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.

This document is part of a collection

10 Uses and users of reconviction rates and average number of reconvictions per offender

10.1 Reconviction rates are a helpful tool in supporting policy development, including the Scottish Government's Reducing Reoffending Programme, Phase 2 (RRP2). This is a collaborative programme with a broad range of stakeholder involvement looking to deliver better outcomes for persistent offenders. Clearly success here is likely to translate to a reduction in crime, victimisation, and the negative effects these can have on local communities and the economy.

10.2 The average number of reconvictions per offender 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 average number of reconvictions per offender has improved or declined compared to the baseline average number of reconvictions per offender (this was chosen as the number 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
  • Police Scotland
  • Scottish Court Service
  • Risk Management Authority
  • Parole Board for Scotland
  • Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service
  • Health Boards
  • Victim Support
  • Third Sector Partners
  • Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA)
  • 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: Andrew Morgan

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