1.1 This publication presents national-level information on criminal justice social work activity in Scotland. The report includes data on criminal justice social work services and social work orders, as well as characteristics of the individuals involved.
1.2 The number of social work orders issued has been very stable over the past six years with numbers generally around the 20,000 mark. The most recent figures show 20,500 orders issued in 2016-17 ( Chart 1 and Table 2).
Chart 1 Social work orders issued: 2010-11 to 2016-17
** Figures for 2010-11 exclude around 300 community payback orders and for 2015-16 and 2016-17 exclude, respectively, around 200 and 150 legacy orders as details of these were not collected from local authorities in those years (see Annex A).
- The number of criminal justice social work reports (including supplementary reports) rose for the first time in the last seven years, by one per cent to 30,100 in 2016-17. Despite this, numbers have dropped overall by a fifth since 2010-11, broadly reflecting changes in court volumes ( Table 1).
- The number of social work orders issued has been stable over the past six years with numbers generally around the 20,000 mark, the most recent figures showing a total of 20,500 in 2016-17 ( Table 2).
- There were 19,100 community payback orders commenced in 2016-17, with numbers having stabilised at around 19,000 in each of the last four years ( Table 2). Most community payback orders included a requirement for unpaid work or other activity (76 per cent), and 53 per cent included offender supervision ( Table 11).
- Sixty per cent of people given an offender supervision requirement of up to 6 months were aged 30 or under, compared with only 39 per cent of those given the maximum of 36 months ( Chart 3).
- The prevalence of unpaid work or other activity requirements was lower in 2016-17 than in 2013-14, while it was higher for offender supervision and conduct ( Chart 4). The change for conduct requirements was mainly driven by a 25 per cent rise in the number imposed between 2015-16 and 2016-17 ( Table 11).
- Sixty-seven per cent of community payback order terminations resulted in completion/discharge in 2016-17, around the same level as the previous five years, with the exception of the high of 2013-14 ( Table 2).
- The successful completion rate for community payback orders was highest for those aged over 40 (77 per cent) and lowest for those aged under 18 (60 per cent). Rates were also higher for the employed/self-employed (81 per cent) than for the unemployed/economically inactive (62 per cent) ( Chart 7).
- There were 480 drug treatment and testing orders commenced in 2016-17 , the lowest since this was first collected, and almost 30 per cent lower than in 2010-11 ( Table 2). People aged 26 to 30 have been the most likely per head of population to get a drug treatment and testing order in each of the last three years.
- Forty-four per cent of drug treatment and testing order terminations resulted in completion/discharge in 2016-17, the lowest in any of the last seven years ( Table 2).
- Almost 900 fiscal work orders commenced in 2016-17, nearly 60 per cent of which were for people aged 25 or under ( Table 31).