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Sentencing Policy (Statistics)

Volume 75: debated on Tuesday 12 March 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) of all prisoners sentenced to the short sharp shock treatment, how many have subsequently been given other custodial sentences and how many have not;(2) how many prisoners have undergone sentences involving the short sharp shock treatment by institution, year and length of sentence since its inception;(3) how many prisoners sentenced to the short sharp shock treatment have previously been detained in other institutions by year and type of institution;(4) how many prisoners have been sentenced to the short sharp shock treatment on more than one occasior by year and institution.

The "short sharp shock treatment" is the colloquial phrase for the sentence of young offenders to detention in a detention centre, which was introduced by the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 1949. The numbers of receptions to detention centres in Scotland since the first one opened in 1960 are as follows:

YearReceptions
1960175
1961311
1962317
1963477
1964613
1965575
1966723
1967735
1968825
19691,103
19701,132
19711,171
19721,083
1973975
1974963
19751,043
1976837
1977879
1978919
1979591
1980834
1981729
1982862
1983889
*19841,070
* January to August.
Under the terms of the 1949 Act, the term of detention during the years 1960–63 could not exceed three months. A breakdown of receptions by sentence length is available in the Scottish Home and Health Department's annual reports "Prisons in Scotland" published by HMSO for these years. Under the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 1963—implemented on 1 November 1963—the sentence became a fixed term of three months. Since section 45 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 1980 was implemented

on 15 November 1963 sentences may vary, generally between 28 days and four months. For the period January to August 1984 the breakdown was as follows:

LengthNumber
Under 28 days*8
28 days15
30 days103
1 month13
30–60 days15
60 days188
2 months36
60–90 days3
90 days23
3 months549
90–120 days2
120 days5
4 months108
Over 4 months†2
* These would be additional warrants served on an inmate already subject to a detention centre sentence.
† This is possible under the terms of section 207(7) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1975.
Information on the previous custodial sentences served by inmates received at detention centres is available in "Prisons in Scotland" until 1982. This information has not been published since 1982 as it is based on the recollection of inmates on admission. The relevant figures since 1982 are as follows:

Previous sentence(s) in
YearDC receptionsDCBorstalYOI
19838896245117
1984*1,070286177290
DC—Detention Centre.
YOI—Young Offenders Institution.
* January to August.
Breakdowns of this and the other information by institution are not available except at disproportionate cost. There are no official figures available on how many inmates released from detention centres have subsequently been given other custodial sentences.