Court Orders

There are a number of Orders that may be applied by the Court and which require support from Criminal Justice Social Work Services.

Supervised Attendance Order

When the Court is considering custody for non-payment of a fine (not compensation), this allows the Court to order a person of 18 or over to undertake various activities in the community.

This Order takes the place of an outstanding fine and cancels out the fine.

Orders can range from 10 hours to 100 hours in duration dependent on the amount of the fine outstanding.

If you are the carer of a child then it is your responsibility to make adequate childcare arrangements so that you can complete the hours.

When is a Supervised Attendance Order made?

When you are fined, the court may give you a set time to pay the fine or set an amount to be paid on a regular basis.

You can make this payment on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis according to your means.

Should you fail to pay the fine, you will need to appear before a Means Enquiry Court where you will explain why you have failed to pay the fine or instalment.

The Court can change the repayment order, particularly if you are having difficulty meeting the terms of the Order.

The Court can also impose an alternative sentence of imprisonment to take effect immediately.

What does it involve?

The Supervised Attendance Order is administered by the Criminal Justice section of Social Work on behalf of the Court.

It is their responsibility to organise the right sort of activities for you.

The core sessions will include:

  • money issues
  • welfare rights
  • employment guidance 
  • alcohol and drug related problems
  • learning practical skills (computing, joinery etc)

within the initial 10 hours of the Order.

Also, you may carry out various unpaid work which is of the benefit of the community, for example:


  • working within a charity shop, 
  • assisting in painting and decorating; or 
  • gardening.

Community Payback Order

The aim of a Community Payback order is to bring together a range of options for sentencers which balances punishment in a way which also addresses the areas of individual’s lives which need to change.

A Community Payback Order is intended to serve the following main objectives:

  • Achieve a positive impact on individuals
  • Require individuals to make payback to the community.
  • Replace an unnecessary complex range of community sentences and increase public understanding.
  • Ensure the level of intervention matches the level of assessed risk.
  • Create a robust and consistently delivered community sentence, ensuring public confidence and credibility.

The use of other agencies in the delivery of Community Payback Orders is beneficial to the success of providing the Court with credible and robust community based sentence for appropriate individuals who come to our attention.

What will Offenders Have To Do?

Requirements can include:

  • Carry out hours of unpaid work in the community
  • Be subject to periods of supervision
  • Specific conduct requirements to address re-offending
  • Pay compensation to the victim or victims
  • Participate in alcohol, drug or mental health treatment interventions
  • Have their conduct and behaviour monitored by Criminal Justice Social Work Services
  • Identify employability and training opportunities

How will this help your community?

Offenders will be required to carry out unpaid work in your community, including:


  • Clearing pathways of snow or ice
  • Building eco-plant areas for school children
  • Repainting community centres or churches
  • Market gardening and distributing the produce to care homes and local charities
  • Creation and maintenance of community allotment sites
  • Supporting local food banks

Probation Order

A Probation Order is a community based disposal available to the Court.  Individuals are supervised within the community from anything from six months to three years.

A key feature of all Probation Orders is the action plan drawn up by the Social Worker with the offender before the the Order takes effect.

This plan aims to address:

  • offending behaviour
  • anti-social attitudes to the law
  • any underlying issues that have led to offending behaviour

The Court can add conditions to a Probation Order, which could include the following:

  • where the offender stays
  • condition of unpaid work
  • pay compensation
  • attendance at specialised programmes    
  • attend for psychiatric or psychological treatment if appropriate 

The Probation Supervision Teams also provide an Intensive Probation Supervision Service.  Intensive Probation targets young offenders aged between 16 – 20 years old.  A higher level of intervention is available through a standard Probation Order.

This disposal entails a “comprehensive” assessment of the young person before sentencing.

The Probation Supervision Team draws upon a range of Social Work interventions.

They work in partnership with voluntary and statutory organisations to promote social inclusion.

What happens if I am on Probation?

Once the court has made a Probation Order you will receive supervision by a Social Worker.

The conditions of Probation provide help with the purpose of avoiding further offending.

The Sheriff or Judge will explain the conditions that apply to your Probation Order and ask for your consent to this.

Your Probation Order may last for a period of between 6 months and 3 years.

The main feature of a Probation Order is the preliminary Action Plan. Your Social Worker will write your Social Enquiry Report and set out actions to tackle offending behaviour.  The Action Plan will explain what is expected of you and you will sign a formal document.  The plan will develop during the Probation and reviewed at agreed intervals.

Types of Probation

Every Probation Order has 3 main requirements:

  • that you must be of good behaviour
  • follow the directions of your supervising social worker
  • notify your social worker if there any changes in your life, such as a change of address or a new job.

The Court can also add many other requirements. Examples include:

  • where you can stay
  • to pay compensation
  • attending a specialised programme that deals with alcohol, drug or health problems
  • to attend a programme that deals with particular types of offending.  For example, domestic violence, sexual offending or road traffic offences.


You must see your supervising Social Worker at least once a week during the first month and at least fortnightly for the two months after that.

Your Social Worker will visit your home at least twice during the first 3 months.

Probation Reviews occur after 3 months, 6 months and 6 monthly intervals until the end of your Order.

Breach of Probation

One of the main roles of your Social Worker is to ensure that you follow your Probation Order.

Breach by further offence

If a further offence occurs during the period of Probation then your Social Worker has no option but to report the matter to the Court.

Breach of Condition

The only acceptable reasons for not attending a probation appointment are when you have:

  • a certificate from your doctor
  • an explanantion agreed in advance with your social worker
  • an unforseen crisis

Failure to abide by these rules will lead to breach proceedings and your case being returned to Court. In certain situations your social worker may give you a formal warning about your conduct. If you receive more than 2 formal warnings then your case must be returned to Court.

Early Discharge

Early discharge of your Order is possible if you do well. This is considered around the halfway point of the Order.  Either you or your Social Worker can apply to the Court for an early discharge.

The Court usually requests a progress report from your Social Worker.

Completion of the Order

Several things happen at the end of your Order:

  • a final review of your progress will happen
  • the Court receives a final report on your progress
  • the Order will become a previous conviction
  • Criminal Justice Services hold details of your Social Work records for at least ten years


Access to your Social Work Records

You can see your Social Work file at regular intervals.  If you wish to do so your Social Worker will make the necessary arrangements.

Fiscal Work Order

Fiscal Work Orders (FWOs) enable Procurator Fiscal to offer an individual who has been alleged of committing an offence the opportunity of performing a period of unpaid work instead of facing prosecution.  FWOs are a form of direct measure and are provided for by Section 51 of the Criminal Proceedings (Reform) (Scotland) Act 2007.

FWOs are not intended to legitimise or effectively decriminalise alleged criminal behaviour, nor are they intended as an alternative to a decision by the Procurator Fiscal to take no proceedings.

The FWO sets out the minimum (10 hours) and maximum (50 hours) number of hours that can be offered under a Fiscal Work Order.

The objectives of FWOs are to:


  • Extend the range of measures available to prosecutors in dealing with persons that do not require a Court hearing.
  • Provides an opportunity for persons accused of (normally) relatively minor offences, and where it would otherwise not be in the public interest to prosecute, to be dealt with outwith the Court system;
  • Enable and require persons who are alleged to have engaged in criminal behaviour to undertake prescribed activities designed to make reparation for, and to reduce the likelihood of re-occurrence of, that behaviour.
  • Provide constructive community work activities or programmes for alleged person’s with the aim of encouraging personal and social responsibility and self-respect;
  • Provide supervision to persons which is both firm and fair, and under which issues in relation to compliance are followed up promptly;
  • Maintain, through speedy resolution, the link between the commission of an alleged offence and the imposition of a penalty;
  • Benefit victims and communities through the speedier and more appropriate resolution of cases; and
  • Reduce the demands on the Court system by removing cases that do not need to be taken to Court from that process, and thereby reduce the backlog of cases faced by Courts and save public resources.

Drug Treatment and Testing Order (DTTO)

The purpose of DTTO team is to deliver an intensive criminal justice order that specifically targets the reduction in illicit drug use by the offender. The principles are that by reducing the offender’s use of illicit drugs there will be a significant reduction in offending behaviour. The nature of DTTO delivery is that they are multi agency driven and involve the delivery of cognitive behavioural and holistic treatments for addiction. The intensive nature of these Orders has categorised them as high tariff and an alternative to custody.

Suitability for DTTO

Legislative guidance suggests a DTTO may only be imposed where the court is satisfied that:

  • The offender is dependent on or has propensity to misuse drugs, and
  • The dependency or propensity requires and may be susceptible to treatment
  • The offender is a suitable person to be subject to an order.

There is no legal definition of a suitable person, but it is suggested that suitability is determined by such factors as motivation to address drug dependency and sufficient stability of location and circumstances, to enable both supervision and treatment to take effect.

Nature of DTTO

  • Regular drug testing is integral to the Order
  • Monthly review by the sentencers throughout the Order
  • Direct relationship between offender and sentencer
  • Further offence is not an automatic breach
  • Greater emphasis on drugs treatment, rather than a specific offence-focused approach, as the primary means of reducing offending and promoting social inclusion.

DTTO’s can be revoked by the sentencer at the offenders Court review or by submission of breach by the Supervising Officer if the offender fails to comply with any of the following conditions of the DTTO:


  • To submit to treatment as a non-resident by or under the direction of Fife Council (the “Treatment Provider”) at Kirkcaldy Drug Treatment and Testing Team with a view to the reduction or elimination of dependency on/or propensity to misuse drugs
  • To conform to the directions of the supervising officer and the treatment provider
  • To inform the supervising officer immediately of any change of address
  • To provide for the purpose of ascertaining whether s/he has and drug in his body such samples, of such description, at such times, in such circumstances, as the treatment provider may determine
  • To keep in touch with the supervising officer as instructed from time to time by that officer
  • To attend each review hearing
  • That the offender provides 3 samples per month.

Criminal Justice Services
Tel: 01592 583657 Fax: 01592 583646 Contact Criminal Justice Services online
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