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Justice Directorate Circular No JD 2/2010: Follow up action in respect of Recommendation 12 of the Multi-Agency Inspection Report by SWIA, HMIC and HMIP – “Assessing and managing offenders who present a high risk of serious harm.” (2009)

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The Scottish Government
Justice Directorate
Community Justice Services Division

Tel: 0131-244 5434
wilma.dickson@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

Directors of Social Work/Chief Social Work Officers
Criminal Justice Social Work Managers

For information ADSW, CoSLA, SWIA, CJA Chief Officers

CIRCULAR NO. JD 2/2010
Our ref: F3071550
23 June 2010

Dear Colleague

Follow up action in respect of Recommendation 12 of the Multi-Agency Inspection Report by SWIA, HMIC and HMIP - " Assessing and managing offenders who present a high risk of serious harm." (2009)

The multi-agency inspection report published on 19 June 2009 ( www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2009/06/16141627/0) presented the findings of a joint inspection by the Social Work Inspection Agency, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons and Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary for Scotland.

It highlighted a number of issues in relation to the way that some offenders who present a serious risk of harm are managed and identified variations in practice across the country in risk assessment and management. One of the recommendations made in the Report (Recommendation 12) was to the effect that " Chief Social Work Officers should ensure that social workers preparing home background reports interview the prisoner and visit the prospective release address and that reports must always specifically address risk issues."

In their response to the report, the Scottish Government accepted and supported this recommendation and made a commitment that this would be emphasised in the revised National Standards.

Work on the revised standards is still ongoing and consequently this circular is being issued in consultation with the Association of Directors of Social Work, to advise local authority criminal justice social work departments that when preparing background reports they should both interview the prisoner and visit the prospective release address. They should also ensure that any risk issues are specifically covered in their reports.

Please bring this guidance to the attention of appropriate staff in your organisation.

Contact:

Any enquiries about this circular should be addressed to Christine.thomson@scotland.gsi.gov.uk or david.scott2@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

Yours faithfully

Wilma Dickson signature

Wilma Dickson, CBE
Head of Community Justice Division.