The Scottish Government has introduced emergency legislation to respond to the situation created by the current pandemic. This includes some changes to procedures in the justice system.
If you are supporting a person who might be affected by these changes, the brief information below might be helpful.
Appearing in Court by Video, etc. (Schedule 4, Part 1)
If the Court decides it is not necessary for a person to physically appear in Court, they can be required to appear by electronic means, such as a video link. This could apply to an accused person, a witness, or a victim.
Appearing in Court is a stressful experience for all of us, but particularly for people with communication support needs. The person you support might need help to understand what is going to happen, who is involved, and what might happen next.
Speaking on video might also be a strange experience for the person you support. They might need help to understand what they are going to have to do, and why. They might also find it helpful to practice speaking to a camera and seeing themselves played back.
Be aware that the person you support could be punished if they fail to appear. They might need help to understand appearing in Court is a serious matter.
Community Payback Order (CPO) (Schedule 4, Part 7)
- The length of time in which an Order has to be completed will be extended by up to 12 months.
The person you support might need help to understand that their Order will go on for longer, and the reason for it.
- The date when a CPO is due to start can also be delayed for a specified length of time.
The person you support might become anxious if their Order is delayed. They might need help to manage that, and to understand the delay and the reason for it.
- The requirements of a CPO can be changed. For instance, if Unpaid Work schemes are short of resources, or have to close, a CPO can be changed to impose a different requirement on the person.
The person you support might need help to understand any change to their Order, and what they need to do, and to understand the reason for it.
The person you support will get a letter to tell them about the changes. Use the link below to see a template of the letter. The person might need help to understand it fully. > Download Changes Letter (word.doc)
Early Release of Prisoners (Schedule 4, Part 9)
In some circumstances, such as a large number of prison staff being off sick, certain could be released early from prison. If you support a person who could be affected by this, they might need help to prepare for the return to the community, and to plan for their rehabilitation.