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Sex offenders are the least likely to re-offend, according to new Scottish data

According to the Scottish Government’s statistical report on the criminal justice system, both the rate of reconviction and the average number of reconvictions per person have been slowly decreasing since 2003. The statistics are based on the data of people who were released from custody in 2015-16 or received a non-custodial sentence during that period.

Some of the key points of the report were:

  • On average, the reconviction rate decreased by 5.4% in the past ten years to 27%. The number of reconvictions per person also decreased by 22% to 0.47.
  • Men were found to reconvict more often than women, with the average number of reconvictions for men 0.49, and 0.4 for women.
  • People who commit crimes of dishonesty - such as theft, fraud and tax evasion - are the most likely to be reconvicted (0.92). At the other end of the spectrum, the number of offenders who committed a sexual crime had the lowest reconviction rate at 0.17. This is consistent with data from previous years.
  • Those people who were initially convicted for shorter sentences are more likely to be reconvicted than those with longer sentences. This is due to the fact that those people who commit low-level crimes tend to commit more crimes. The number of reconvictions per person for those who were convicted to more than four years in prison is very low at 0.1%.
  • Many people were reconvicted for different crimes to their original conviction.

Overall, of the 41,612 people that were convicted in 2016-17, 65% had at least one previous conviction, while 13% had ten or more convictions in the past ten years. 

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