Reconviction Rates Drop Again

Reconviction rates in Scotland have fallen again, driven by a decrease among the under-25s.

Official figures show that during the past decade, the proportion of offenders being reconvicted, and the number of times offenders are reconvicted, have fallen.

The average number of reconvictions per offender has decreased by nearly 4% from 0.55 in 2010-11, to 0.53 in 2011-12.

During the same period, the reconviction rate fell from 30.1% to 29.2%.

The decreases continue the trend over the past decade where between 2002-03 and 2011-12, the average number of reconvictions per offender fell by 17%, from 0.64 to 0.53; and the reconviction rate dropped by 3.7 percentage points, from 32.9% to 29.2%.

Rates decreased by more than a quarter for the 21 to 25 age group, while reconvictions for offenders aged over 25 have remained relatively constant during the past decade.

The Scottish Government has previously tried to cut reoffending with policies such as non-custodial community sentences and a presumption against jail terms of less than three months.

An Audit Scotland report published in 2012 found the Scottish Prison Service, Community Justice Authorities and the Scottish Government spent #128 million in 2010/11 on services and activities to reduce reoffending.

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