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Review of the Glasgow and Fife Drug Courts: Report

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Outcomes

Reconviction among Drug Court Participants

34. Professor Gill McIvor of the SCCJR was commissioned to do a separate study of reconviction rates, which updated her earlier work. At the time of the original evaluation the courts had not been operational for a sufficiently long period of time to enable a reasonably robust analysis of reconviction. The present analysis was able to focus on a larger sample of cases and more complete reconviction data were available for these offenders. However, the sample size is still less than what is required for a robust reconviction analysis and therefore the results should be treated with caution.

35. Across the two Drug Courts, 70% of offenders had been reconvicted within one year and 82% within two years. Reconviction rates were almost identical in Fife and Glasgow. However, the reconviction order did vary according to the outcome of the Drug Court Order - reconviction rates were significantly lower for those who completed their Orders or whose Orders were discharged early, compared with those who had breached or been revoked.

36. The analysis also showed that reconviction rates among Drug Court cases were very similar to those among offenders given DTTOs before the Drug Courts were introduced (82% after two years for the former and 80% for the latter). Reconviction rates at 12 months and 24 months following DTTOs imposed under Sheriff summary and Solemn proceedings (71% and 82% respectively) were almost identical to those for offenders given DTTOs in Drug Courts at 12 months and 24 months (70% and 82%).

37. The same pattern is also seen in relation to frequency of reconviction - there is no significant difference between Drug Courts and DTTOs. However, throughout the analysis it is possible that the more efficient rolling up of cases in the Drug Courts may have served to distort comparisons.

38. Information was also gathered on the previous crime types and reconviction crime types for Drug Court offenders. Prior to appearing in court, 73.1% of previous crimes were crimes of dishonesty and subsequent to appearing in court, it decreases to 66.5%, although there is also a proportionate increase in drug offences (2.7% to 5.2%) and breaches of the peace.

39. More detail regarding the work commissioned by the SCCJR is set out in Annex B.