Your data: court reports and risk assessments

How we use your information

Criminal justice social work reports are requested by the Court following conviction and prior to sentencing. The purpose of the report is to assist the Court in making a decision about how to deal with the case, including which sentence to impose.

A social worker will prepare the report which will include information about current and previous offences, an assessment of risk of reoffending, background information and an assessment of suitability to undertake a Community Payback Order or other community-based sentence. Your case file will be treated confidentially, but you should be aware that there are limited circumstances when we may be required to share information about you, particularly to prevent risk of harm to others.

As well as meeting with you, we may ask for your agreement to speak to, and ask for information from members of your family, employer, doctor, or any other relevant person. This helps with a fuller assessment and allows us to confirm to the Court we have verified key information. It will be treated confidentially but you should be aware that there are some limited circumstances where information from court reports and risk assessments which may be shared with others, particularly to prevent risk of harm to others.

We may also be required to provide information from reports and risk assessments to Scottish Ministers as part of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups Scheme. This is something we are required to do under Section 19 of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007.

How long we keep your information for

Unless you have any other interactions with the Council’s Criminal Justice Social Work Service, we keep reports and risk assessments for three years. If you do have other interactions with Criminal Justice Social Work, we will keep any reports and risk assessments as part of you case file, which we keep on our case management system (CareFirst). We keep closed case files for the current year, plus five years, from the point at which your case is closed.

Your rights

You have rights to your data, including the right to ask for a copy of it. More information about all of the rights you have is available here. You also have the right to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office. They are the body responsible for making sure organisations like the Council handle your data lawfully.

Our legal basis

Aberdeen City Council is the Data Controller for your data. Wherever the Council processes personal data, we need to make sure we have a legal basis for doing so in data protection law. The Council understands our legal basis for processing personal data in relation to providing reports and risk assessments to the Court, the Parole Board or the Prison Service as Article 6(1)(e) of the General Data Protection Regulation.  This is because the provision of reports to the Court, the Parole Board and the Prison Service is a part of our public task, as set out in the Social Services (Scotland) Act 1968, as amended by the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003. In carrying out this function, the Council is also likely to process special categories of personal data. The Council understands our legal basis for doing so as Article 9(2)(h) of the General Data Protection Regulation, because processing is necessary for the provision of health or social care or treatment or the management of health or social care systems and services.


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