A new resource – by Community Justice Scotland – which aims to transform the current public narrative and perceptions around community justice has been launched today (16 February).
The free, framing toolkit is informed by research with people with experience of the justice system, experts and practitioners from organisations across Scotland and members of the public. It includes guidance on public communications that aims to generate greater understanding of community justice. It is accompanied by a new national image library with real-life photographs of community justice. This includes images of recovery and rehabilitation services, unpaid work projects and restrictions of liberty such as electronic tagging.
The toolkit is available to support people and organisations to shape how they speak, write and communicate about community justice in ways that have the potential to increase public awareness and confidence in it as a sentencing option.
Karyn McCluskey, Chief Executive, Community Justice Scotland, said:
“We know that how we talk about justice matters. Thousands of people are impacted by it each year – families, friends and people in communities across Scotland.
“Community justice is one sentencing option that can help people stop breaking the law again leading to fewer victims and safer communities. Yet, research has told us that the majority of the Scottish public do not know what it is.
“To change this, we need to tell a new story. This toolkit will support you to understand how we all can tell that new story by introducing an evidence-based narrative and range of recommendations that everyone can use when speaking, writing, or communicating about justice in the community. It can be found, along with lots of additional information on the Community Justice Scotland website.”
Rebecca Worrall, Head of Communications, Community Justice Scotland, who managed the creation of the resource, said:
“Information gaps and vacuums are often filled with myths, misperceptions and divided views. This toolkit enables us to shape a more positive, informed articulation of what community justice is all about.
“We have listened carefully to people across Scotland, many with direct experience of the system, and created an accessible narrative framed to highlight what community justice involves in practical, specific terms and the benefits it can bring to victims and the community. I look forward to working with everyone across the public sector, from colleagues in other justice agencies to policy-makers, social work to education and health, and everyone across Scotland, to explore how together we can use the toolkit to change the conversation about justice.”
Download links below for both the brief and full versions of the framing toolkit.