The Criminal & Youth Justice Service has a range of responsibilities within the courts in West Lothian. Here we give details of West Lothian courts, and explain the role of court social work staff and other agencies who work in court.
Where are the courts in West Lothian?
West Lothian now has all its courts located in one site - the West Lothian Civic Centre. With seven courtrooms to use for the work of the Sheriff Court, Justice of the Peace Court and the High Court, Livingston Court is one of the bigger courts in Scotland. These courts and their business are managed by the Scottish Court Service.
What is the role of Social Workers in court?
A lot of court work now involves the Criminal & Youth Justice Service; we have a team of Social Workers and Criminal Justice Assistants who work on a rota basis in the courts - primarily within the Sheriff Courts, which deal with most of the cases that we are involved in.
The Court Social Worker is responsible for making sure that the courts have all necessary information to assist in dealing with cases, by:
- ensuring that Court Reports are available in court
- helping the people on whom reports have been written with any questions or concerns they may have
- dealing with enquiries from the Sheriffs or solicitors about the availability of services in the community
- interviewing offenders on whom Court Reports have been requested, or who have been sentenced to any of the sentences that the CJ Social Work Service manages.
Who else helps deal with problems in court?
Visitors to the court may see other people, including staff of the Witness Support Service and staff from Victim Support Scotland.
Court Custody service
If a person is arrested and brought to court from police custody, or if someone appears in court from prison, they will be transported to court and looked after in the custody suite by staff of G4S.