- Parental support - criminal justice
- Bail Services
- Children and young people who offend
- Children's Hearings
- Children's Panel Recruitment
- Community Payback Order
- Court Orders involving Unpaid Work in the community
- Court Services
- Court reports
- Diversion from Prosecution Scheme
- Drug Treatment and Testing Orders (DTTO)
- Fines and Compensation Orders
- Prison Social Work at Addiewell Prison
- Prison Through-care and Aftercare
- Probation Orders
- Restriction of Liberty Orders
- Risk Assessment and Management
- Working with people - confidentiality, communication, consultation and comments
Court Orders involving Unpaid Work in the community
For information on how offenders might be able to help your organisation, please see the last section of this page.
West Lothian Criminal Justice Social Work Service currently operates four different types of unpaid work order. These are:
- Community Payback Order (CPO) - Unpaid Work and Other Activities Requirement. Used for offences committed after 01/02/11, this new court order can be combined with a number of other requirements to make sure that offenders receive a combination of activities that will maximise their chances of not offending again.
- Community Service Order (CSO), which should be a direct alternative to custody; it is also possible for such work to ordered as a condition of a Probation Order. Range of hours: minimum 80 hours, maximum 240 hours (300 hours on Solemn Procedure)
- Supervised Attendance Order (SAO), for non-payment of fines. Range of hours: minimum 10 hours, maximum 100 hours
- Procurator Fiscal Work Offer - a work-based option offered in the same way as a Procurator Fiscal Fine. Range of hours: minimum 10 hours, maximum 50 hours. This is currently part of a Scottish Government pilot project.
These different orders are similar in many ways. They are all designed to provide an opportunity for people to carry out useful work for the community, either for community groups or needy individuals. The main differences are in their purpose, in the number of hours that can be imposed, and in the punishments that can be used if someone fails to comply without good reason. Both a CSO and a SAO are intended to reduce the unnecessary use of custodial sentences.
All these orders are managed by staff of the Community Payback Team, based in the Civic Centre.
What does a person have to do if they have been placed on an order involving unpaid work?
The person is expected to follow all instructions given by the Criminal Justice worker responsible for the Order. This may include attending to carry out work, and also attending office appointments if there are problems with completing the hours of work that were ordered.
Anyone on a court order is also expected by law to notify the Criminal Justice worker immediately of any change of address or of work arrangements (hours of employment). This is important, to ensure that we can continue to keep in touch with people and to make suitable arrangements for them.
What sort of work may people do as part of their unpaid work?
There is a range of opportunities available, including working with voluntary organisations (where workers will be supervised by a member of the Organisation) and in work teams, supervised by Community Payback Supervisors. Work teams carry out a range of tasks, including painting and decorating, gardening, landscaping and environmental projects, and furniture removals for a local charity.
Not all options will be available for everyone. The supervising officer will have to take into account the risk of someone offending again, what skills they have, when they can be available for unpaid work, and of course what places are currently available.
How can people who work full-time carry out their unpaid work?
The Criminal Justice Service is obliged by law to take into account any genuine demands made by a person's employment. This means that we have to make arrangements for people to carry out work at a time when they are not contracted to work for your employer. As a result of this, we have work opportunities available every day of the week, and most evenings.
Please note, though, that in our planning with someone, while we will try to take into account any overtime that they are being asked to do by their employer, we may have to ask them to turn this down if that is necessary to allow them to carry out unpaid work.
We are clearly not able to excuse anyone from unpaid work to carry out any employment that is illegal (such as "working on the side").
What happens if someone does not keep to the conditions of the order?
There is a clear disciplinary code that is applied to each order. The end result of non-compliance will be breach proceedings; what happens if the breach is found to be correct by the court depends on the type of order.
- For Community Service Orders, which should be a direct alternative to custody, a high proportion of such proceedings end up in imprisonment.
- For a Supervised Attendance Order (for non-payment of fines), the result may be imprisonment.
- For a Procurator Fiscal Work Offer (a work-based option which may be offered in the same way as a Procurator Fiscal Fine), the result of non-compliance is likely to be prosecution for the original offence.
As with every court order, such situations are avoidable, and we always urge everyone on a court order to keep in touch with us about problems they are having.
If circumstances change and someone cannot complete their order, what happens then?
There is a separate process for taking orders back to court if someone is unable to finish the number of hours ordered by the court. A Review of an order can be arranged either by the supervising officer or by the individual (or their solicitor). We have found that the courts will take a reasonable view of genuine problems.
How can I find out if offenders carrying out unpaid work could carry out work for me?
We have clear criteria to help us decided whether we can help you. Offenders are not allowed to take on work that would otherwise be someone's paid employment, and the work has to have a clear social benefit, either for an individual, a community group or a not-for-profit organisation. We have to be sure that we can carry out the work in terms of health and safety aspects. We need to consider whether we have the skills available to carry out the work at the time you want.
While the Community Work Order Team can provide a workforce and skilled supervision, you would be responsible for the costs of materials needed for your project. We can help you work out what you would need.
We provide a service for all of West Lothian and would be pleased to hear from you about ways in which we could help your community.
- CJ Leaflet CJ05 CSO Nov 2011 (PDF, 130 Kb)
- CJ Leaflet CJ11 PF Work Offer Dec 2011 (PDF, 65 Kb)
- CJ Leaflet CJ13 SAO (PDF, 50 Kb)
- CJ Leaflet CJ16 Community Payback Order Unpaid Work Sept 2011 (PDF, 180 Kb)
- Community Payback Work Request form (Word, 730 Kb)
- CWO Beneficiaries Survey Analysis April 2010 (PDF, 15 Kb)
- Lothian & Borders Community Justice Authority - Community Service Newsletter #1 2008 (PDF, 845 Kb)
- Lothian & Borders Community Justice Authority - Community Service Newsletter #2 Summer 2009 (PDF, 700 Kb)
- Lothian & Borders Community Justice Authority - Community Service Newsletter #3 Spring 2010 (PDF, 360 Kb)
- WLC Criminal Justice 'Unpaid Work Placement Strategy 2011-14'.pdf (PDF, 500 Kb)