Justice Social Work Statistics In Scotland: 2022-23

This publication presents national-level information on justice social work activity in Scotland. It includes data on justice social work services and social work orders, as well as characteristics of the individuals involved.

This document is part of a collection

5 Court-based services and social work reports

(Table 1)

There are various tasks associated with providing information and advice to the court. These include:

  • oral/written reports and information at the court’s request on specific matters. These inform the sentencing process or the decision to remand to custody rather than grant bail
  • supporting people with mental health difficulties to get the help they need. In particular, justice social work can request that a court asks for a mental health assessment and can work collaboratively with the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) to look at alternative disposals
  • interviewing individuals immediately after the court has passed a disposal involving justice social work. Such interviews further explain the decision of the court and what this means for individuals. They also establish if there are any pressing issues which need dealt with immediately, and they inform individuals about the availability of relevant social work or other services
  • offering advice and practical assistance to family or friends of those appearing on the day of court, when appropriate
  • forwarding relevant information to prisons in the event of a custodial sentence. This would include details on people who may pose a risk of harm to themselves and/or others
  • representing the local authority justice social work service in the court setting (including, where appropriate, court users' groups) and liaising with other professional groups

Same day reports are either pre-sentence reports or specific sentence reports requested by the court. There were 1,700 such reports provided to the courts in 2022-23. This was higher than the pandemic years but still much lower than earlier years’ levels.

In 2022-23, there were 11,000 post sentence interviews with people remanded into custody or receiving custodial sentences for the first time. This was higher than the Covid-affected totals for both 2020-21 and 2021-22 but still 28 per cent lower than in 2019-20.


Email: justice_analysts@gov.scot

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