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Community Justice Outcome Activity Annual Report 2022-23 Consultation draft

We are pleased to present this consultation draft of the CJS Outcome Activity Annual Report 2022-23.

This draft report sets out our assessment of community justice activity that happened across Scotland between April 2022 and March 2023 in pursuit of the shared community justice outcomes.

CJS produce this report as part of our duties set out by the Community Justice (Scotland) Act 2016.  Part of this duty is consultation – we would like to seek your views on the report’s content, including our recommendation to community justice partners.

If you would like to participate in the consultation please use this link to complete our survey, or if you’d prefer, you can use the form at the bottom of the page and respond to us via email to cjsimprovement@communityjustice.scot or in writing to: OAAR Consultation, Community Justice Scotland, Saughton House, Broomhouse Drive, Edinburgh, EH11 3XD. Please provide your response by 31st January 2024.

We will also be holding two Consultation events on Wednesday 10th January and Monday 15th January, 2-4pm, which will also be an opportunity to feed in views.  If you’d like to sign up for either of these, please send an email to rose.mcconnachie@communityjustice.scot

Respond to the consultation using this form: Consultation form

Short briefing – Enabling the leverage of resources for community justice

A short briefing citing practice examples of leveraging resources – document link

Pre-budget Scrutiny 2023-24 – CJS Response to Criminal Justice Committee Call for Evidence

Community Justice Scotland have prepared this submission in response to the Scottish Parliament’s Criminal Justice Committee’s call for evidence as part of their Pre-Budget Scrutiny 2023-24. This annual process seeks to scrutinise the Scottish Government’s current funding priorities and to inform future funding plans ahead of the publication of the Draft Budget later in the year.

In our response we set out what we believe the likely impact of the Resource Spending Review and the rising costs crisis will be on the already overburdened community justice system. In our response to the Committee we have highlighted:

  • That the community justice system is already struggling to deliver services and is operating at a reduced capacity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and a range of other burdens and additional responsibilities placed on it in recent years.
  • Any real terms reduction in funding will result in reduced participation in community justice partnership activities, the scaling back or withdrawal of community justice services, and a deterioration in the quality of continuing community justice efforts.
  • Due to the vital importance of community justice in reducing offending and reoffending, this will result in more crime and more victims of crime unless steps are taken to mitigate the negative effects of a real terms cut on community justice.
  • Funding for the justice system, however, needs a more fundamental overhaul and we would welcome consideration of how future budgets could be used to drive forward a decisive shift in Scotland from custody to community.

We look forward to working with the Committee, the Scottish Government, and other colleagues across the justice sector to explore how we can drive forward community justice priorities together, whilst mitigating the negative effects of reduced spending on the community justice system and the people in it.

Consultation on the National Strategy for Community Justice: Revision – Community Justice Scotland Response

On 13th April 2022 the Scottish Government launched its consultation on a revised version of the National Strategy for Community Justice. As the national public body tasked with monitoring, promoting and supporting improvement in the provision of community justice, we have drawn on our experiences over the last five years and our responsibilities under the Community Justice (Scotland) Act 2016 to develop this response.

Our response focuses on the proposed aims and priority actions set out in the consultation document and makes suggestions for their revision to ensure they reflect local experiences of community justice and align with work currently being undertaken by Community Justice Scotland to review and revise the Outcomes Performance and Improvement Framework. Key points include that:

  • The National Strategy must be bold and ambitious in order to achieve the goal set out in the Vision for Justice of achieving a decisive shift in the justice system from custody to community.
  • The National Strategy must link with other national strategies and policy areas to ensure that we are taking a joined up approach to supporting people in our communities.
  • The proposed aims and priority actions must be based on evidence and must be achievable for local community justice partners across Scotland.
  • More must be done to ensure the third sector, people with lived experience of the justice system, families, and people who have been victims of crime are included in local community justice processes.

A National Care Service for Scotland – CJS response to the Consultation

Community Justice Scotland’s Response to the Consultation on a National Care Service

In August 2021, the Scottish Government launched a public consultation on proposals for A National Care Service for Scotland.  Drawing on the findings of the Independent Review of Adult Social Care, the scope of proposals expanded to other areas, including community justice.

Community Justice Scotland responded to the Consultation in November 2021, focussing specifically on the questions most closely related to the governance and delivery of community justice in Scotland.  Our response reflected on the proposals for reform and other options available to improve the delivery of community justice, and included the following key points:

  • Incorporating Justice Social Work into a National Care Service would not in itself result in improvement of the coordination and delivery of justice social work services, or community justice services more widely
  • The specific problems faced by the justice-involved population and the challenges for those delivering justice services merit specific consideration outwith the analysis drawn primarily from experiences of adult social care, and should draw on the evidence, learning and progress in the justice agenda developed over recent years
  • Other structural reform is required to deliver the long-desired shift in outcomes for people involved in the justice system, and their families and communities

The suggestion of using a public health approach to justice problems through development of a National Prevention Service should be explored further with partners, and could be transformational for not only the delivery of services, but people’s lives.

Bail and release from custody arrangements: Consultation response from Community Justice Scotland

On 15 November 2021, the Scottish Government launched a consultation on proposals for reform on the arrangements for Bail and Release from Custody in Scotland.

Community Justice Scotland responded to the consultation in February 2022, highlighting the development of the proposals as key to progressing towards improving the lives of those in contact with the justice system, their families and communities.

Key points included:

  • CJS welcome this opportunity to progress reform of the arrangements underpinning bail and remand, custody and release. People do better when their links with family and community are maintained and supported, and bail should be used wherever it is safe to do so. Any return from custody to home community should be accompanied by the offer of support targeted at identified needs and building on strengths.
  • Victim safety considerations and risk assessment should remain central to the process, alongside meaningful support for victims and their families.
  • CJS think that bail should be the default option unless there is an evidenced risk indicating custody is necessary. We recommend a review of section 23C of the Criminal Proceedings (Scotland) Act 1995 to support a consistent and robust approach to these decisions.
  • A need for an enhanced evidence base for better understanding why bail and remand decisions are made by sentencers.
  • Enhanced social work involvement throughout the processes is necessary for improvement, but also highlights likely resource and capacity issues, particularly for local authorities, courts and others involved in the delivery of community justice including the third sector.
  • We recommend a full review of Throughcare provision, in order to better understand how provision can and must change to improve access to services and support for more people.

Youth offending and community justice – evidence paper

Community Justice Scotland were invited to participate in a roundtable evidence session at a meeting of the Scottish Parliament’s Criminal Justice Committee, held on 15th September 2021.  In advance of the session, CJS put together a written evidence piece highlighting the key policy points we think are most important in informing the development of youth justice policy and practice. Read the evidence submitted.

We think it is the responsibility of everyone to support the next generation to contribute to a healthy, safe and thriving Scotland.  Where children and young people are in crisis and at their most vulnerable, it is in achievement of connection to community and the building of robust relationships there that we will find their greatest capacity for change.

Learning, Development & Innovation / Caledonian (LDIC) Interim Strategy

The compilation of the LDIC Strategic Assessment is a statutory requirement outlined in the Community Justice (Scotland) Act 2016. It is currently in draft format for consultation with stakeholders. This document will be reviewed annually to allow for ongoing changes in the operational environment and resourcing.

Please send any feedback to david.scott@communityjustice.scot

Equally Safe consultation – a CJS Response

In December 2020, Community Justice Scotland submitted a response to the Scottish Government’s consultation, “Equally Safe: A consultation on challenging men’s demand for prostitution, working to reduce the harms associated with prostitution and helping women to exit”. Read here

CJS – Evidence submission to Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee Pre-Budget Scrutiny

In October 2020, Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee invited Community Justice Scotland to submit evidence to inform their work on scrutiny of the Scottish Government’s Draft Budget 2021-22.  Community Justice Scotland submitted the following information. Read more.