Criminal justice social work reports

Information about the reports we provide to court on an individual's criminal history.

A court can ask for a report to be prepared about an offender before sentencing. This report gives information about the individual and their past and current offences.

If the court has ordered a report to be written about you, a criminal justice social worker will meet you to gather information for the report.

Interviews usually take place at the social work office and may also include a visit to your home.

For anyone in custody, the interview will take place in prison.

What information will I be asked for?

We'll ask for information on your:

  • offence(s) that led to you appearing in court as well as any previous offence(s)
  • personal circumstances
  • financial circumstances
  • health, such as illnesses or disabilities
  • past involvement with social work services

The professional writing the report will let you know if they plan to gather information from past social work records. This may involve getting your permission, for example, to obtain information from your doctor. It may also be helpful to contact your partner, other family members or other services.

The interview will also include a discussion about whether you are suitable for a community sentence, if appropriate.

Who will get to see the report?

The report will be seen by:

  • the individual who'll pass your sentence
  • the Procurator Fiscal (the prosecutor)
  • your defence agent (if you have one)
  • you

What happens once the report is complete?

When you appear at court, the court may give you a community sentence. If this is the case, you may need to attend for interview on the same day or the day after.

Usually, the report will include details of your first social work appointment.

Last modified on 22 June 2020

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