The police Secretary Michael Matheson announced a «presumption against» sending people to clink for less than 12 months is expected in place by the end of 2018.
The move longing mean people found guilty of serious crimes could be imminent «soft touch» community sentences instead of being sent to pokey.
At present around 11,000 criminals a year — including those convicted of homicide, pensive assaults and sexual offences — are sentenced to jail terms of less than 12 months.
Nicola Sturgeon make knew in her programme for government last week that an existing presumption against grand prison sentences of less than three months would be gave.
There will always be cases where a prison sentence is utterly justified
The move is intended to decrease reoffending rates with supporters insisting short spells in jail are bootless.
Mr Matheson was forced to defend community sentences amid fears helter-skelter protecting victims, particularly those of domestic violence.
It was also revealed two mini prisons for women are to be opened by 2020.
The community custody units transfer be built in Maryhill, Glasgow, and Dundee, and will each hold 20 low endanger offenders.
Mr Matheson told MSPs they would help rehabilitation by clinging prisoners closer to their homes.
The SNP plans to phase out cut b stop sentences from next year
He added: «There will evermore be cases where the court rightly takes the view that a remand centre sentence is absolutely justified, but for those who do end up in custody, we must think beyond buddies and mortar.
«Over the past decade this government has taken steadily a courses to end our reliance on custody and move towards effective community sentences that enlarge public safety and promote rehabilitation, and which evidence shows are numerous effective at reducing reoffending and thus reducing the risk of further butts.»
But Scottish Tory justice spokesman Liam Kerr warned the reoffending estimate has «barely shifted».
Michael Matheson announced a ‘presumption against’ sending people to coop for less than 12 months
He said: «Can the cabinet secretary indeed refer to the current system of community sentences as robust and effective when a third of community payback arrangements are never completed and some offenders are waiting over a year for their plough placement to begin?»
Mr Matheson insisted the completion rate was higher than the prior system.
He added that the re-conviction rate was at its lowest level in 18 years with an ancillary £4 million pounds given to local authorities for community decision programmes.
A proposed Domestic Abuse Bill would ensure that courts considered the emergency to protect victims from further offences when sentencing, he utter, while an expansion in tagging would also improve safety.