Criminal Justice

Scottish local authorities have a legal duty to provide Criminal Justice Social Work services. These services are provided within the framework of the Scottish Government's National Outcomes and Standards. 

Our Criminal Justice Social Work service sits within the governance of the Integrated Joint Board (Opens in a new window or downloads a file).

Community Justice Partnerships were set up by the Scottish Government to ensure that a range of statutory and voluntary agencies work together to provide services that are aimed at reducing re-offending rates.  The Community Justice (Scotland) Act 2016 sees all 32 Scottish local authorities creating their own independent Community Justice Partnerships.    

Our Service works in partnership with stakeholders, statutory services and voluntary organisations as a member of the local Community Justice Partnership.

Community Justice Scotland (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) is a new national body which became operational on 1 April 2017.  Community Justice Scotland is responsible for promoting world-leading standards of community justice across Scotland.

Principle Aims

Our Criminal Justice Social Work service aims to:

  • enhance community safety and public protection;
  • reduce re-offending;
  • support social inclusion to support desistance from offending.

How We Are Funded

Funding for Criminal Justice social work services remain ring-fenced and are distributed by Scottish Government directly to local authorities. 


  • Court Services
  • Provide effective supervision of offenders in the community
  • Tackle criminal behaviour to reduce reoffending
  • Assist offenders to recognise the impact of their behaviour on themselves, their families, the community and others
  • Assist with problems that may contribute to offending, for example drug or alcohol misuse
  • Assist those released from prison to settle in to the community
  • Promote community safety and public protection by reducing and managing risk

What We Do

The Criminal Justice Social Work services we provide include:

  • Social work services in court
  • Reports and risk assessments
  • Diversion from Prosecution
  • Structured Deferred Sentence
  • Community Payback Orders
  • Drug Testing & Treatment Orders
  • Voluntary and Statutory Throughcare services
  • Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements

Support for Victims of Crime and Witnesses

Victim Support Scotland (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) support victims, witnesses and others affected by crime.  They provide emotional support, practical support and essential information.

Support for Families

Families are often affected when a family member is in prison. Family support can be vital throughout the sentence and on release.

Families Outside (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) offer advice and support for families affected by imprisonment (0800 254 0088).  They are an independent charity which has been helping prisoners’ families in Scotland for over 20 years.

Contact Us

For more information and advice concerning Criminal Justice matters, please Contact Your Local Office 


If you need to contact us about an emergency when our offices are closed, please contact our Out of Hours Service on 01851 701702.  They deal with emergencies for the whole of the Western Isles.