Official figures show that during the past decade, the proportion of offenders being reconvicted and the number of offences they have been reconvicted for have fallen.
The average number of reconvictions per offender fell by nearly 4 per cent from 0.55 per offender in 2010-11, to 0.53 in 2011-12. During the same period, the reconviction rate fell from 30.1 per cent to 29.2 per cent.
The falls continue the trend of the last decade where between 2002-03 and 2011-12, the average number of reconvictions per offender fell by 17 per cent, from 0.64 to 0.53 and the reconviction rate dropped by 3.7 percentage points, from 32.9 per cent to 29.2 per cent. Reconviction rates decreased by more than a quarter for the 21 to 25 age group, while reconvictions for offenders aged over 25 have stayed constant.
The Scottish Government has previously tried to cut reoffending with policies such as non-custodial community orders and a presumption against jail terms of less than three months.
An Audit Scotland report published in 2012 found the Scottish Prison Service, Community Justice Authorities and the Scottish Government spent £128 million in 2010-11 on services and activities to reduce reoffending.