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Criminal Justice Social Work Services

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.


  • Criminal Justice Social Work Services aim to reduce reoffending, increase social inclusion of offenders and ex-offenders and enhance public protection


  • Provide courts with a range of community disposals, including alternatives to prison where appropriate
  • 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

Our services include

In partnership with Aberdeenshire Criminal Justice Social Work service:

  • The Caledonian System which works with men who have been convicted of domestic abuse plus providing support for the women and children who have been harmed
  • The Community Sex Offender Group Programme/Joint Sex Offender Project which provides one to one and group work programmes to those who have been convicted of sexual offences

More information on the role of Criminal Justice Social Work Services can be found on the Scottish Government's website.

How services are provided

Aberdeen City Council Criminal Justice Social Work Service is the main provider, but works in partnership with other statutory and voluntary agencies in the provision of criminal justice services in the city.

Contact with Criminal Justice Social Work Services is normally as a result of report requests, court orders or supervision following release from prison.

The Northern Community Justice Authority

The role of the Northern Community Justice Authority (NCJA) is to plan, co-ordinate, monitor and report on the delivery of offender services by local partners and their impact on reducing reoffending and making communities safer. See more about their services here  Northern Community Justice Authority 


The Victims of Crime in Scotland website offers support and help to those who have been harmed by crime. Visitors can access national support agencies and other statutory bodies, including Scottish police forces.


The Scottish Government has developed a website, Witnesses in Scotland, which will be useful to anyone who has been asked to be a witness in criminal proceedings or children's hearing court proceedings. The site has separate areas specifically for children, young people and adults. Each area includes information on being a witness, going to court and giving evidence.