Teesside has been chosen to be one of the first three places in England to try an innovative new approach to justice.
Intensive Supervision Courts (ISCs) were introduced at Teesside Court in June 2023 for lower level offences.
They aim to provide support to offenders to face up to the root causes of their offending in bid to stop further offences and turn their lives around.
As part of the pilot, criminals serving community orders are closely monitored by judges as part of a new pilot in Cleveland..
When an offender is sentenced, the judge orders them to attend regular review meetings.
Meetings check whether offenders are sticking to the requirements of their community sentences.
Offenders have access to specialist drug and alcohol treatment to help them tackle substance misuse, which may be one of the reasons why they are offending.
At the same time, offenders receive intensive supervision from the Probation Service. Supervision may include frequent and random drug testing.
Offenders will also have support to access education, employment and housing opportunities.
Failure to engage, continued substance misuse or refusal to attend follow-on meetings with a judge could mean increased drug testing or jail time for those on the new order.
Judges can also use privileges – such as relaxing conditions – to recognise progress in tackling problematic behaviours.
A US study on the long-term effect of a similar problem-solving approach saw 25 per cent fewer drug charges over a 15-year period.
Other pilots were launched in Liverpool and Birmingham Magistrates’ Court at the same time as Teesside.