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.