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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-11995: Liam Kerr (North East Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 12 October 2017

To ask the Scottish Government how it measures the effectiveness of individual prisons in reducing reoffending.

Answered by: Michael Matheson 7 November 2017

The Scottish Government routinely publishes data on reconviction rates by a range of characteristics, including disposal and length of custodial sentence, and these are available on the Scottish Government website at

The Scottish Government does not publish reconviction rates for individual prisons since rates will vary substantially depending on the mix of people who are held in different prisons. Those released from a prison which accommodates people serving long term sentences tend to have lower reconviction rates than those released from a prison which accommodates remand and short term prisoners. People may also be transferred within the prison estate during their stay in custody, for instance, to the open estate to prepare them for release. Therefore, comparisons between different prisons based on raw reconviction rates would be misleading.