Scotland politics

Reconvictions in Scotland fall to 18-year low

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The number of people receiving a second conviction within a year has fallen to the lowest level for 18 years.

Official figures published by the Scottish government showed that 28% of offenders were reconvicted in 2014/15.

Reconvictions have dropped by 19% since 1997/98.

But the statistics also revealed that, of the people released from short-term prison sentences of six months or less, more than half (57%) were reconvicted within a year.

Of those given a community payback order (CPO), around a third (32.7%) were reconvicted.

'Good progress'

Justice secretary Michael Matheson said: "These figures show we are continuing to make good progress on tackling reoffending - a key goal of this government's justice strategy.

"The continued fall in reconvictions is down to hard work from partners across Scottish justice, working together to prevent offending and keep our communities safe.

"This is further evidence to back up our position that robust community sentences, particularly CPOs, are more effective at reducing reoffending than short custodial sentences.

"I want to see a Scotland where people are held to account for their offending behaviour, but are also given the opportunity to address the underlying causes of their offending behaviour and become contributing citizens in their communities.

"Our new model for community justice encourages that approach through its fundamental focus on preventing and reducing reoffending."

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