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 Spotlights which summarise how we have performed in achieving our Connect objectives. To complement these we have created a suite of individual Public Performance Reports. This report outlines the performance in relation to our justice social work service and how this links to the outcomes of our objectives.

Social Work delivers justice social work 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

The implementation of the Community Justice (Scotland) Act 2016 led to Justice Social Work Services forming part of a wider Community Justice Partnership.  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

Community Justice Scotland, a national body, provide:

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

The aims of the 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)

Justice social work services employ a range of professionally qualified staff as well as para professionals across our services to deliver interventions and support which meet the wider goals of the Community Planning Partnership.

Performance measures are outlined below and is a reflection of some of the work undertaken by justice social work services and the efficiency of the service in meeting local and national targets.

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 - 100% 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 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 Are we improving?







No change
Scotland N/A N/A N/A
How we have performed in improving this public service 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. 

The Community Payback Order (CPO) was introduced on 1 February 2011. There is now a general presumption against short term sentences and recognition that effective community sentences can help reduce the risks of further offending.  There are a possible nine requirements that can be imposed by the Courts to address offending behaviour.  Community Payback Orders should give the public confidence that the offending behaviour is addressed and people are afforded the opportunity to get assistance to address the underlying issues that maybe contributing to their involvement in offending behaviour.

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 2016-17 2017-18  2018-19   Are we improving?
SLC 65.0% 72.0% 73.0% Yes
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.

The most often utilised requirement by the Courts is unpaid work which gives those convicted of offences the opportunity to 'payback' to their community.  South Lanarkshire Unpaid Work Service received 436 referrals in 2019 from a variety of sources to carry out community payback work.  Referrals for removals was not an area of work that continued to be pursued in 2019. The number of jobs and projects undertaken by the Unpaid Work Service is considerably higher than stated due to the repeat nature of work which is undertaken on a weekly or fortnightly basis without the need for further referral. Some of the larger projects are ongoing. Involvement in long term projects is particularly welcome as these pieces of work provide opportunities for individuals to develop both the social 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. 

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 90% (national target)

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 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19   Are we improving?
SLC 100% 94.2% 93.0% No
Scotland N/A N/A N/A
How we have performed in improving this public service Although our performance has dipped slightly, Service performance remains good: over the last three years we have consistently exceeded the national target of 90%.

Further information relating to these services can be found in the following links:

Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) are a UK wide set of arrangements to manage the risk posed by certain categories of offenders.  In Scotland MAPPA  is delivered on a pan-Lanarkshire basis and operates across both South Lanarkshire and North Lanarkshire councils in a broadly similar manner and is explained more fully in the MAPPA Information leaflet.

In addition, MAPPA produces an Annual Report.  For more information please contact

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 have been established in South Lanarkshire since May 2014.  Hubs now operate on a weekly basis in each of the 4 locality areas. The hubs provide a trauma informed network of support for women who have come into contact with the justice system. The hubs aim to provide support for women who have come into contact with the justice system. The hubs aim to provide individuals with positive peer support as well as the opportunity to access 1:1 supports, provided by trained and experienced hub facilitators. The hubs are supported by a range of local services and agencies, which allow women the opportunity to participate fully in their own communities and to become involved in community based activities.

The participants within the hub work in partnership with facilitators and service providers to plan weekly sessions and inputs, allowing topics of interest and varying services to be involved on a rotational basis in each of the hubs. This includes visits from services such as the NHS Health and Wellbeing Nurses, Money Matters, Benefits Agency, DWP, Police Scotland, Fire Service, Community Learning, Routes to Work, SACRO, Circle and Venture Trust. The women's hubs have also developed strong links with the local recovery network services including the Beacons, Liber8, and Addaction services, as well as the local CAReS teams who regularly attend, 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 CPO's attend but women who are subject to Drug Treatment and Testing Orders (DTTO), Diversion from Prosecution and Bail Supervision.

Hubs enable easy access for women who attend to help with health and wellbeing and to increase their skills and experiences - 68 women have been helped to address a range of issues through involvement with the local hubs. Partnership arrangements have played an important part in ensuring the success of the hubs leading to one of our key facilitators being awarded the Butler Trust Award in 2019, in recognition of the exceptional care and support this service has considerably offered to women.

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.

Engagement with service users who are made subject to statutory Orders is an ongoing area of work across Justice Services.

We will take forward the following key areas for improvement:

  • We will continue to deliver high quality services for those who have been involved in offending behaviour and thus improve the community of South Lanarkshire to make it a safer place to live and work.

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 Spotlights.

The information contained within this report reflects the position based on the data available at the time of publication (March 2020).