Annex D Trends in the prison population serving very short sentences
89 The prison population serving sentences of three months or less has been falling steadily over the past five years. This decrease has accelerated over the past year with a drop of about a third during 2011-12. While this has been accompanied by an increase of about 10 per cent in the population serving sentences over three months to six months, a similar pattern of change has also occurred during 2004-05 and 2008-09 (Table D.1). Therefore it cannot be inferred from the most recent data alone that there has been a displacement from sentences of three months or less to slightly higher sentences as a result of the presumption against sentences of three months or less implemented in February 2011.
90. Readers should also note that in cases where several sentences are to be served consecutively, the sentence length recorded is the total length of the combined sentences. The prisons data shown here will therefore underestimate the number of cases resulting in very short sentences, and users are advised to use the Scottish Government criminal proceedings data if they wish a more accurate reflection of trends in sentencing. The sentencing figures for 2011-12 are due to be published toward the end of the year.
Annual difference in prison population for very short sentences:
2000-01 to 2011-12 Table D.1
|3 months or less||% change||Over 3 months - 6 months||% change|
Note: Figures exclude fine defaulters.
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