A case study focusing on Plymouth Community Advice and Support Service
27 November 2013
The Community Advice and Support Service (CASS) in Plymouth Magistrates’ Court is a great example of how a support service in a court setting can help vulnerable individuals and enable criminal justice agencies to meet their objectives.
By helping magistrates understand the backgrounds of the defendants who come before them, and tackling the long-term causes of offending, CASS also helps the court focus on people as well as on the facts of cases.
The service works with a range of court users: defendants, victims, witnesses, and families. It balances direct support with practical problems and helping clients access long-term support for chronic issues, such as mental illness and addiction. Its pragmatic and flexible approach enables it to provide a client-centred service with no thresholds or other barriers to entry.
CASS’s well supported team of voluntary advisers provides a comprehensive service to around 500 clients a year at a relatively low cost. CASS’s promising model – and in particular its use of volunteers alongside professional staff – may be valuable in informing the development of other in-court support projects, including liaison and diversion services.
If you back a recovery plan based around great public services, protecting the planet and reducing inequality, please support NEF to build back better.
Take our three-minute survey – and then share it with family and friends.
12 April 2021
Public appetite for social care reform is high but will the government finally take some action?
08 April 2021
Raising awareness is important but this documentary failed to get the narrative and facts right
07 April 2021
With 850,000 jobs still at risk by the end of summer, furlough can play a transformational role in training and education beyond September
Alex Chapman, Chaitanya Kumar, Alfie Stirling
05 April 2021