Reconviction Rates in Scotland: 2010-11 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 2010-11

10 Uses and users of reconviction frequency rates and reconviction rates

10.1 Reconviction rates help to inform progress on the Scottish Government's Reducing Reoffending Programme. This works with partners across Scotland's justice system, working with persistent offenders to reduce crime, victimisation, and the negative effects these can have on society and the economy. To carry this out, eight Community Justice Authorities (CJAs) are tasked with working in partnership with local key agencies, including local authorities, Scottish Prison Service, health boards, police and third sector bodies.

10.2 The one year reconviction frequency rate is also used to inform the national indicator to reduce reconviction rates on Scotland Performs, the Scottish Government National Performance Framework. Scotland Performs measures and reports on progress of government in Scotland in creating a more successful country. It was put into place in 2007 by the incoming government at that time.

10.3 Progress in terms of the reconviction indicator on Scotland Performs is assessed annually by considering whether or not the latest reconviction frequency rate has improved or declined compared to the baseline reconviction frequency rate (this was chosen as the rate in 2006-07 because that relates to the financial year coinciding with the end of the previous government). The methodology for determining progress is discussed in a technical note on Scotland Performs.

10.4 Users of information on reconviction rates include:

  • Community Justice Authorities
  • Local authorities
  • Scottish Prison Service
  • Scottish Police Forces
  • Scottish Court Service
  • Risk Management Authority
  • Parole Board for Scotland
  • Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service
  • Health Boards
  • Victim Support
  • Third Sector Partners
  • Association of Directors of Social Work

10.5 We are made aware of new users, and their uses of this data, on an ongoing basis and we will continue to include their contributions to the development of reconviction statistics in Scotland.

10.6 CJAs use the data for strategic planning so that resources can be targeted effectively. Local authorities find it useful for identifying local issues and to inform feedback on performance to partners. These data are useful in terms of providing contextual information to help assess the effectiveness of justice programmes, and for gaining understanding about structural patterns in offending, such as the age-crime curve. The data are also used to answer ad-hoc Parliamentary Questions and Freedom of Information requests.


Email: Howard Hooper

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