Scottish Sentencing Council: Guideline on the Sentencing of Young People

On 09/11/21 2021, the Scottish Sentencing Council’s guideline on the sentencing of young people was approved by the High Court. It came into force on 26 January 2022 and sets out various factors which should be taken into account when sentencing a young person up to the age of 25. It’s based upon research into how young people develop physically and psychologically, and into the differences between young people and older people.

Scottish Sentencing Council Report: Judicial Perspectives on Community-Based Disposals

On 28/10/21 the Scottish Sentencing Council published a report entitled, 'Judicial Perspectives on Community-Based Disposals', drawing on research and engagement carried out with sentencers and others. One of its more significant findings was that “that one of the greatest challenges to judicial confidence in community-based disposals concerns limitations of resources to support their management and delivery”, rather than lack of awareness of available services and programmes.

Reconviction Statistics: 2019-19 Offender Cohort

On 04/10/21 the latest Reconviction Statistics for the 2018-19 offender cohort   were published. The figures showed that reconvictions had increased in the past year from 26.4% in 2017-18, to 28.3% in 2018-19, going against the general downwards trend over the past decade. The average number of reconvictions also increased over the same period from 0.47 to 0.50, an increase of 6%.

Audit Scotland: Community Justice Sustainable Alternatives to Custody

On 15 July 2021, Audit Scotland published its Community Justice Sustainable Alternatives to Custody report. Amongst its findings it was noted that there had not been a shift towards non-custodial sentences and that there was a lack of effectiveness data. It also showed enormous geographic variation in the use of non-custodial sentences, which strongly suggested that this was a result of individual sentencers' decision-making.


Extended Presumption Against Short Sentences Monitoring Information: January – December 2020

On 23 March 2021, the Scottish Government published a report on ‘Extended Presumption Against Short Sentences Monitoring Information: January – December 2020’. It contained some interesting geographic disparities in sentencing that suggest that some of the judiciary are more willing to ignore or bypass PASS than others.





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