Criminal justice services

Programmes and support available to offenders

Our criminal justice service is there to help and support offenders during their supervision (on a order or licence) or those wanting help after being released from custody but are not subject to statutory supervision (available 12 months after release).

The aim is to help offenders integrate back into their communities and address issues which lead to their offending.

Some offenders will have specific programmes which are a condition of their community payback order or prison licence while others will work with their social worker to address issues.

The following are examples of the main programmes and support available within Highland.

Throughcare addictions service 

The aim of the throughcare addictions service is to provide continued support and treatment for drug users in the six weeks immediately following release from prison:

  • There must be at least 2 face to face meetings with the prisoner prior to release to agree the community integration plan. This involves identifying, referring and linking the prisoner to community-based services
  • Arrangements are made to see the prisoner within 2 days after release

Drug and Alcohol Intervention

The Criminal Justice Drug and Alcohol Intervention team provide a range of services, including drug testing and treatment orders, working with offenders with a community payback order drug and/or alcohol requirement, and working with prisoners serving short term prison sentences (less than 31 days), or remanded in custody, with alcohol issues. This is aimed at breaking the repetitive cycle of problematic alcohol use, related offending and short custodial sentences by engaging prisoners when they are in custody, continuing to work with them once released and, if necessary, following them back into and out from prison again.

Offending awareness programme

This programme is delivered by Action for Children  and is for men and women subject to a community payback order.  it is for offenders over the age of 16 years assessed as being at medium to high risk of re-offending.

The aim is to raise the offending awareness of participants with a view to reducing the risk of re-offending. The objectives are to encourage participants to consider the consequences of their offending and introduce them to skills to help them better manage their behaviour and understand the victim perspective. 

Key features:

  • The programme is available in the Inverness and Ross-shire areas of Highland. The aim is for each offender to start the programme within 6 weeks of being placed on an order
  • The programme is available as a group work or individual programme
  • A number of modules are delivered, including facing up to offending, gains and losses, triggers and consequences, victim perspective, problem solving, communication and self control, substance misuse and use of leisure

Training and supported employment service

Apex Scotland are funded to work with offenders subject to statutory supervision in the community to help them with their employability needs and progress towards employment, education and training and to create equality of access to employment and to employment opportunities for individuals with a criminal record, designed to reduce re-offending:

  • It is available to males and females over the age of 16 years in the inner Moray Firth area
  • The project provides structured and supportive programmes, including a comprehensive employment preparation service, literacy and numeracy assessment, a programme for those who are not in a state of readiness to begin employment preparation, a programme for those with alcohol and drugs misuse problems, an individual course in life skills, core skills, vocational skills and personal skills, and a course on the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act and issues of conviction, disclosure and employment. An individual programme is developed including both one-to-one work and group work
  • Programme length is dependent upon the client’s needs and ongoing support is offered once the agreed programme has been completed

Moving Forward: Making Changes

The MF:MC team work with adults (18+) who have been convicted of a sexual offence and provide regular assessment and programme interventions. MF:MC is a groupwork programme that consists of pre-programme work and a combination of essential and optional modules. Attendance will be as part of a community payback order programme requirement or prison licence condition. This comprehensive programme is aimed at individuals convicted of a sexual offence. The main aims are to:

  • help the individual to under their risk factors
  • provide an opportunity to address the factors relevant to their offending
  • assist people to develop the skills to make changes in their thinking and behaviour
  • help individuals to develop plans to reduce the risk of them causing sexual harm to others
  • work in partnership with other agencies in the management and assessment of risk, including MAPPA

Caledonian System

This is an integrated approach to address men's domestic abuse and to improve the lives of women, children and men. Domestic abuse can include physical abuse, sexual abuse and mental and emotional abuse. It is a pattern of behaviour and needs to be understood in the historical and current context of gender and equality. It is learned and functional behaviour.

The Caledonian System team work with male perpetrators and provides a separate support service to women and children. In order to keep women and children safe, the team work closely with other agencies including Police Scotland and Women’s Aid in Highland, and all the agencies represented in the Violence Against Women Partnership in Highland - .

The programme delivered by the Caledonian System team is intensive and has four stages: Assessment, Pre-group individual sessions, Groupwork, Post-group maintenance sessions. Attendance will be part of a community payback order with a programme requirement or prison licence.