Assessment of compliance with the Code of Practice for Statistics: Scottish prison population statistics

13 January 2023
Last updated:
12 January 2023


1.21 The team has developed an excellent interactive analytical tool (an RShiny app). It promotes reuse of data and supports interpretation of the statistics by allowing users to explore the data themselves – helpful for such a granular dataset. For example, we heard that Scottish Government policy teams have used the tool to get information on the remand population to inform their development of the Bail and Release from Custody (Scotland) Bill currently progressing through the Scottish Parliament, and academics are using it for both research and teaching purposes. Users told us they find the tool user-friendly and engaging. To further support use, we suggest the team increase the number of chart types available.

1.22 To raise awareness and encourage use of the tool, the team is promoting it widely. For instance, it ran a demo for academics and added a worked example to the September 2022 edition of the Justice Analytical Services Safer Communities and Justice Statistics Monthly Report. The worked example is signposted in the 2021-22 prison population statistical bulletin. It is good that the team is considering other ways in which to promote the tool and gather user feedback, such as roadshows.

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