Integrated Case Management (ICM)

A person you may care about is in prison and serving a sentence and you may be unsure of some of the procedures. Families Outside produce information sheets to help you understand what these might be and how you can be involved in supporting your family member during their time in prison.

What is Integrated Case Management?

Integrated Case Management (ICM) was introduced by the Scottish Prison Service following a review of its previous sentence management process for all prisoners.

Integrated Case Management is a process where other agencies work closely with the Scottish Prison Service to give prisoners help and support to deal with their social or personal difficulties so that they are less likely to re-offend when they are released.

Prisoners are encouraged to think about the areas of their life that they need to change. They will make plans for their release and decide what prison activities will help them to make a successful return to their community when they are released.
The ICM process starts with a core screen interview.

What is a Core Screen Interview?

Every prisoner is given a core screen interview when they first go to prison. A prison officer will carry out this interview. This is when prisoners can ask for support for problems they have with:

  • Alcohol or drug addiction
  • Mental illness
  • Violence
  • Training for work
  • Housing
  • Offending behaviour
  • Relationships
  • Money problems
  • Reading, writing or working with numbers

After their Core Screen interview, prisoners will be told whether they will be on the standard ICM or the enhanced ICM route.

Standard ICM Route

Usually for prisoners who are sentenced to less than four years and who will not have social work involvement when they are released. Staff will support prisoners to reach their goals and to discuss their progress with their family.

Enhanced ICM Route

Usually for prisoners who are sentenced to more than four years, and who will have social work involvement when they are released from prison.

Prisoners on both ICM routes will contribute to a Community Integration Plan.

What happens next?

If the prisoner is on the enhanced ICM route, a Community Based Social Worker (CBSW) will contact the prisoner’s family to talk about how the family can support the prisoner throughout his or her sentence and when the prisoner is released. This social worker should also offer support to the prisoner’s family.

When the prisoner has his or her plan and the family has been contacted by a social worker, there will be a case conference.
What is a case conference?

A case conference is a meeting where the prisoner and everyone who is involved in supporting them, including a family member if appropriate, get together to talk about any issues, and about what the prisoner wants to achieve over the next year.

The people who will probably be at the case conference are:

  • The prisoner
  • The prisoner’s personal officer
  • The ICM case co-ordinator
  • A social worker
  • Professionals from other services including a Supervising Officer
  • A family member or friend (if the prisoner agrees to this).

Case conferences will be held once a year. The prisoner’s last case conference will take place about three months before he or she is released.

Where will a case conference take place?

The case conference will take place in the prison. For security, you will have to follow the usual visiting rules, but it will not count as one of your prison visits.

What if the prisoner does not want to go to the case conference?

The case conference will go ahead, and the prisoner will miss his or her chance to say what they want to get involved in during their time in prison.

What if the prisoner does not want a family member or friend to attend?

The case conference will go ahead with everyone else.

What if I cannot travel to the prison for the case conference?

Tell the community-based social worker if you are unable to get to the prison. He or she will be able to tell the case conference what your views are. Some prisons may also have the option of a case conference taking place with video conference equipment. If you ask, the prison staff or social worker can send you a copy of the notes from the meeting.

What if I cannot afford to travel to prison for the case conference?

People who get certain benefits may be able to get help to pay to get to a case conference. You can get more information from the Assisted Prison Visits Unit. Their telephone number is 0300 063 2100 and they are open, Monday to Friday from 9am- 5pm. You can also get an application form and leaflet from the prison or from the Families Outside Support & Information Line (telephone number 0800 254 0088).

Do prisoners have to take part in the ICM process?

Prisoners do not have to take part in the ICM process, but it offers them extra help and support, improving their time in prison.

Prisoners who are eligible for home detention curfew (also known as electronic tagging) should be encouraged to become involved with the ICM process.

For prisoners who are serving a sentence of more than four years, ICM is a good way to build a relationship with their Personal Officer. This is the person who will work with individual prisoners to plan their release and who will be their contact when they are out on licence.

Who can I speak to if I want to know more about ICM?

You can speak to the ICM Coordinator at the prison or call the Families Outside Support & Information Helpline on 0800 254 0088
All information sheets are available at All materials Copyright © Families Outside 2017.

Publication date: May 2017

Families Outside is a company limited by guarantee registered In Scotland No. 236539 and is recognised as a Scottish charity by the OSCR, No. SC025366.

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