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Structured Deferred Sentence


Local Authority area:


Primary Courts of relevance:

Edinburgh Sheriff Court and the High Courts

All information provided by:

Midlothian Community Justice Partnership

Midlothian Community Justice Information

Published: 30 November 2021

The information on this page has been provided by Community Justice Partnerships. Community Justice Scotland is not responsible for the accuracy of the information and is unable to respond to direct queries. All such queries in respect of the information shown on this page should be directed to the Community Justice Partnership to which it relates.

This information will be reviewed and updated where required.

Structured Deferred Sentence

Interventions suitable for

Individuals aged 18 and over

Programme Title and Provider

Structured Deferred Sentence (SDS)
– Justice Service and CGL
This is an additional post-conviction, pre-sentence option to the Court and is provided by Midlothian Justice Service and supported by partner agencies including Substance Misuse Service and Change, Grow, Live

Details of all Specific national or local scheme/intervention(s) available

Structured Deferred Sentences is a pre-sentence option to all Sheriff and High Courts for those individuals appearing at Court who are ordinarily resident in Midlothian.

Interventions will be person centered and will specifically address the risk and needs that have impacted on their offending behaviour.

Substance Use Service will be used for those individuals who have reported issues related to alcohol and or illicit drug use. Interventions will include harm reduction and relapse prevention, community detox, assessment for residential treatment, substitute prescribing and advice and support to individuals and their families.

CGL predominantly work with those with current or previous substance misuse, who are involved in the criminal justice system. Both teams support individuals to make positive life changes and set goals for the future, looking at their holistic needs as part of the assessment process and agreeing a recovery plan to offer a package of care to the individual. Both services offer psychosocial substance misuse support, harm reduction advice and support to address offending behaviour, can support individuals to make meaningful use of their time and can provide emotional and practical support (i.e. claiming benefits) as well as supporting individuals to link in with other services for health, employability, housing and benefits.

Venture Trust work with those involved in the criminal justice system to read their potential though a range of interventions including outdoor learning programmes and structured one to one interventions to enhance lifeskills, employability and healthy relationships.

Men and Women can also be provided to Stride or Spring.

Possible Outcomes

A Structured Deferred Sentence (SDS) is used post-conviction and prior to final sentencing to provide a relatively short period of focused intervention with the specific objectives of:

  • Meeting assessed criminogenic and non-criminogenic needs and building an individual’s motivation and capacity for positive change;
  • Reducing the frequency or seriousness of offending behaviour; and
  • Avoiding premature or unnecessarily intensive periods of supervision in the community
    SDS can also be used to undertake a specific piece of work with an individual to stabilise their circumstances making it more likely that they will be able to engage in and comply with a period of statutory supervision. In this way SDS can be a useful tool to assess motivation and ability to engage with services and can reduce the potential of ‘setting them up to fail’ if they were placed straight onto a Community Payback Order.

Process for Assessment and/or inclusion in scheme/intervention

Assessment for SDS will be undertaken as part of the CJSWR