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Publication - Publication

Community Justice Outcomes, Performance and Improvement Framework

Published: 24 Nov 2016
Part of:
Communities and third sector, Law and order
ISBN:
9781786526175

This framework provides greater transparency over progress in achieving improved outcomes for community justice.

70 page PDF

2.2MB

70 page PDF

2.2MB

Contents
Community Justice Outcomes, Performance and Improvement Framework
3 The set of Common Outcomes and Indicators

70 page PDF

2.2MB

3 The set of Common Outcomes and Indicators

" A suite of common indicators, referred to as "relevant national indicators" in the Community Justice (Scotland) Act 2016 have been developed to accompany the common outcomes."

Background

Based on existing evidence and engagement with a range of partners and stakeholders, a set of common outcomes and indicators have been developed which are strongly linked to supporting an individual's desistance from offending.

The common outcomes referred to as "nationally-determined outcomes" in the Community Justice (Scotland) Act 2016, are:

Common across Scotland, allowing us to:

  • Recognise that we all have a contribution to make to improving outcomes relating to community justice;
  • Consistently monitor progress against the vision for community justice;
  • Share best practice and lessons learned between local areas and partners;
  • Maintain a focus on evaluating changes in person-centred outcomes for people involved in community justice services;
  • Identify where further action may have to be taken at a local and national level, including if updated improvement actions are required in the National Strategy.

Applicable at a local level, allowing partners to:

  • Identify which of the common outcomes are a priority for improvement action locally;
  • Recognise the impact of the delivery of services on the lives of service users, including where services are co-produced;
  • Report on success and lessons learned against each outcome.

It is expected that progress will be made across Scotland against all of the common outcomes. The section within this chapter on "How these Common Outcomes and Indicators should be used" explains in more detail the responsibilities upon statutory Community Justice Partners.

A suite of common indicators, referred to as "relevant national indicators" in the Community Justice (Scotland) Act 2016 have been developed to accompany the common outcomes.

How Were the Common Outcomes and Indicators Developed?

The development of the common outcomes and indicators followed the same governance as that for the rest of the OPI Framework.

Initial development work on the outcomes was based on existing evidence of what is required to deliver medium and long term improvement in terms of preventing and reducing the risk of further offending.

Logic modelling exercises with the Outcomes, Performance and Accountability ( OPA) Working Group and additional stakeholders ensured that both the structural and person-centric outcomes were strongly aligned with the high level justice outcomes, moving out to more broadly link with national performance outcomes for Scotland. The 'Community Justice Outcomes Chain' is shown as a high-level logic model at Annex A.

Further engagement with representatives from community justice stakeholders, including police, health service, community planning partnerships, criminal justice social work, Scottish Prison Service and the Third Sector identified a diversity of desired outcomes and working practices which are difficult to reflect adequately in a simple set of metrics suitable for direct performance management. Nor would such direct performance management fit with the collective responsibility of the new model for community justice.

As noted in Chapter One, the focus of the OPI Framework is, therefore, to provide a high level performance reporting structure which allows the full range of community justice partners to assess progress, drive improvement, offer consistency and transparency and link decisions and actions to analysis of local need and what works, leading to increased efficiency and effectiveness. The common outcomes are an integral part of this performance reporting structure.

A set of draft outcomes and indicators were gathered together and these were considered via a prototyping exercise consisting of initial collaborative work with a small number of 'early adopter' community planning partnership areas in order to step through the practical implications of implementing the new model and using the framework for performance reporting.

The exercise resulted in a list of potential indicators for housing, management of Community Payback Orders voluntary sector/community involvement and user experience.

These indicators and the common outcomes were then considered and further refined by the OPA Working Group and the Project Board for the Redesign and Performance Management of Community Justice during the early months of 2016 into the set that are now shown in this Chapter.

What are the Common Outcomes?

The common outcomes, shown in figure 2, contain both person-centric and structural outcomes. They are based on existing evidence and are strongly linked to supporting an individual's desistance from offending.

The structural outcomes are those which the statutory Community Justice Partners have more direct control over or they may readily influence as they relate to services or actions that they deliver upon; the person-centric ones are those which the statutory Community Justice Partners may have less direct control over as they may be impacted by a range of different factors but in which partners play a key role in supporting and delivering that change. These outcomes are directly linked to the complex needs at an individual level which are so often key to preventing and reducing further offending and promoting desistance.

Both sets of outcomes are equally important because the person-centric outcomes are largely dependent on achievements made under the structural outcomes.

By way of an example, it is highly unlikely that securing decent housing for individuals can be achieved without good strategic planning, working in partnership and improving access to housing.

Likewise, there is no hierarchy of importance amongst the outcomes. All must be delivered upon, although local areas will consider which outcomes in their area require specific improvement action to achieve progress against. The statutory Community Justice Partners, working with the Third Sector, community bodies and individuals, will have a contribution to make towards all outcomes. Some may require one partner to take a lead in an area but that partner will require the contribution from others to achieve the outcomes, reinforcing the principle of collective responsibility which underpins the new model for community justice.

The common outcomes are represented below. The Community Justice Outcomes Chain at Annex B shows the flow between what is invested, who is involved, the structural and person-centric outcomes and their link to wider national outcomes for Scotland.

The term "people" refers throughout all outcomes to those with lived experience of the criminal justice system from point of arrest through to returning from custody. In the main, we mean people [2] who have been arrested, diverted from prosecution, have convictions or a history of offending. Generally, children's needs are considered through children's services planning. However, for community justice we do include those young people involved with youth justice services who may require to access to community justice services or those transitioning from youth justice to adult community justice services.

Figure 2: The set of Community Justice Common Outcomes

Figure 2: The set of Community Justice Common Outcomes

Structural Outcomes

Outcome Why is this outcome important?

Communities improve their understanding and participation in community justice

The degree to which the community understands and supports community justice services has a strong effect upon their overall effectiveness. The extent to which the public are willing to engage with people with convictions has a major impact in key areas, for example access to housing and opportunities for employment. Many community justice services are made possible through members of the public offering their time through community groups and volunteering with organisations that seek to prevent and reduce further offending.

The visibility of and public attitude towards the community justice landscape is important in encouraging a culture of volunteering that extends to community justice services. Public services that protect and support victims of crimes are also important in terms of fostering confidence.

Partners plan and deliver services in a more strategic and collaborative way

A key focus under the model for community justice is to ensure effective partnership working through establishing joint prioritisation and planning processes, and integrated delivery, working across organisational boundaries to promote synergies and efficient use of resources.

People have better access to the services they require, including welfare, health and wellbeing, housing and employability

The evidence is clear that addressing basic needs such as housing, healthcare and welfare are key to promoting desistance and preventing and reducing further offending. Improving access to services, crucially including initiatives to improve equity of access, will ensure that people who have offended get the support they need, when they need it, to make a real difference to their lives.

Effective interventions are delivered to prevent and reduce the risk of further offending

A key tenet of the vision for community justice is to prevent escalation of the criminal justice system response through the use of diversion from prosecution and non-court disposals where appropriate, and minimising the use of prison in favour of community sentences and alternatives to remand. Effective interventions are those which are proportionate, timely, tailored to the individual and person-centred. By working to a broader definition of interventions, this outcome brings a wider range of partners than purely justice interventions such as health and those delivered by the Third Sector.

The above outcomes are expected to lead to improved person-centric outcomes, as portrayed in the Community Justice Outcomes Chain at Annex B.

Person-centric Outcomes

Outcome Why is this outcome important?

Life chances are improved through needs, including health, financial inclusion, housing and safety being addressed

Individuals within the criminal justice system experience poorer physical and mental health in comparison to the general population. It is also generally accepted that there is a well-established link between substance misuse and offending behaviour. It is acknowledged that insecure housing is an issue that disproportionately affects those who have been convicted and this outcome seeks to address this disparity. Having access to a regular income can promote desistance and an individual's capacity for change.

People develop positive relationships and more opportunities to participate and contribute through education, employment and leisure activities

There is consistent evidence that maintained or improved relationships with families, peers and community reduces the risk of re-offending [3] . There is also a strong link between educational and developmental opportunities and a lowered risk of reoffending.

Individual's resilience and capacity for change and self-management are enhanced

Resilience is the capacity for successful adaptation, positive functioning or competence under adverse conditions: this is an important factor in the desistence journey. Desistance research also stresses the importance of individuals' self-efficacy and agency (that is, belief in one's own ability to complete tasks), and suggests that establishing a sense of motivation and capacity for change is important in desisting from crime.

In turn, the achievement of the structural and person-centric outcomes will lead to the prevention and reduction of further offending, fewer victims of crime and the achievement of broader social outcomes for Scotland with the latter again shown in the Community Justice Outcomes Chain at Annex B.

The Indicators for the Common Outcomes

Key to the development of indicators has been striking the correct balance between those which ensure that statutory Community Justice Partners demonstrate the achievement of outcomes to communities and their lines of accountability, with assurance provided across Scotland by Community Justice Scotland, whilst ensuring that this does not become a major data collection exercise.

The following types of indicator have been developed in the table shown below:

Quantitative: those which require statistical data and analysis. If something is defined as a common indicator here, it must be measured consistently and robustly across local areas. We also need to be clear that some measures will be contextual due to issues of attribution.

Change and impact: affords the opportunity to show activity that has been carried out, what this has meant for the local area, the impact of the activity, the resultant change, user and community views; leading to the sharing of good practice. Undertaking the activity is not an end in itself but a precursor to achieving an improved outcome. Partners should consider and measure the improvement, the movement for the service or individual, the impact and the change for people and communities brought about as a result of the activity. The '5 Step Approach to Evaluation' explains this in more depth.

Contextual information: contextual drivers, including those of demand, to guide planning rather than direct indicators of performance.

The '5 Step Approach to Evaluation' can be used to aid partners in approaching this task.

The Indicators for the Common Outcomes

Structural Outcomes

Outcome

Indicator Type Indicator Additional descriptor or measures Comments

Communities improve their understanding and participation in community justice

Change and Impact

Activities carried out to engage with 'communities' as well as other relevant constituencies

  • Impact and the measures for such will differ from activity to activity e.g. a communications strategy and the response to this from the public; a specific event for the judiciary and a change in sentencing; people who use services direct engagement; conference with a feedback mechanism included and measure the response.
  • Evidence may also be taken from social media activity e.g. no of followers, no of likes, no of retweets - analytics from social media.

Existing engagement mechanisms should be used wherever possible.

It should be noted that this is a longer-term indicator and measurement should be over a period of time.

Partners should first mention the activities and then the impact of these.

Change and Impact

Consultation with communities as part of community justice planning and service provision

Will include:

  • Specific consultation for the purposes of community justice planning to identify the needs of the local community in a way which recognises the links and logical pathways between meeting initial needs related to the underlying causes of offending and the knock-on impact to meeting broader community justice outcomes;
  • Identifying opportunities for the unpaid work element of CPOs; and
  • How consultation on local police plans and those for other partners links to community justice.

Local areas may wish to follow community planning and community safety practice in their area e.g. for localities or asking communities more generally what they need to improve their area rather than targeting on community justice

Partners should be wary that this doesn't just become a process to be followed but, rather must be conducted meaningfully and proportionately with results acted upon appropriately.

Communities improve their understanding and participation in community justice

Change and Impact

Participation in community justice, such as co-production and joint delivery.

  • Involving people with convictions, victims of crime and families in the development of priorities for the Community Justice Outcomes Improvement Plan;
  • Using and building the strengths and capacity of the local community in developing services and support initiatives;
  • Joint delivery of said services and support with individuals and communities e.g. via community centres, community cafes.

Change and Impact

Level of community awareness of/satisfaction with work undertaken as part of a CPO

  • Evidence from community surveys, recognising that measurement/assessment will vary locally

Change and Impact

Evidence from questions to be used in local surveys/citizens panels etc

Questions must cover the following areas:

  • Awareness;
  • Visibility;
  • Understanding;
  • Confidence;
  • Participation.

  • Local areas may wish to focus on specific services and/or on community justice more generally.
  • May wish to follow community planning and community safety practice in their area

Be wary that this doesn't just become a process to be followed but, rather must be conducted meaningfully and proportionately with results acted upon appropriately.

Quantitative

Perceptions of the local crime rate,

This is available from Scottish Government surveys being one of core areas used in all of the national social surveys run by the Scottish Government;

Broken down to a local authority level.

It is implicit that this indicator covers all of the partners.

Partners plan and deliver services in a more strategic and collaborative way

Change and Impact

Services are planned for and delivered in a strategic and collaborative way

  • Evidence of effective partnership working e.g. from self-evaluation or a partners or local survey;
  • Evidence of planning for joint delivery around prevention and early interventions;
  • Evidence of implementation of strategic commissioning approach;
  • Evidence of involving communities, including those with a history of or affected by offending, the planning and delivery of community justice services;
  • Evidence of effective planning for transitions for children and young people who may need to access community justice services as well as planning for those who transition into adult services.

Recognition that self-evaluation views may include perception of partners as well as evidence base. Surveys should cover statutory and non-statutory partners.

Change and Impact

Partners have leveraged resource for community justice

Partners should recognise the potential that exists within themselves, individuals, groups and organisations in their area and the contribution they can make to improved community justice outcomes. They must then leverage this potential or 'resource', including:

  • Sharing of information, people, facilities - including co-location;
  • Funding activities together, recognising economies of scale, opportunity cost and efficiencies;
  • Training provided by one partner opened up to other partners;
  • Existing services and experience being directed towards improving community justice outcomes

When developing new or enhancing existing models for delivery

Change and Impact

Development of community justice workforce to work effectively across organisational/professional/ geographical boundaries

  • Evidence of and evaluation from impact of activities joint training, awareness raising for senior personnel, joint working, shared learning, joint practice studies.

Partners plan and deliver services in a more strategic and collaborative way

Change and Impact

Partners illustrate effective engagement and collaborative partnership working with the authorities responsible for the delivery of MAPPA

  • Evidence that strategic planning and reporting mechanisms for improved community justice outcomes has considered people subject to MAPPA;
  • Evidence of joint training/awareness sessions;
  • Evidence of collaborative risk management planning

People have better access to the services they require, including welfare, health and wellbeing, housing and employability

Change and Impact

Partners have identified and are overcoming structural barriers for people accessing services;

  • Partners must show the barriers which have been identified, the activities to overcome these and the results.
  • The type and extent of barriers will change from area to area but evidence shows that some are likely to be present in each area including:
  • barriers to employment, training and education as a result of previous convictions;
  • direct or indirect through the implementation of other arrangements e.g. anti-social behaviour processes or specific partner policies or access protocols;
  • attitudes of staff, the community and other service users.
  • Measures must include user experience that barriers have been overcome.

Being able to capture an initial picture may be progress in itself for the first year of operation of the new model e.g. considering employment and housing policies for the local area.

Change and Impact

Existence of joint-working arrangements such as processes/protocols to ensure access to services to address underlying needs

The arrangements must cover the following journey for an individual:

  • Point of and following arrest;
  • As part of police and fiscal direct measures, disposal/sentencing process;
  • While on remand;
  • While serving a community or custodial sentence;
  • On release from remand or a custodial sentence.

The arrangements should at least cover:

  • Welfare;
  • health and well-being;
  • housing; and
  • employability

An example of a measure for a housing protocol is given at Annex B

People have better access to the services they require, including welfare, health and wellbeing, housing and employability

Change and Impact

Initiatives to facilitate access to services

Initiatives which will ensure that people who have offended get the support they need, when they need it, to encourage desistance. Including:

  • those which improve equity of access;
  • Those which support and facilitate an individual to understand how to approach services;
  • Those which will advocate on an individual's behalf to support access.

Availability and acceptance by the individual of the support offered measured by:

  • Greater take-up of mentoring, throughcare support officers, voluntary and statutory throughcare;
  • Greater take-up of initiatives to increase employability skills - including literacy and general education levels - or other pro-social activity.

Impact measured by user experience of accessing services at the various points, linking to progress against the person-centric outcomes.

Change and Impact

Speed of access to mental health services

  • 90 per cent of patients to commence psychological therapy based treatment within 18 weeks of referral, recognising that the data will include the whole community

People have better access to the services they require, including welfare, health and wellbeing, housing and employability

Quantitative

% of people released from a custodial sentence:

  • Registered with a GP;
  • Have suitable accommodation;
  • Have had a benefits eligibility check.

Should be used in conjunction with indicators around support on accessing services and interventions.

Recognises the input required from a range of partners but with data source being from SPS.

This indicator drives behaviour through partners being required to work together to follow through with individuals the outcome of being registered with a GP, having suitable accommodation and the outcome of having had a benefits eligibility check.

Used because the point of leaving prison is an important stage. This is a starting point, which will look to expand further.

Change and Impact

Targeted interventions have been tailored for and with an individual and had a successful impact on their risk of further offending.

An "intervention" can range from something as simple as a programme directly or indirectly intended to reduce and prevent further offending such as:

  • an intervention aimed at improving the health of people with convictions;
  • a third sector or community service intended to improve local community justice outcomes; or
  • a justice intervention such as a community sentence.
  • Examples should be given of quality needs assessment leading to effective disposals;
  • Partners should give examples of such targeted interventions and the user experience and impact of such;
  • When considering "interventions", partners should also consider the support available from family members, friends, employers and the general community which may aid desistance.

Effective interventions are delivered to prevent and reduce the risk of further offending

Change and Impact

Use of "other activities requirement" in Community Payback Orders ( CPOs)

  • Involvement of other partners in the other activities requirements;
  • Examples of creative and innovative use of the other activities requirement such as attending college or training course, resilience training, engaging with a specific needs-focussed service with another partner.

As a quality indicator to show a person-centred approach is being taken;

Change and Impact

Effective risk management for public protection

  • Examples of good practice and lessons learned from MAPPA, supervision, relevant statutory orders, staff training and accreditation.

Change and Impact

Quality of CPOs and DTTOs

  • Measures may include user experience from CPO and Drug Treatment and Testing Orders ( DTTO) exit surveys covering areas such as being treated with respect, that the individual's attitude toward offending had changed or that the intervention had helped stop or reduce further offending.

Quantitative

Reduced use of custodial sentences and remand

  • Balance between community sentences relative to short custodial sentences under 1 year;
  • Proportion of people appearing from custody who are remanded.
  • A quantitative measure which shows the impact of initiatives to shift the balance between custody and use of non-custodial measures and sentences.
  • This recognises both prosecutorial and judicial independence but also recognises the impact that partners can have via ensuring both greater consistency in the availability of quality services across Scotland but also working together to ensure awareness of these.
  • Community sentences are defined as those deriving from a court order, including CPOs, DTTOs and Restriction of Liberty Orders ( RLOs).

Should be captured annually; may be captured more regularly as local needs dictate. It is recognised that individuals may take a different time to go through the justice process.

Effective interventions are delivered to prevent and reduce the risk of further offending

Quantitative

The delivery of interventions targeted at problem drug and alcohol use [ NHS Local Delivery Plan ( LDP) Standard]

  • *The number of Alcohol Brief Interventions ( ABIs) delivered in criminal justice healthcare settings;
  • No of referrals from criminal justice sources to drug and alcohol specialist treatment;

* Data should be captured and reported to local Alcohol and Drug Partnerships. The 2016-17 ABI NHS Local Delivery Plan Standard Guidance http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Health/Services/Alcohol/treatment/LDPABINatGuidance16-17 provides further information

Contextual

Numbers of police recorded warnings, police diversion, fiscal measures, fiscal diversion, supervised bail, community sentences (including CPOs, DTTOs and RLOs)

  • Fiscal measures include fines, fiscal work orders, fiscal compensation order, fixed penalty notice;
  • Fiscal diversion includes diversion to social work;

Contextual

Number of short-term sentences under 1 year.

  • The number of custodial sentences imposed during the reporting period for that area where the full term was for less than 12 months.
  • This is a base number for the quantitative indicator showing the balance between community sentences relative to short custodial sentences under 1 year.

Should be captured annually for the reporting period; may be captured more regularly as local needs dictate.

Person-Centric Outcomes

Outcome Indicator Type Indicator Additional descriptor or measures Comments

Life chances are improved through needs, including health, financial inclusion, housing and safety being addressed

Change and Impact

Individual have made progress against the outcome

  • Evidence of impact at an individual level of interventions and activities;
  • Evidence may come from user experience, service level evaluations - including the use of the '5 Step Approach to Evaluation', distance travelled measures by individuals.
  • Activities should also cover existing statutory interventions such as supervision, CPOs, DTTO etc.

Measures of 'distance travelled' are generally used in describing intermediate progress towards an outcome from an initial baseline; for example in relation to substance use, though the ultimate goal might be to be drug-free, the person has moved from active drug use to regular and stable engagement with addiction services. Though the outcome of being free from drug use has not yet been achieved, meaningful progress has been made showing an improvement in that individual's wellbeing.

Implicit in the indicators for person-centric outcomes is the importance of systematically evaluating the impact on individuals at a service level. There are existing methods available but new methods could be developed in partnership and shared as good practice.

People develop positive relationships and more opportunities to participate and contribute through education, employment and leisure activities

Change and Impact

Individual have made progress against the outcome

  • Evidence of impact at an individual level of activities, including user experience, service level evaluations, distance travelled by individuals;
  • Evidence at an individual level from views from families and those included in an individual's relationships such as employers;
  • How an individual's relationships which have a positive impact on desistance have been strengthened - including the development of a key relationship;
  • How an individual's relationships which have had a negative impact on desistance have been changed to be more positive or influences decreased.

Individual's resilience and capacity for change and self-management are enhanced

Change and Impact

Individual have made progress against the outcome

  • Evidence may come from:
  • Activities such as tools which directly enhance resilience. For example, tools to support anger management, improve self-esteem, increase an individual's capacity for change and self-management;
  • Individuals building resilience and capacity to engage effectively with services;
  • The impact may be measured by user experience and distance travelled measures.

How these Common Outcomes and Indicators should be used

The Common Outcomes

All of the common outcomes must be considered, delivered and reported against for each local area.

However, it will be for the statutory Community Justice Partners for the area to work together to:

  • baseline achievement against each outcome;
  • understand their local needs; and
  • agree which of those outcomes will be priorities for specific improvement action for their area over the defined period for their Community Justice Outcomes Improvement Plan.

Offering this local flexibility, whilst still considering and reporting against all outcomes, respects the differing local needs and circumstances that may be experienced from one local area to another but allows for the sharing of best practice to develop a national picture of achievement across Scotland.

It is expected that statutory Community Justice Partners will involve - as is required - the Third Sector and Community Bodies in their decision making, together with consultation with communities in their local area.

The Indicators for the Common Outcomes

To report on progress against the common outcomes the basket of common indicators on pages 29 to 37 has been developed for use by the statutory Community Justice Partners.

The starting point is that all indicators must be used. However, where statutory Community Justice Partners for an area collectively identify that a particular indicator is not relevant for them at that point in time, they must specify their reasons for this conclusion in their Community Justice Outcomes Improvement Plan.

Where Partners choose not to report on a common indicator the partners must specify in their plan why they feel it does not apply in their area, for example along the following lines: 'We don't know enough about this issue at this stage but we will do the following to address it - specify action'. Partners may also indicate that they will not report on a common indicator on the ground that it is irrelevant for their area.

The statutory Community Justice Partners then select the relevant common indicators to support their achievement of the common outcomes locally.

When providing evidence against the indicators, there must be examples of both good practice and examples where lessons can be learned to effect improvement.

The '5 Step Approach to Evaluation' can be used across these indicators and can be particularly valuable in approaching reporting on person-centric outcomes at a service level.

Local outcomes and indicators

We are clear that the common outcomes and indicators will not be the only measure available to statutory and non-statutory Community Justice Partners to effectively measure and report on what they are doing to improve outcomes for people with lived experience of community justice.

Partners may identify additional locally determined outcomes (and associated indicators), targets and initiatives as they consider appropriate based on the profile and needs of the local area. These may be issues that have been raised by the Third Sector, community bodies, communities - including people with convictions, victims and families - or local partners as requiring attention.

In addition, if an area's local community justice needs assessment points to a requirement to focus on improving outcomes for a particular cohort - such as women, young men or those who have offended repeatedly - then partners will wish to plan to improve these outcomes and, by necessity, will collect appropriate data to measure progress and drive improvement.

Taken together, the common outcomes and indicators and any additional local information will allow partners to effectively progress local priorities in order to provide a clear account of how they are driving improvement within their respective areas.

Capturing the data, sharing information and providing the evidence

Capturing the data and sharing information

The common outcomes and indicators, in keeping with the rest of the OPI Framework, have been designed in such a way as to avoid measurement for measurement's sake. Rather, the information and data requirements are those which will both aid quality service planning and delivery and allow for consistent monitoring of progress which must be undertaken, first and foremost, at a local level.

The information in support of the indicators is expected, in the main, to be a by-product of good partnership working whereby joint planning and delivery is undertaken. For further information on how best to approach this task, it is helpful to consider the '5 Step Approach to Evaluation'.

This is a new framework with a new set of common outcomes and indicators designed to drive certain behaviours in support of improvement for individuals and communities. It follows, therefore, that some data or information sources required to evidence progress against the indicators may not yet be in place.

It is expected that partners will work together to develop both data requirements for measuring progress as well as datasets for sharing at an individual level supported by information sharing protocols and/or data sharing agreements as appropriate.

Where it makes sense for these to be designed on a collaborative basis across local areas, this should be taken forward by partners and can, if need be, be facilitated by the Scottish Government and supported by Community Justice Scotland.

The companion document, "Outcomes, Performance and Information Framework: Definitions, Methods and Sources" provides further detail on the indicators, methods of collection and identified data sources and will be updated as these mature.

Providing the evidence

Different levels of evidence are required to report progress against the outcomes:

  • Short term evidence geared towards developing local strategies and plans, and setting baselines. This is the 'what' and is the area where partners have the most control;
  • Medium term evidence demonstrating 'how' activity contributes to delivery of outcomes, and provides an assessment of impact on users. While partners may have less control over some aspects of delivery, they will contribute to achieving the desired outcomes by ensuring services are delivered with due regard to quality;
  • Long term evidence is sited further down the causal chain i.e. quite far removed from the original cause and will be affected by a number of factors along the way. It is, therefore, more removed from partners' sphere of control. However, community justice activity will influence these higher level outcomes if effectively implemented.

It is recognised that the new model is in its early stages which is why a certain degree of flexibility has been offered. However, the vision for community justice is ambitious and we should be equally ambitious in our collective response to it.


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