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Understand Community Justice

What is community justice?

Community justice is a community-first model of justice, where people who have broken the law are held to account and supported to reconnect and contribute to their communities. It means that some people, where it is safe to do so, receive community-based sentences. And the evidence emphatically shows that community justice can help people stop breaking the law again which leads to fewer victims and safer communities.

Photos of community justice

Photos of community justice across Scotland are available to download FREE from our national image library on Flickr

Scotland’s justice system is broken

Community justice is exactly what Scotland needs. We imprison people more often than any other country in Europe and, in the majority of cases, it’s people from deprived backgrounds that we send there. It’s this cycle of disadvantage and trauma that community justice breaks. By addressing the inequalities in society, we can achieve the best outcome for both victims and communities.

Taking a people-centred approach tackles the root cause of behaviour. It’s a sentencing option that teaches skills and increases self-worth, resulting in less crime being committed. It might mean treatment for underlying issues such as drug or alcohol addiction, unpaid work, fines and compensation or restrictions of liberty such as electronic tagging and curfews. By keeping people in the community and not isolated from society, they learn, they integrate, and they contribute.