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

6 Structured deferred sentences

(Tables 1 and 25 to 26)

6.1 Structured deferred sentences (SDS) offer courts the option to provide a short period of intensive supervision to individuals post-conviction but before final sentencing. Justice social work departments will identify those cases which may be suitable for consideration in a CJSWR. SDS offers the opportunity to engage individuals in initial supportive interventions without the need for statutory supervision. The court can then be better informed of the need for further interventions when the person returns to court for sentencing.

6.2 After falling sharply in 2020-21 to 450, the number of SDS imposed in Scotland rose to its highest level of 930 in 2021-22 . In each of the last four years, between 70 and 75 per cent of SDS were for males. In the last three years, over a third were aged 25 or under. The next biggest age group was 31-40 years which accounted for around 25 to 30 per cent of the total. Where employment status was known, 77 per cent of people given SDS in 2021-22 were either unemployed or economically inactive.

6.3 Nineteen per cent of SDS had a length of less than three months. A further 46 per cent were between three months and less than six months. The remaining 35 per cent were for six months or more.

6.4 There were 660 SDS which finished during 2021-22. In 45 per cent of these, the person was admonished. A further 12 per cent got a CPO. Figures on outcomes by local authority area are in 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. In addition, SDS is currently not available in some local authority areas.


Email: justice_analysts@gov.scot

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