Ipsos MORI Scotland surveyed a representative sample of 1000 Scottish adults to better understand public knowledge of and attitudes to sentencing in criminal cases.
Key findings include:
- a majority of the public (56%) think that sentences handed out by the Scottish Courts are too lenient
- but when asked about the sentence they thought ought to be given in a number of specific cases, the most common answers tended to be broadly in line with the sentences likely to be imposed in practice
- people tend to over-estimate the proportion of sentences that result in a prison term (the average estimate was 30%, compared with the actual 2017-18 figure of 14%)
- the public is sceptical about the effectiveness of community sentences as a deterrent measure - 48% think they do not reduce reoffending
The report is available from the Scottish Sentencing Council website.