17% fall over the last decade.
New figures show an 18 year low in the number of offenders reconvicted within a year and the average number of reconvictions per offender.
Reconviction figures also show that offenders released from custodial sentences had a higher chance of reoffending than those given a Community Payback Order (CPO).
The reconviction rate for those given CPOs is 4% lower than in 2011-12, the first full year after they were introduced, and also lower than for the community orders they replaced.
Kenneth Gibson said:
“These figures show that the SNP Government continues to make good progress on tackling reoffending – a key goal of our justice strategy.
“The continued fall in reoffending is good news for our communities, with fewer crimes, fewer victims and fewer people being incarcerated at taxpayers’ expense.
“This success is down to the diligence of partners across Scottish Justice, working together to prevent offending and keep our communities safe.
“This is further evidence to back up our position that robust community sentences, particularly CPOs, are more effective at reducing reoffending than short custodial sentences.
“The SNP wants to see a Scotland where people are held to account for their offending behaviour, but are also given the opportunity to address the underlying causes of it and ultimately make a positive contribution to our society. Our new model for Community Justice encourages that approach through its fundamental focus on preventing and reducing reoffending.”