Information

Reconviction Rates in Scotland: 2011-12 Offender Cohort

This publication provides analyses of trends in reconviction figures up to the latest cohort of 2011-12.

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2 Key points

  • Over the past ten years there has been an overall decline in the reconviction rate. In 2002-03, the reconviction rate was 32.9 per cent, whereas in 2011-12 it was 29.2 per cent; a reduction of 3.7 percentage points. Over the same time period there has been a reduction in the average number of reconvictions per offender from 0.64 to 0.53; a 17 per cent reduction of 0.11 reconvictions per offender (Table 1).
  • There has been a marked fall in the number of reconvictions for offenders aged under 25 over the past 10 years. In 2002-03 the average number of reconvictions per offender of the under 21 age group was 0.88 and it had decreased to a level of 0.61 in 2011-12: a 31 per cent drop of 0.27 reconvictions per offender. In the same period the average number of reconvictions per offender for the 21 to 25 age group decreased by 27 per cent from 0.74 to 0.54 (Table 3).
  • Offenders who commit a crime of dishonesty have the highest average number of reconvictions per offender (0.92 in 2011-12), whereas offenders who commit a sexual crime have the lowest (0.25 in 2011-12), compared to offenders that committed other crimes (Table 6).
  • There were 9,890 offenders given a community payback order (CPO) / legacy community sentence[1] in 2011-12. These offenders had a 32.5 per cent reconviction rate and the average number of reconvictions per offender was 0.58 (Table 7).
  • Offenders given a Drug Treatment and Testing Order (DTTO) have the highest average number of reconvictions compared to other disposals. However, the number of reconvictions for offenders receiving this disposal has dropped considerably over the past ten years. In 2002-03 the average number of reconvictions per offender was 2.41 and in 2011-12 the rate was 1.45, representing a drop of 40 per cent, or nearly 1 reconviction per offender on average (Table 7).
  • Offenders who were released from a custodial sentence of 3 months or less have a higher average number of reconvictions per offender than those who were released from longer custodial sentences. In 2011-12, the average number of reconvictions per offender for those released from a sentence of 3 months or less was 1.32, compared to 0.15 for those released from a sentence of over 4 years. However, over the last ten years, the average number of reconvictions for offenders who served a short custodial sentence has dropped by 0.17 (Table 8).
  • In 2011-12, 53,903 individuals were given police disposals and 25.2 per cent of these individuals were given another non-court disposal within one year (Table 13).
  • In 2011-12, 56,057 individuals were given Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service disposals and 19 per cent of these individuals were given another non-court disposal within one year (Table 14).

Contact

Email: Andrew Morgan

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