In these unprecedented times we find ourselves in, Community Justice Scotland will be doing our very best to maintain our work with communities across Scotland. There will be changes to how we deliver some aspects of our work, such as our training courses. We will keep you updated.

To all of our partners who continue to deliver critical services across Scotland, we would like to say thank you. Adapting to what is a rapidly changing situation whilst often going above and beyond is indicative of your professionalism, and your commitment to our communities. We will continue to support you in any way that we can.

This will be a fast moving situation for community justice. We will update this page regularly to keep you informed, so that we can continue to provide as much help and support for local areas as we can.

What is the Coronavirus?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is the illness caused by a new strain of Coronavirus. It can cause a cough and/or a fever/high temperature. Latest guidance about COVID-19 from NHS Scotland and the Scottish Government can be found here: https://www.nhsinform.scot/coronavirus

Policy and Legislation

The Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 received Royal Assent and came into force on Tuesday 7 April 2020. More information can be found here: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2020/7/contents

The Act introduced various measures of relevance to the delivery of community justice in Scotland, including the early release of some people from prison; extending the length for completion of all current community payback orders that include an unpaid work or other activity element by 12 months; an option to further vary or postpone community orders en masse as required; measures to allow the virtual delivery of justice processes include remote juries and Parole Board hearings.

The Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Act was introduced in the Scottish Parliament on 11th May 2020 and passed Stage 3 on 20th May, introducing a range of further measures modifying justice delivery, including the extension of time limits for criminal proceedings.

Further detail about this legislation can be found here: https://www.parliament.scot/bills-and-laws/bills/coronavirus-scotland-no2-bill

These Acts introduced these measures for a time limited period (initially 6 months with the potential for extension, to a maximum of 18 months total), due to expire in September 2021. The Coronavirus (Extension and Expiry) (Scotland) Act became law on 4 August 2021, extending Part 1 of both Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Act and Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 until 31 March 2022. This means that the changes to the law in Part 1 of each of these Acts will continue to be the law until that time. This Act also allows secondary legislation to be used to extend Part 1 of each of these Acts further, to 30 September 2022.

Further detail about this legislation can be found here: https://www.parliament.scot/bills-and-laws/bills/coronavirus-extension-and-expiry-scotland-bill

The Coronavirus (COVID-19): framework for decision making was published on 23 April 2020. It sets out the challenges Scotland faces during COVID-19 and outlines the approach and principles that will guide the Scottish Government as it makes decisions about transitioning out of the current lockdown arrangements. Read more: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-framework-decision-making/

Published on Thursday 21 May 2020, the Scottish Government’s route map gives an indication of the order in which they will seek to change current restrictions. It provides practical examples of what people, organisations and businesses can expect to see change over time. The phasing table will continue to be updated. Read more: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-framework-decision-making-scotlands-route-map-through-out-crisis/

The Community Orders (Coronavirus) (Scotland) Regulations 2021 https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ssi/2021/144/contents/made approved by the Scottish Parliament in March 2021, vary Unpaid Work (UPW) or Other Activity Requirements in existing Community Payback Orders (CPOs) by reducing the number of hours imposed in each order by 35% (with some exceptions*). The purpose of the regulations is to reduce pressure on Justice Social Work services arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

*Exceptions apply as follows:

(i)an offence that is aggravated as described in section 1(1)(a) of the Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Act 2016(2) and has been recorded as such under section 1(5) of that Act,

(ii)an offence under section 1(1) of the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018(3),

(iii)an offence listed in paragraphs 36 to 60 of Schedule 3 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003(4),

(iv)the offence of stalking as defined in section 39 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010(5)

Learning, Development and Innovation – our training courses

In accordance with current restrictions all training events have been postponed. Our Learning, Development and Innovation Team are currently looking at how we can best support learning in the sector during this time. Returning to Face to Face Delivery Safely outlines how we will approach the safe restart of our face to face training courses. Click here to download and read more.

As part of our response to the Covid-19 outbreak we’ve released new resource packs to support Practitioners, Criminal Justice Social Workers and all those working in in Community Justice settings. You can access the resources by joining our group on the Knowledge Hub, here: https://khub.net/web/community-justice-scotland-training-resource-packs

If you don’t have a Knowledge Hub account you can create a free account here

We’re developing more digital resources based on the needs of the sector. You can let the Learning Development and Innovation team know what we can do to help by following the link here

Moving Forward Making Changes – National Trainer’s Group

COVID Wellbeing Resource Guide – the Wellbeing Resource Guide is intended to help decrease anxiety around the COVID-19 outbreak. The overall aim of the guide is to assist in developing skills to help manage emotions in relation to the crisis. This resource guide has been designed to be undertaken with men currently undertaking the Moving Forward and Making Changes (MFMC) programme or who have been assessed as suitable for the MFMC programme but due to COVID-19 have not commenced the work. Please note that this guide has been developed in a way that can either be delivered over the phone; physically/electronically sent to you to work through collaboratively with your social worker or group facilitator; or undertaken in the office environment, subject to social distancing guidelines. This guide also has the flexibility to be used across the Justice Sector.

Self-Care Digital Pin-Board

You’ve told us that you’d like a place to share self-care tips online so we created a digital self-care pin-board. It’s a simple way to share self-care ideas with others from across the sector. All you need to do is follow the link and click the pink + icon to contribute. You’ll find the pin-board here

Caledonian Service

We have put together an ongoing series of guidance notes to help support Caledonian System Managers. This guidance was written primarily for areas that are implementing the Caledonian service, but we hope that this and future notes will be useful in other Local Authorities too. You can download the latest guidance notes below:

  1. Guidance note 1 issued 19 March 2020
  2. Guidance note 2 issued 27 March 2020
  3. Guidance note 3: Covid-19- guidance notes for Criminal Justice Social Workers in relation to domestic abuse prisoners being released during lockdown issued 17 June 2020
  4. Guidance note 4: Guidance for children’s workers during the COVID-19 pandemic issued 19 June 2020.

Advice in non-Caledonian areas:

  • We have created guidance specifically for areas that do have access to the Caledonian. Click here to download this advice.
  • Download this document for an update from the National Procurator Fiscal for Domestic Abuse in relation to domestic abuse cases during the Covid-19 crisis.

Additional information about The Caledonian Service

We have issued a manual of activities for working with men who abuse their partners in the context of the COVID-19 crisis. You can download the document here. The exercises contained within this document have been adapted from the Caledonian System Men’s Programme, and can be used by workers who are not Caledonian trained.

We have issued ‘Technology Tips and Techniques For Working Safely with Women’ to supplement existing working practices and assist workers in considering the best and safest methods of using technology during the COVID-19 crisis. You can access the document via your Knowledge Hub account, or contact Rory Macrae, Gill Mckinna or Astrid Shearer (contact details below).

The Central Caledonian Team contact details

As always, Caledonian National Coordinator, Rory Macrae, Caledonian National Trainer and Adviser, Gill Mckinna, and National Data Coordinator, Astrid Shearer, are available for further advice and support. The Central Caledonian Team contact details:

SHORE and COVID-19 Guidance

In light of the current Covid-19 situation, appropriate housing on release from prison is of critical importance. As such, interim SHORE guidance has been developed by the prison service and the Scottish Government. Download and read the guidance here.

Links to further support

Contact us

As always, you can get in touch with us via social media, email or mobile. We remain contactable and happy to help. Team profiles and contact details here: communityjustice.scot/our-team/  Our general contact information:

 

 

 

 

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