Justice Social Work Statistics In Scotland: 2022-23

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

11 Statutory/voluntary throughcare

( Tables 1 and 28 to 29 )

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 a year after release, and last for 12 months after they have been requested.

Commencements for statutory throughcare in custody generally fluctuated around 1,000 in the years 2013-14 to 2019-20. Numbers fell in 2020-21 to 630 cases but have risen in each of the following two years, reaching 910 in 2022-23. Thirty-nine per cent of cases in 2022-23 involved determinate sentences of four years or more. Supervised release orders accounted for a further 26 per cent.

Similarly, the number of commencements for statutory throughcare cases in the community was generally around 1,000 up to 2018-19. In each of the last four years, numbers have been slightly lower and there were 890 cases in 2022-23. Twenty-seven per cent of all cases commenced in 2022-23 related to supervised release orders. Short-term sex offenders and non-parole accounted for a further 19 and 17 per cent respectively.

The statutory custody-based and community-based throughcare caseload totalled 5,400 individuals on 31 March 2023. This was around the same as in March 2022 but the second lowest in the last ten years. The low levels of the last two years were due to a lower community-based caseload, with the custody-based caseload remaining around the same as in previous years. On 31 March 2023, two thirds of the caseload was custody-based compared to one third that was community-based.

The number of completions of statutory throughcare cases in the community has ranged from 830 to 1,120 over the last ten years. The lowest of 830 was in 2022-23, after falling in each of the last three years.

The number of voluntary throughcare cases in 2022-23 was 1,900. This brought numbers back up to around he most recent pre-pandemic level of 2019-20.


Email: justice_analysts@gov.scot

Back to top