Glasgow Sheriff Court is to be the home of a pilot court project dedicated to dealing with people convicted on summary complaint where alcohol has significantly contributed to their offending.
The Alcohol Court, which is to be presided over by Sheriff Iain Fleming, is the latest “problem-solving court” to be launched in Scotland and follows the creation of the successful Drug Court at Glasgow, which has been in operation since 2001.
Initially, the Glasgow pilot will apply to people appearing in the sheriff summary courts who plead guilty to, or are convicted of, charges involving violence or dishonesty; public order offences; or drink driving offences in circumstances in which it appears or is accepted that alcohol abuse has significantly contributed to the offending.
The offender must be resident in Glasgow and the target age is those aged under 35 who have two or more previous convictions for similar offences, although the scope of the target group is apparently to remain the subject of review.
If the presiding sheriff at the time of plea or conviction forms the view that an offender falling within those parameters may benefit from the problem solving approach the court will adopt, the sheriff will request an Alcohol Court Assessment Report and defer sentence to the next suitable alcohol court.
The aim of the pilot court is to deliver sentences which are tailored to influence an individual’s behaviour and hold them accountable, with progress rigorously monitored by the same sheriff.
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