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Reconviction rates continue to fall 19/05/2016 The proportion of people being reconvicted within 12 months has reached the lowest level in 17 years, according to new statistics.

Reconviction rates continue to fall

The proportion of people being reconvicted within 12 months has reached the lowest level in 17 years, according to official statistics published by Scotland’s Chief Statistician. The figures, ‘Reconviction Rates in Scotland 2013-14’, also show a drop in the average number of times a person reoffends.

Over the past decade there has been a decrease of four percentage points in the proportion of offenders being reconvicted within a year. In 2013-14, 28% of offenders were reconvicted within a year, compared to 32% in 2004-05, a decline largely driven by decreases in reconvictions for offenders aged under 25.

In addition to the decrease in the overall reconviction rate, results also show a decrease of 16% in the average number of times that individual offenders are reconvicted within a year, from 0.61 reconvictions per offender in 2004-05 to 0.51 in 2013-14. Long-term trend data has shown that, on average, male offenders have more reconvictions than females. This pattern continued in 2013-14, where the average number of reconvictions per male offender was 0.53, compared with 0.43 for females.

Other statistics in the publication show that offenders who committed a crime of dishonesty had the highest number of reconvictions per offender compared to those who had committed other crime types. Offenders who committed a crime of dishonesty had on average 0.94 reconvictions per offender in 2013-14, whereas offenders who commit a sexual crime had the lowest number of reconvictions per offender (0.15 in 2013-14).

The statistics also show differences in the average number of reconvictions per offender depending on the type of sentence they receive. Offenders given a Drug Treatment and Testing Order had the highest average number of reconvictions per offender, with a value of 1.66 in 2013-14, compared to 0.84 for those individuals released from custodial sentences and 0.38 for those individuals who received a fine.

In addition, the figures reveal differences in reconviction rates for offenders receiving a custodial sentence depending on the length of sentence received.

Those released from shorter sentences of 3 months or less had, on average, a higher number of reconvictions (1.33) compared to those released from longer custodial sentences, such as between 3 and 6 months (1.08) and over 4 years (0.12). Offenders released from custodial sentences of 3 months or less also had, on average, a higher reconviction rate than those offenders given a Community Payback Order (0.55).

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