Click this link to read more about how we fit into the justice system in relation to the Government, the courts and our justice partners.
We carry out a range of work concerning sentencing in Scotland.
Our responsibilities include:
- preparing sentencing guidelines for the courts
- publishing guideline judgments issued by the courts
- publishing information about sentences handed down by the courts.
We can also conduct research, and provide general advice or guidance. We do not deal with individual sentences, which are a matter for the presiding judge in court.
Under law, we must:
- promote consistency in sentencing
- assist the development of sentencing policy
- promote greater awareness and understanding of sentencing.
Every three years, we prepare a Business Plan for the Scottish Ministers. We consult the Scottish Ministers, the Lord Advocate (head of the prosecution service) and the Lord Justice General (head of the High Court). We also take others' views into account.
Each year, we prepare an Annual Report on our activities for the Ministers. These two reports are laid before the Scottish Parliament.
Our Business Plan outlines how we plan to spend our budget in the future and our Annual Report details how we have spent it so far.
Information on our procurement of goods and services is also published.
We are subject to the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act, and have produced a Guide to Information based on the Information Commissioner's Model Publication Scheme. The Guide provides more details on: the information we publish, how to find that information, how to request new information, and any charges for producing information.