Reconviction Statistics 2014-15 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 percentage points lower than in 2011-12, the first full year after they were introduced, and also lower than for the community orders they replaced.
Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said: “These figures show we are continuing to make good progress on tackling reoffending – a key goal of this government’s justice strategy.
“The continued fall in reconvictions is down to hard work from 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.
“I want 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 their offending behaviour and become contributing citizens in their communities.
“Our new model for Community Justice encourages that approach through its fundamental focus on preventing and reducing reoffending.”