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Justice Social Work Report

Why do I need to have a Justice Social Work Report?

The Sheriff has requested a Justice Social Work Report be completed so they can decide on how to deal with your case. The report will discuss your current circumstances, past experiences as well as your attitude towards the offence and your risk of reoffending.

What happens next?

You will receive a letter with an appointment time, location and the contact details of the social worker who will be completing your report. At the appointment the social worker will ask you questions, and you will have the opportunity to have your voice heard. The social worker will ask you about:

  • the offence
  • past experiences
  • relationships and where you live
  • your health and wellbeing
  • finances
  • your feelings about the offence
  • possible outcomes (also know as disposals)

The social worker may need to speak to other people who have been involved with you, such as your GP, family member, care worker or Psychiatrist. The information that you and others provide is treated confidentially. However, the report will be shared with your defence solicitor, the Procurator Fiscal and the Sheriff.

The Justice Social Work Report will set out possible disposal options for your case and the Sheriff will decide which option use on the day of Court. The social worker will discuss these options with you at your appointment to see which would be suitable for you and your case. These options include:

  • admonishment
  • community payback order
  • custodial sentence
  • fine or compensation order
  • programme requirement or unpaid work
  • restriction of liberty order
  • structured deferred sentence


What will happen at Court?

On the day of your case being heard at Court you should make sure you are there on time and if necessary, speak to your defence solicitor to obtain your copy of the report.  

The Sheriff may have asked for your case to be dealt with in a specialist Court sometimes called problem solving Courts, such as Alcohol Court or Drug Court, Youth Court, Domestic Abuse Court or Women's Court. These Courts can help you to get the right support for your needs.

What happens if I don't attend my appointment?

You must attend your appointment or make contact as soon as possible to rearrange your appointment. The report must be submitted to Court in a set timeframe otherwise your case may be delayed. If the report is late due to you not attending your appointment the Court may remand you to custody for the timely completion of the report.

Last modified on 20 October 2023

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