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Reconviction Rates in Scotland: 2009-10 Offender Cohort

Analysis of one year reconviction rates for the cohort of offenders released from a custodial sentence or receiving a non-custodial disposal in 2009-10

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2 Key points

  • Over the past eight years there has been a decline in the one year reconviction rate. In 2002-03 the one year reconviction rate was 32.9 per cent, whereas in 2009-10 it is 30.1 per cent; a reduction of 2.8 percentage points. Over the same time period there has been a reduction in reconviction frequency rate from 63.9 to 54.0; a reduction of nearly 10 reconvictions for every 100 offenders (Table 1).
  • There has been a marked fall over time in the number of reconvictions for the under 21 age group. In 1997-98 this group had a reconviction frequency rate of 93.4 and in 2009-10 the reconviction frequency rate is 65.3; over twelve years a fall of just over 28 reconvictions for every 100 young offenders (Table 3).
  • Offenders given a Drug Treatment and Testing Order (DTTO) have the highest reconviction frequency rate compared to other disposals. This has declined over the past seven years: in 2002-03 the one year reconviction frequency rate was 240.6 and in 2009-10 the rate is 149.6, representing a reduction of 91 reconvictions for every 100 offenders (Table 6).
  • Offenders who commit a crime of dishonesty have the highest reconviction frequency rate compared to those who commit other crimes, and offenders who commit a sexual crime have the lowest reconviction frequency rate. In 2009-10, the reconviction frequency rate is 93.4 for offenders who committed crimes of dishonesty and 14.6 for offenders who committed a sexual crime (Table 7).
  • Offenders who were released from a custodial sentence of 3 months or less have the highest reconviction frequency rate compared to those who were released from longer sentences. The reconviction frequency rate for those released from a sentence of 3 months or less is 129.1. This compares with a reconviction frequency rate of 74.2 for those released from a sentence of 6 months to 2 years. Over time there is some evidence of a reduction in the reconviction frequency rate. In seven years, there has been a reduction of nearly 22 reconvictions for every 100 offenders who served a sentence of less than 3 months (Table 8).
  • In 2009-10, 80.5 per cent of police disposals were anti social behaviour fixed penalty notices and 27.5 per cent of offenders who were given these disposals were given another non-court disposal within one year (Table 17).
  • In 2009-10, 56.8 per cent of Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal disposals were fiscal fines and 23.4 per cent of offenders who were given these disposals were given another non-court disposal within one year (Table 18).

Contact

Email: Howard Hooper

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