To deliver quality Criminal Justice Social Work Services throughout the Shetland Islands. The priority is for provision of effective risk assessment and management of offenders within the community, whilst maintaining community safety. The services outlined are committed to the social inclusion and rehabilitation of offenders as a positive approach in the prevention of offending behaviour and maintenance of crime free lifestyles.
- To provide effective community based disposals as an alternative to prison
- To provide high quality informative reports to courts to assist with sentencing
- To challenge offending behaviour and assist individuals to recognise the harm their behaviour has on others
- Assist with problems related to offending such as drug and alcohol misuse
- To identify and manage offenders at risk of re-offending and those who present a risk of harm to themselves or others
- To ensure service delivery meets National Standards and Outcomes
- To work closely with partnership agencies and stakeholders in ensuring community safety and addressing social inclusion
- To assist those released from prison to settle back into the community
Main Services Include:
- Court Services
- Reports to Court
- Community-based Supervision
- Community Payback Order
- Unpaid Work by Offenders Scheme
- Throughcare Services
- Drug Treatment and Testing Orders
- Diversion from Prosecution
- Northern Community Justice Authority Reports
- Multi Agency Public Prosecution Arrangements
The Criminal Justice Service provides a comprehensive range of court services to the Lerwick Sheriff Court:
- Bail information and supervision
- Provision of information to the Sheriff, when required, in relation to individuals appearing before the court
- Court reports
- Identification of vulnerable individuals who appear before the court, and where necessary, provision of relevant information to receiving prisons
- Pre and post-sentence interviews
- Support, information and guidance to witnesses and families
- Effective liaison with other Court-related agencies
At present, the resident Sheriff alternates weekly between Shetland and Orkney. In the Sheriff’s absence custody cases are dealt with by Honorary Sheriffs. The Court is serviced by a qualified duty court social worker.
Reports are requested by the courts to provide information to assist them to make decisions on sentencing. The main type of report provided is the Criminal Justice Social Work Report. This report provides information on:
- Background of the offender
- Analysis of offending behaviour
- Individual’s attitude to the offence committed and to the victim(s) of the offence
- Assessment of risk
- Suitability for community-based disposals, for example, Community Payback Order, Drug Treatment and Testing Order
When subject to statutory or voluntary supervision in the community, for example, Community Payback Order Supervision Requirement, parole and diversion, individuals are supervised by an allocated social worker and will be required to undertake a range of work to help them stop reoffending. Work will focus on reducing re-offending through developing strategies to make and sustain long-term positive changes. This will include work specific to individuals’ offending behaviour and other related areas such as life skills, problem-solving, anger management, drug/alcohol use, housing, education/ employment etc.
A Community Payback Order with a Supervision Requirement is the main sentence for community based supervision. An individual can be sentenced to supervision for a period of 6 months to 3 years. The frequency of contact will commence at weekly and move to monthly as the Order nears completion. Each individual is subject to a detailed assessment of their risk of reconviction, risk of harm and the specific needs that have contributed to their offending behaviour. This information informs an individual case management plan that identifies the work that needs to be undertaken during the period of supervision. Regular reviews are held to ensure the work undertaken meets the assessed level of risk and need.
Some interventions are delivered in collaboration with partnership agencies such Community Alcohol and Drugs Service Shetland, Adult Learning, Careers Scotland and Shetland Community Bike Project.
This Order has replaced Probation Orders, Community Service Orders and Supervised Release Orders for crimes committed on or after 1 February 2011. A Community Payback Order can include requirements that an individual must cooperate with.
The requirements are:
- Unpaid work or other activity requirement; (See unpaid work scheme)
- Offender Supervision requirement (See community supervision)
- Compensation requirement- pays compensation to the victims’ of crime
- Programme requirement – undertake specific pieces of work to address offending behaviour
- Mental Health Treatment requirement
- Drug treatment requirement
- Alcohol treatment requirement
- Residence requirement – to reside at a specific address
- Conduct requirement
A criminal justice social worker will assess an offender’s suitability for a community based disposal and will make recommendations to the Court on the most appropriate requirements to impose. This will ensure that offenders continue to receive a sentence that will challenge and assist them in changing their offending behaviour and enable some to make reparation to the community through unpaid work.
What is Unpaid Work
A Community Payback Order with an Unpaid Work and Other Activity Requirement or a Community Service Order is a community-based disposal available to Courts for those offenders who are at risk of custody. It enables the offender to remain at liberty whilst undertaking a specified number of hours of unpaid work to the benefit of the community.
It is a direct alternative to custody, involving a high level of supervision and management from criminal justice staff, and demanding high levels of compliance from the offender.
The Court states how many hours must be worked, which can be for a minimum of 20 hours and up to a maximum of 300 hours. If the offender does not comply with the Order, they will be returned to Court.
- Level 1 Orders are 20-100 hours and should be completed within 3 months unless a different timescale is specified by the court
- Level 2 Orders are 101-300 hours and should be completed within 6 months unless a different timescale is specified by the Court
A priority for the Service is the protection of the public. Each offender is carefully assessed before they are assigned to a work project or placement. Trained supervisors employed by Criminal Justice supervise the small teams of offenders at all times. Those individuals who are on placements within voluntary organisations are supervised by their staff. The Scheme operates 2-4 days a week, including weekends.
The ‘Other Activity’ of an Order allows 30% of the Order up to a maximum of 30 hours, to be used for activities that will increase an individual’s chances of gaining employment i.e. employability training and short term training courses.
What is the aim of Unpaid Work?
The aim of Unpaid Work is to provide opportunities for participants to make reparation to the local community, for example local youth clubs, charities and community organisations.
A further objective of unpaid work placements in the community is to help offenders to learn and acquire new work skills to improve their employability and help them to move away from crime.
Types of Work Projects:
- Painting and decorating churches, community halls and youth clubs
- Beach clearing
- Environmental projects
- General ground clearance and gardening
- Recycling projects
- Individual placements within non profit making organisations
What are the criteria that govern Unpaid Work?
- Work must benefit the local community
- Work must be aimed at not-for-profit organisations and charities
- It must not take away paid work from others
- Costs of materials must be supplied by the beneficiary
We will consult with community groups and councils to identify projects that would benefit their areas. Work requests can also be made directly to the service.
If you would like to make a request for work to be carried out on behalf of your group or organisation, you can download our Unpaid Work Referral request form from this page. Alternatively you can email your request to Julie.email@example.com or telephone 01595 744 446.
Throughcare applies to the range of prison and community based services provided to offenders and their families during and after a prison sentence. These include:
- Prison social work services
- Preparation of reports to the Parole Board to assist decisions about release from prison and to report on progress in the community
- Supervision of parole, supervised release, extended sentence and other prison after care orders
- Throughcare Addictions Service
- Voluntary assistance for individuals sentenced to four years or less
Throughcare starts at the point of sentence, where there is an expectation that all offenders receiving a custodial sentence will be interviewed by the Court Duty Social Worker. Each offender will be allocated a named worker who will act as the link between prison and the community. The worker will attend prison based meetings, keep in contact with families as requested and help with plans for resettling back into the community.
A Drug Treatment and Testing Order (DTTO) is a statutory Order imposed by the Court for those individuals whose drug use is an integral part of their offending behaviour. It is aimed at reducing/eliminating drug offending behaviour. It is a direct alternative to custody and is closely monitored by the Court. The service is provided by the Criminal Justice Service and Community Alcohol and Drugs Service Shetland.
The Order can be for duration of 6 months to 3 years and can be varied or amended dependant on progress. Failure to comply with a DTTO can result in the imposition of a custodial sentence.
This is an intensive Order and the individual must be highly motivated to participate in a treatment programme which will address their drug use. Frequent drug testing and monthly appearances at Court is a standard condition of the Order.
In certain circumstances the Procurator Fiscal may decide to 'divert' someone to social work as an alternative to Court. In these cases, following assessment, a social worker will work with the individual for a period of approx twelve weeks in order to reduce their risk of re-offending. If the individual complies fully with this intervention the Fiscal may decide that they will not be prosecuted and not go to Court.
As part of Diversion the individual may be referred to the Restorative Justice Scheme, which works with the individual to increase their awareness of what happened, the effect on their victims and what could be done differently in the future. The restorative justice process can involve a facilitated meeting with the offender and the victim and or letters of apology.
MAPPA (Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements) are a set of arrangements set up by law to manage the risk posed by offenders.
The Management of offenders etc Scotland Act 2005 placed a legal responsibility on Chief Constables, Local Authorities and Scottish Prison Services to establish a set of arrangements to assess and manage the risk posed by certain categories of offenders.
In the main, Criminal Justice Social Workers and Northern Constabulary will lead on these arrangements along with the SPS for offenders in custody. However the Multi-Agency identification of individuals posing a risk, information sharing, risk assessment and risk management processes will also involve a wide range of local authority and voluntary services.
Who are the MAPPA offenders?
Category 1: Registered Sex Offenders - sexual offenders required to comply with the notification requirements (often referred to as registration) set out in the Sexual Offences Act 2003. (As of April 2007).
Category 2: Violent offenders - violent offenders convicted on indictment of a crime inferring personal violence and who are on probation or subject to licence following release. (To be confirmed when applicable to MAPPA).
Category 3: Other Offenders - offenders who do not fall into categories 1 or 2, but who have been convicted of an offence which leads the responsible authorities to believe that they continue to pose a risk of serious harm to the public and require multi agency management.
How are offenders managed?
MAPPA enable resources and attention to be focused on those who present the highest risks.
National MAPPA guidance indicates the use of three levels of management:
- Ordinary Management Level 1: the risks posed by the offender are such that they could be competently managed by a single agency without significantly involving other agencies. The majority of MAPPA cases fall into this level.
- Multi-agency Management Level 2: Inter-agency risk management. This level of risk or complexity of the case is effectively managed by active involvement of more than one agency.
- Multi-Agency Public Protection Panels (or MAPPPs) Level 3: The criteria for these critical few cases present as high or very high risk and require close co-operation and oversight at a senior level.
Who checks it is all working?
A Strategic Management / Steering Group has been established to monitor and review the effectiveness of MAPPA arrangements across the Responsible Authorities that make up Northern Community Justice Authority (CJA) area.
The Strategic Management Board is chaired by a senior representative from one of the Responsible Authorities which include the Police, Social Work Services, Scottish Prison Services, Health and other local authority and voluntary agencies.
Criminal Justice Social Work Service
Community Care Service
01595 744 446