Arrest Referral Service

The Arrest Referral Service engages with people at the point of arrest whose offending is linked to drug or alcohol misuse. By seeing the offender as soon as they are arrested, Sacro can offer them a pathway into harm reduction, treatment and rehabilitation services.

What does the service offer?

This voluntary service offers people an opportunity to discuss — with a Sacro worker — any concerns they may have regarding their drug or alcohol misuse.

How does the service work?

Offenders are given the opportunity to engage with treatment services; thus reducing the risk of them reoffending due to substance misuse. Engagement is voluntary and not a formal part of the criminal justice process.

Who is the service aimed at?

The service is aimed at offenders over 16 years of age who are using drugs or misusing alcohol or other substances, particularly:

  • Cocaine and heroin users
  • Chaotic poly-drug or alcohol users
  • Prolific/repeat offenders
  • Young people
  • Care leavers
  • People who are homeless
  • Women

How is the service accessed?

In some areas when the accused person is released from police custody, police will inform the person of the service and pass details on to the Sacro worker, who will make contact and offer an appointment.

If the accused person is held overnight to appear at the Sheriff Court and wishes to access the service, the Sacro worker carries out an assessment interview before the accused goes into court, and offers a follow-up appointment on release.

Sacro workers access arrestees in the Sheriff Court cells and offer the service daily. Initial assessments can be carried out in the cells area and/or arrangements made to meet with individuals if they are released from custody.