Criminal justice social work statistics in Scotland: 2016-17

A national statistics publication for Scotland.

Annex B Definitions

B.1 The following section provides a brief description of the main types of criminal justice social work orders and services. More information on social work orders and the operation of the criminal justice system can be found in the Criminal proceedings in Scotland publications. Details on court services can be found in the National outcomes and standards guidance. In addition to social work orders issued by the courts, work orders may be offered by the procurator fiscal as an alternative to summary court proceedings when appropriate. Fiscal work orders had previously been available in a small number of pilot areas but were rolled out nationally from 1 April 2015 (see §B.6).

B.2 Bail information services assist procurators fiscal and courts through verification of information in cases where bail might otherwise have been opposed or refused. In a proportion of cases, this will result in a period of supervised bail.

B.3 A court may ask for a same day oral or written report from a court-based worker during the court proceedings and adjourn a case until later in the day for this to be completed. A same day report will be a brief report and not a full criminal justice social work report. Same day reports tend to deal with issues specific to the case to inform decision-making. The information may be relevant to decisions regarding bail or custodial remand, the need for a full report, the need to defer a case to a future date and final sentence.

B.4 The community payback order was introduced by the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 and replaces provisions for community service, probation and supervised attendance orders for offences committed from 1 February 2011 onward. It is available to all courts, with some restrictions applying to justice of the peace courts in relation to treatment and programme requirements. There are up to nine different requirements which can be issued with a CPO, the most common of which are unpaid work or other activity and offender supervision. Courts may not impose unpaid work or other activity on someone under 16 years old while offender supervision must be imposed for someone aged under 18. More information on the community payback order can be found in the community payback orders practice guidance .

B.5 The drug treatment and testing order is a high tariff disposal for people with serious drug use problems, who might otherwise receive a custodial sentence. This order includes the requirement for regular reviews by the court and that the person consent to frequent random drug tests throughout the lifetime of the order. These orders were rolled out across Scotland in phases between 1999 and 2002. This order is available to all courts apart from justice of the peace courts. In addition, the less intensive DTTO II was introduced on a pilot basis in the Lothian areas (apart from West Lothian) in June 2008 for people committing lower tariff offences at a relatively early stage in their lives. The DTTO II is also available from justice of the peace courts.

B.6 Fiscal work orders allow fiscals to offer unpaid work orders as an alternative to prosecution, where:

  • There is sufficient evidence to prosecute a summary offence,
  • A financial penalty or other direct measure is not deemed appropriate.

These orders were initially piloted in four council areas from June 2008 (Highland, South Lanarkshire, West Dunbartonshire and West Lothian) and the pilot was extended to include three more areas from early 2011 (Aberdeen City, Dundee City and City of Edinburgh). Fiscal work orders were introduced nationally on 1 April 2015, can be for a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 50 hours and should be completed within 6 months.

B.7 Restriction of liberty orders have been available to courts (excluding justice of the peace courts) since May 2002. This order can be imposed for periods of up to one year, and involves restricting an individual to a specified place for up to 12 hours per day and/or from a specified place for up to 24 hours. The number of people receiving a restriction of liberty order is reported in the Criminal proceedings in Scotland publications. The contract for monitoring restriction of liberty orders is managed by the Scottish Government, and some management data will be available from the current contractor G4S.

B.8 Throughcare is the provision of a range of social work and associated services to people serving a prison sentence and their families from the point of sentence or remand, during the period of imprisonment and following release into the community. People serving more than four years are released under statutory supervision. Those serving less than four years who are short-term sex offenders under Section 15 of the Management of Offenders Etc. (Scotland) Act 2005, or who are subject to an extended sentence or supervised release order, are also supervised on release. The objective of throughcare services is public protection, as well as assisting individuals to prepare for release and supporting community reintegration and rehabilitation.

B.9 Voluntary throughcare is available to those who are not subject to statutory throughcare, but who request support while in custody or within 12 months of release.


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