2021-22 and is the main component of this proportion due to the large numbers it contributes. More details about the completion rates for CPOs and drug treatment and testing orders, and how they compare with previous years, are in sections 5.2 and 5.3 respectively.


Email: justice_analysts@gov.scot

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