" The New Model for Community Justice acknowledges that offending is a complex problem, one which creates victims, damages communities and wastes potentials. It also appreciates the well-established links between persistent offending and wider social factors such as poverty, homelessness, addiction and mental illness."
The Scottish Government is committed to preventing and reducing further offending and securing better outcomes for people with convictions, victims and communities.
The Model for Community Justice in Scotland
The New Model for Community Justice acknowledges that offending is a complex problem, one which creates victims, damages communities and wastes potentials. It also appreciates the well-established links between persistent offending and wider social factors such as poverty, homelessness, addiction and mental illness. Therefore, key to preventing and reducing further offending and promoting desistance is meeting the often complex needs of people who have offended.
Equally important is to recognise the many different individuals and organisations (Third Sector, public and private) that are involved in the planning, design and delivery of services to support these complex needs. Successful delivery of better outcomes for people with convictions, victims and communities relies therefore on a wide partnership of agencies and services working together, engaging with local communities and listening to the voices of those affected by offending.
The new model for community justice in Scotland, in place from 01 April 2017, has been designed to bring together individuals and organisations to deliver a community solution to achieving improved outcomes for community justice; to prevent and reduce further offending; and to support desistance, including supervision where necessary. It builds upon investment made by the Scottish Government and Local Government in community planning and strengthened provisions under the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015. As we are empowering communities, so too are we empowering the individuals and organisations who deliver improved outcomes for community justice.
Specifically, the model has the following key elements:
- Local strategic planning and delivery of community justice services - collectively;
- Duties on a defined set of community justice partners to engage in this local strategic planning and delivery with accountability for planning and performance residing at this level;
- The creation of Community Justice Scotland to provide leadership for the sector, opportunities for innovation, learning and development and independent professional assurance to Scottish Ministers on the collective achievement of community justice outcomes across Scotland and to provide improvement support where required; and
- A focus on collaboration, including the opportunity to commission, manage or deliver services nationally where appropriate.
These elements are supported by the Outcomes, Performance and Improvement Framework and the National Strategy for Community Justice which set out the vision and aims for improved community justice outcomes and provide a structure for how we will achieve these aims. Additionally, both these documents have been placed on a statutory footing in the Community Justice (Scotland) Act 2016  .
Why do we need an Outcomes, Performance and Improvement Framework for Community Justice?
The Scottish Government's Vision for Community Justice
Scotland is a safer, fairer and more inclusive nation where we:-
- prevent and reduce further offending by addressing its underlying causes; and
- safely and effectively manage and support those who have committed offences to help them reintegrate into the community and realise their potential for the benefit of all citizens.
The vision for community justice is ambitious and far-reaching, encapsulating the holistic and collaborative approach which lies at the heart of the new model for community justice. It is right, then, that we take an equally ambitious approach to achieving better outcomes for communities across Scotland; one which accounts for contributions to the common purpose from as broad a range of partners as is possible and is underpinned by sound assurance under the principle locally of collective responsibility. The Outcomes, Performance and Improvement ( OPI) Framework provides for this ambitious approach and exists to guide and support Community Justice Partners as they improve community justice outcomes in their areas.
In part, the need for the new OPI Framework stems from criticism of previous community justice models for their inability to accurately measure, understand, and cost out or evidence success. However it also addresses the clear desire, voiced during the public consultations to develop the new model for community justice, for both the better sharing of good practice and for assurance that improved outcomes are being delivered. In so doing, it will also highlight the importance of the impact that community justice services can have on the lives of affected individuals.
This is the reason why the model for community justice is defined by an improvement culture through the establishment of the National Outcomes, Performance and Improvement Framework.
Purpose of the Outcomes, Performance and Improvement Framework
The Outcomes, Performance and Improvement ( OPI) Framework provides community justice partners and Community Justice Scotland with real opportunities to measure progress, drive improvement, offer consistency and transparency and link decisions and actions to analysis of need and what works, leading to increased efficiency and effectiveness. It is not intended to as a simple performance management tool but as a means to provide community justice partners with the information they need to focus efforts on the improvements that matter to their local areas. In doing so it allows community justice partners and Community Justice Scotland to report on achievements as well as identify issues and blockages and evaluate the impact of services on person-centric outcomes.
The Community Justice (Scotland) Act 2016 provides the statutory basis to monitor continuous improvement through effective planning and performance management. A key element of this is the Outcomes, Performance and Improvement ( OPI) Framework, known as the 'performance framework' in the Act.
Who will use the Outcomes, Performance and Improvement Framework?
The audience for the OPI framework, as a whole, is three-fold:
1. Statutory community justice partners as outlined in the Community Justice (Scotland) Act 2016 are required to plan and report against the common outcomes, referred to as "nationally-determined" in the Act and to report using the national indicators;
2. Community Justice Scotland who will use the framework in its assurance function;
3. The framework will also be of relevance to the third sector, communities and other stakeholders with a role in improving community justice outcomes locally.
Within these groups, there will be elements of the framework which are particularly useful for people holding specific roles, such as those overseeing the delivery or commissioning of services who can use tools such as the '5 Step Approach to Evaluation' to monitor the outcomes at a service level and for individuals.
This document should be read in conjunction with its companion documents:
1. 'Community Justice Outcomes, Performance and Improvement Framework - Definitions, Methods and Sources', which provides further detail on the indicators, methods of collection and identified data sources; and
2. 'Community Justice Outcomes, Performance and Improvement Framework - Frequently Asked Questions', which provides answers to some of the frequently asked questions on the OPI Framework.
These companion documents will be kept under review and added to or amended as required. In particular, the 'Definitions, Methods and Sources' document is likely to be highly iterative in nature as the OPI Framework has been designed to drive behaviour under what is a new model and way of working. Therefore, some data sources may not yet be in operation. See Chapter Three for more detail on capturing the data, together with the relevant section in the Guidance on the new model for Community Justice.
What is Community Justice Scotland's role in the Outcomes, Performance and Improvement Framework?
Community Justice Scotland's role in the Outcomes, Performance and Improvement Framework is three-fold:
1. Using the framework in its assurance and improvement support function - see Chapter Six for more detail;
- Considering whether partners' plans cover the full range of outcomes;
- Reviewing partners' annual reports to identify good practice and where improvement support may be offered;
- Working with statutory Community Justice Partners, the Scottish Government and broader partners and stakeholders in support of the behaviours required to meet improved outcomes;
- In making recommendations to Scottish Ministers on further action required;
- Developing the annual report for Scottish Ministers on how the improvement of community justice outcomes is being progressed across Scotland.
2. Considering whether the evidence has changed:
- Reviewing examples of practice shown in plans and reports;
- Developing guidance and research through its Hub function;
- Working with analysts and partners on the evidence base.
3. Reviewing the efficacy of the OPI Framework:
- Does it do what it sets out to do?
- What is the feedback from partners on its usage?
- Has the evidence changed?
- Can it be improved upon?
- Making recommendations to Scottish Ministers as to any required changes on the OPI Framework.
Which elements make up the Outcomes, Performance and Improvement Framework?
The OPI Framework has the following contents which are detailed further in the remaining chapters of this document:
- The quality statement and quality principles for community justice - Chapter Two;
- The common set of outcomes and indicators - Chapter Three;
- The '5 Step Approach to Evaluation' - Chapter Four;
- The approach to scrutiny and inspection - Chapter Five;
- Performance processes - Chapter Six.
In addition, this document sets out in Chapter Seven the review and governance for the framework, in which Community Justice Scotland is closely involved; and, in Chapter Eight, details on the implementation of the OPI Framework once published.
Development of this version of the Outcomes, Performance and Improvement Framework
Just as the model for community justice requires a broad range of partners to come together to deliver improved outcomes for individuals and communities across Scotland, so too the development of the OPI Framework required such a range of partners to come together to consider the right way forward in providing a toolkit for continuous improvement under the model.
Indeed, the development of the OPI Framework has not happened overnight. It has required nearly two years of considered thought, workshops and input from the following partners and stakeholders who came together in the Outcomes, Performance and Accountability Working Group:
- Association of Local Authority Chief Housing Officers - ALACHO;
- Care Inspectorate;
- Community Justice Authorities;
- Community Justice Co-ordinators;
- Community Planning Managers;
- Criminal Justice Voluntary Sector Forum - representing the Third Sector;
- Health Boards - Public Health;
- Local Authorities - including Criminal Justice Social Work;
- Police Scotland;
- Risk Management Authority Scotland;
- Scottish Prison Service
- Scottish Government Policy Justice Analytical Services; and
- Social Work Scotland.
Those statutory Community Justice Partners not directly represented on the Working Group were engaged with via local and national events and membership of the Redesign and Performance Management of Community Justice Project Board or its Statutory Partners Group.
Wherever possible, the Working Group has built on existing tools or approaches. However, recognising that the framework supports a new, ambitious vision for community justice the Group has also developed a suite of outcomes and indicators designed to drive behaviour towards meeting the aims contained within the National Strategy for Community Justice.
The Working Group reported on its progress to the Redesign and Performance Management of Community Justice Project Board.
Can the Outcomes, Performance and Improvement Framework be updated?
One of the key principles behind the new model for community justice is that it aids in driving improvement for communities across Scotland. It follows, therefore, that the very framework which seeks to assist in this can itself be improved upon as required.
The OPI Framework has, therefore, been designed to be flexible and to evolve as experience in the operation of the new model for community justice grows throughout Scotland. It has been developed based on best current available evidence and policy. As these develop, the OPI framework will be reviewed and updated as required. Likewise, if elements of the Framework are found not to be as effective as they could be in improving outcomes, they can be reviewed and updated.
This is enshrined in Section 18 of the Community Justice (Scotland) Act 2016 which specifies for the review of the framework, no later than five years after the framework is published and then from time to time, but no later than five years after the last review.
The task of reviewing the OPI Framework will fall to Community Justice Scotland, working with partners and stakeholders. Scottish Ministers retain ownership of the OPI Framework, with a role to consider proposals put to them by Community Justice Scotland and publish updates to the OPI Framework as required.
Further details on the governance of the Framework can be found in Chapter Seven.
How does the Outcomes, Performance and Improvement Framework fit with the National Strategy for Community Justice and the Guidance?
The OPI Framework sets out the outcomes we believe are required to achieve the vision presented in the National Strategy for Community Justice.
It is recognised that both the vision and the outcomes cannot be achieved overnight and that improvement will require a step-change approach.
Therefore, the National Strategy sets out the priority improvement actions required, over a five year period, to make progress against the outcomes contained in the OPI Framework.
The OPI Framework then gives tools to support said improvement, allowing partners to:
- set their baseline, assessing their contribution;
- take a quality approach to evaluating both services and their collective activity, including a focus on the outcomes achieved for service users; and
- report on progress, recognising both strengths and areas for further development.
The Guidance on the new model for community justice is intended to support the statutory community justice partners ("the statutory partners") and other community justice partners and stakeholders to understand their roles to help deliver the new model for community justice. It will also be of relevance to the third sector, communities and other stakeholders involved in community justice.
It contains statutory guidance, outlining the steps that partners must follow in the development of their plans, as well as further information and support on the new model of community justice. The latter covering areas which include:
- The National Strategy for Community Justice;
- This OPI Framework for Community Justice;
- Partnership working for Community Justice;
- Engagement and Consultation;
- Community Justice Resources;
- Partners' relationship with the Community Justice Scotland and Scottish Ministers; and the
- Local Planning Context; key national strategies; legislative frameworks; further detail on effective use of evidence-based interventions; details on victims' organisations; and high-level information on how to use community justice needs assessment, data sources and logic models to design and evaluate community justice interventions.
In using the model above, community justice partners would work with the Third Sector, community bodies, people with lived experience, the wider community and other stakeholders to:
- Have regard to the vision in the National Strategy;
- Develop a 'community justice needs assessment' of their local community, using existing profiles and available data;
- Understand how current services are meeting these needs and whether the required benefits are being realised - the '5 Step Approach to Evaluation' provides a valuable guide to approaching this task;
- Consider the priorities contained within their Local Outcomes Improvement Plan ( LOIP) for their area;
- Baseline their achievement against each of the common outcomes, using the national indicators and identify priorities for action against both these and the improvement actions contained within the National Strategy for Community Justice;
- Detail priorities for action in their Community Justice Outcomes Improvement Plans;
- Monitor delivery and achievement - the self-evaluation tool may be used here or at other stages of the planning, delivery and reporting cycle;
- Understand the impact of services and the achievement of structural outcomes on achieving the person-centred outcomes for individual service users; and
- Report on progress against the plan on an annual basis.
Depending upon findings, partners may undertake any strategic commissioning as a result of their evaluation, using available evidence and best practice and developing new or replacement services as required.
Further information on setting the baseline and the community justice needs assessment can be found in Chapter Six.
The Guidance for the new model for community justice provides more detail on both these, the duties required under planning and performance and covers areas such as engagement and consultation which are referenced in the outcomes and indicators.