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Report on criminal justice system 09/02/2012 The success or value for money of services to reduce re-offending in Scotland cannot be determined based on the data currently gathered by the Government, says a new report by the Public Audit committee

Report on criminal justice system

The success or value for money of services to reduce re-offending in Scotland cannot be determined based on the data currently gathered by the Government, says a new report by the Public Audit committee.

While the committee welcomed the reduction in re-offending rates to 42.4 %, it states that it is “not convinced” that services for offenders are being effectively targeted.

“Our committee makes a number of recommendations regarding the Scottish Government’s progress towards reducing re-offending and welcomes the reduction in re-offending rate to 42.4 %. We believe there is scope for further improvement which builds on the progress already made,” said Iain Gray MSP, Convenor of the Public Audit Committee. “The committee is however concerned about the lack of information on the range, capacity and effectiveness of those offender services aimed at reducing re-offending which are provided in prison and in the community.”

The committee was particularly interested in what action was being taken to address female re-offending.

The committee heard that the number of women receiving custodial sentences is increasing (from 200 in 1998 to more than 500 in 2011) with a report from Audit Scotland noting that 47 % of women returned to prison within two years of being released. However the two-year reconviction rate for women has reduced from 37 % in 2006-07 to 35.2 % in 2007-08.

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