Supervised attendance by social workers is more effective and
cheaper than fines or imprisonment, according to research by the
social work research centre at Stirling University.
Supervised attendance orders (SAO) are an alternative to fines.
Any portion of an unpaid fine is replaced by a period of activity
such as unpaid work, supervised by social work departments.
The researchers found that SAOs cost on average £733
compared with £837 for the equivalent period of custody for
fine default. In the study sample 85 per cent completed their SAOs
successfully. Those who completed their orders were much less
likely to reoffend in the following 12 months than previously.