Publication - Statistics

Reconviction rates in Scotland: 2014-2015 offender cohort

Published: 2 May 2017
Justice Directorate
Part of:
Law and order

Analysis of trends in reconviction statistics up to the latest cohort of 2014 to 2015.

Reconviction rates in Scotland: 2014-2015 offender cohort
Annex C - Uses and users of reconviction rates and average number of reconvictions per offender

Annex C - Uses and users of reconviction rates and average number of reconvictions per offender

C1 The Scottish Government completed a user survey for the Reconviction Rates in Scotland statistical bulletin in December 2014. The results can be found at the link here. Some of the points noted in the survey have been addressed in this bulletin.

C2 Reconviction rates are a helpful tool in supporting policy development, and informing implementation of the Scottish Government's Justice Strategy which seeks to prevent and reduce further offending by addressing the underlying causes and delivering a decisive shift in the balance between community and custodial sentences. This requires collaboration with a broad range of stakeholders across the justice system looking to safely and effectively manage and support those who have committed offences to help them reintegrate into their communities in order to prevent further offending.

C3 The average number of reconvictions per offender is also used to inform the National Indicator ' Reduce reconviction rates' in the Scottish Government's National Performance Framework ( NPF). The NPF was put into place in 2007 by the incoming government at that time and progress is measured and reported on the Scotland Performs website.

C4 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 previous year. The baseline average number of reconvictions per offender 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.

C5 Users of information on reconviction rates include:

  • Community Justice Scotland
  • 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

C6 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.

C7 Local Authorities find the data 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: Mariken Schipper

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road