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Public performance reports

Criminal justice social work

The Council Plan Connect, outlines our objectives for 2017-22.  Connect ambitions and objectives should not be seen in isolation, they interact with each other and as we achieve success in one, we move closer to success in others.  In delivering our vision to ‘improve the quality of life of everyone in South Lanarkshire’ our ambitions show how our work links with our partners including our Community Planning Partners. 

Each year we produce an Annual Performance Report which details how we have performed in achieving our Connect objectives. To complement the Annual Performance Report we have created a suite of individual Public Performance Reports.  This report outlines the performance in relation to our criminal justice social work service and how this links to the outcomes of our ambition to ‘Improve health, care and wellbeing'.

Criminal justice social work

Social Work delivers criminal justice services that ensure offenders are effectively assessed and managed within the community.  In carrying out this work the service plays a key role in enhancing community safety and wellbeing.  We work closely with partner agencies to ensure that we are contributing towards the Community Planning Partnership Community Plan 2017-2027.

The overarching aims of the service are to:

  • Deliver a justice system that contributes positively and helps to create an inclusive and respectful society in which all people and communities live safely and securely
  • To reduce reoffending and support people to pay back constructively for their crimes, to build better lives for themselves, their families and their communities
  • To promote strong, equal partnership working between third party and public sector organisations and other agencies with an increased emphasis on public protection
  • To contribute to making communities safer places to live

Criminal Justice Social Work Court reports help the courts to assess the risk of individuals reoffending and the impact on the community.

Legislative implications for Justice Social Work Services

The Scottish Government introduced the Community Justice (Scotland) Act 2016 following a consultation period on the Future Model of Community Justice in Scotland.  The outcome of the consultation was that the Community Justice Authorities (CJA) would cease to exist with local planning and delivery of community justice services being delivered on a partnership basis under the existing 32 community planning partnerships (CPPs) from 2017 and a new national body Community Justice Scotland (CJJ) to provide :

  • independent professional assurance to Scottish Ministers on the collective achievement of the community justice outcomes and
  • a hub for community justice innovation, learning and development

Community Justice Authorities will be formally disestablished on 31 March 2017 with the full model coming into effect on 1 April 2017. The Scottish Government's vision for Community Justice is to:

  • prevent and reduce further offending by addressing its underlying causes; and
  • safely and effectively manage and support those who have committed offences to help them reintegrate into the community and realise their potential for the benefit of all citizens

The aims of the Criminal Justice Social Work service are delivered through a range of methods and interventions as identified below (follow the links to our web pages for further information)

Social Work staff are qualified and trained to a high level. Interventions include a range of group work programmes, work with individuals, joint work with partners and a Structured Supervision Programme. 

Performance is outlined below and is a reflection of the work undertaken and the efficiency of the service in meeting national and local targets, within the required timescales.

Criminal Justice Social Work Reports (CJSWR) - help to assist with the sentencing process by providing information on social work interventions and how these may impact upon offending behaviour.

Criminal Justice Social Work Reports - % submitted to court on due date – Target 97%

What this means This indicator identifies the total number of CJSWRs submitted to court in the year and the percentage of those submitted on the due date.
Why this matters The CJSWR is a professional assessment and a registered social worker must retain accountability for the provision of CJSWRs and other reports to court which could have an impact on an individual's liberty.
Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 Are we improving?







No change
Scotland N/A N/A N/A
How we have performed in improving this public service In 2015-16, we have continued to meet our target of 97% which is consistent with the previous year.  We continue to maintain a very high standard to this area of work, which is essential for the smooth functioning of the courts.  The number of reports is decreasing in this area, similarly to the reduction in crime reflective across the country.

Community Payback Orders (CPOs)

The Community Payback Order (CPO) was introduced on 1 February 2011 and replaces Community Service Orders, Probation Orders and Supervised Attendance Orders for offences committed from this date.  Courts are still able to impose a sentence of three months in jail if they wish, but there is now a general presumption that low level offenders will instead be sent out to do some unpaid work through manual labour to pay their dues to the communities in which they harmed.  This is backed by action to address any underlying problems that may be fuelling the crime including: alcohols, drug or mental health problems.

Community Payback Orders - % of people seen within one working day – Target 75%

What this means This indicator identifies the council’s efficiency in following up on CPOs with those people involved in carrying them out.
Why this matters CPOs are increasingly used as alternatives to custody.  CPOs are time limited and therefore commencing within one working day matters to the courts and the individuals concerned.
Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2014-15 2015-16  2016-17   Are we improving?
SLC 73.0% 72.0% 65.0% No
Scotland N/A N/A N/A
How we have performed in improving this public service As the Community Payback Order came into force in Scotland on 1 February 2011, there has been a significant increase year on year in the amount of orders issued by the courts.   The Service relies on the attendance of service users to fulfil its obligations.  Improvement activity is underway to address performance.

How Communities across South Lanarkshire Benefit from Unpaid Work

The Unpaid Work Service received 1,134 referrals from a variety of sources to carry out community payback work. Involvement in long term projects is particularly welcome as these pieces of work provide opportunities for individuals to develop both the social and employment skills required to implement and sustain a meaningful role within their local communities and the experience and benefits gained from undertaking a work placement from its initiation to conclusion.  

Drug/Alcohol Clients

Individuals with drug and/or alcohol use problems benefit from having access to treatment within three weeks from referral, to support their recovery. When individuals access the right support at the right time, there are often positive outcomes, which not only benefit the individual but also their family, friends and the community in which they live. The council and voluntary sector play a key role in supporting NHS Boards to enable people to recover from their drug and/or alcohol related problems.

Drug/alcohol clients - % of clients starting treatment or psycho social intervention within three weeks of referral – Target 100%

What this means This indicator identifies the council's efficiency in assisting drug/alcohol dependent clients and is one of the key partnership targets.
Why this matters Individuals with drug and or alcohol use problems benefit from having access to the right treatment to support their recovery at the right time.
Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17   Are we improving?
SLC 100% 100% 100% No change
Scotland N/A N/A N/A
How we have performed in improving this public service Service performance remains good: over the last four years we have consistently achieved 100% record of clients starting their treatment within three weeks of referral.

Further information relating to these council services can be found on our website:

Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA)

The expansion of MAPPA to include further categories of offenders convicted of non-sexual offences remains under review by the Scottish Government. We continue to face challenges from the increasing number of offenders being managed through MAPPA. The 2016-17 MAPPA Annual Report has now been published.

Services for Women Offenders

Following the Dame Angiolini (2012) report Commission on Women Offenders and its recommendations, there has been a drive by Justice Services to develop locality based services for women offenders, to successfully support women from reoffending and reducing prison sentencing.   Justice Services envisage that this will take three to five years to develop and introduce.

Women’s Hubs were established in May 2014 in South Lanarkshire.   The aim of the Hub was to set up a locality centre where services were brought to the women who were also encouraged to support each other and become involved in community activities.   Overall since the hubs started, 54 women have attended.  Partnership arrangements were made and have played an important part in ensuring the success of the Hubs. There has been input by Keep Well Nurses, Money Matters, Benefits Agency, SACRO mentoring, Circle and Venture Trust. Substance Misuse agencies have also been involved and are invited to the hubs, as and when the women need or request their expertise.   The sole criterion for attendance is involvement with Justice Social Work in any capacity, so not only those on CPOs attend but women who are subject to Drug Treatment and Testing Order (DTTO), Diversion from Prosecution and Bail Supervision.  

An independent evaluation of the Connections Programme was undertaken by Community Links, which will inform future projects to engage with women offenders. Presently, the groupwork programme is being reviewed to ensure that the content complements work undertaken at Hubs and by other services and agencies.

Reconviction rates

By reducing criminal reoffending, we reduce the emotional, social and economic impact of crime on our communities. By providing specific support and services to those people serving sentences in the community or those transitioning from custody, we will help them to fulfil their responsibilities as citizens, move away from offending and help create safer and stronger communities, where individuals take responsibility for their actions. More information can be found on the Scottish Government website.

Customer Satisfaction

Engagement with people affected by substance misuse is central to the work of the Substance Misuse Service. The service undertakes an annual evaluation survey which is issued electronically or in paper formats, face to face interviews and telephone interviews. The most recent results were largely positive with 100% of service users rating the service as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ for overall service provision, friendliness of staff and keeping in touch, and 86% of referring agencies rating the overall service as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’.

Social Work Resources Unpaid Work Service has a focused approach to engage with various partner agencies, community groups, service users and members of the public to ensure the continuous development of service delivery. There is a high level of satisfaction and appreciation from local communities both during and on completion of work.   Everyone who is in receipt of a Community Payback Order is issued with a feedback form on completion of their order.   These feedback forms help to inform future developments within the services.

Here is a sample of quotes we received:
"It helped me reflect on my mistakes, the damage I had done, the people I had let down and how my mistakes affected not only my life but others around me too"
" Doing work at the PDSA made me feel I was giving back to the community"
" it got me out the house"
" it was a chance to meet new people and learn new skills"
" it changed me by learning new skills and never wanting to reoffend"
" stopped me drinking alcohol to excess"

Areas for improvement and action

We will take forward the following key areas for improvement:

  • ensure high standards of compliance for Community Payback Orders (CPO) - further improvements are dependent on more positive responses and attendance of the service users, which we will continue to encourage

Further information

Follow the links to our website for further information about services and how to access them.

Links to other websites that may be of interest. 

Resource Plans are prepared each year by all council Resources to outline the key developments they intend to take forward in the year. Performance and actions relating to Child Protection and Children's Social Work can be found in the Social Work Resource Plan.

Twice a year, performance reports are presented to council committees on progress against the Resource Plans. In addition, reports detailing progress against the Council Plan Connect objectives are prepared – see Quarter 4 Progress Report. For more up to date performance information, the Quarter 2 Progress Report is also available.

More information on our objectives can be found in the Council Plan Connect and also the Annual Performance Report.

The information contained within this report reflects the position based on the data available at the time of publication (March 2018).