4. Strategy for Community Justice
4.1 The Community Justice (Scotland) Act 2016 ("the Act") places a duty on the statutory partners to have regard to the National Strategy for Community Justice (the National Strategy) when developing their plans. Community Justice Scotland must also pay regard to the National Strategy when preparing their corporate plan.
4.2 The National Strategy provides a vision for community justice in Scotland.
"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".
4.3 It will help partners to prioritise key areas which they will address in partnership, through an approach which is outcomes-focused and is based on evidence. It recommends evidence-based actions to help statutory and non-statutory partners improve community justice outcomes while retaining the flexibility to adapt to individual local needs and circumstances.
4.4 The four priorities identified in the National Strategy are as follows:
Improved community understanding and participation - this section is focused on increasing awareness of community justice issues to improve understanding and reduce stigma; as well as strengthening participation in the planning, delivery and evaluation of community justice services and policy.
Strategic planning and partnership working - the new model for community justice requires a wide range of statutory and non-statutory partners to work together to improve community justice outcomes. This section of the strategy focuses on how to ensure these partners work together effectively, that there is a strong leadership at national and local level, resources are used strategically, and that there is a well-trained and effective community justice workforce.
Effective use of evidence-based interventions - this section recommends improvement actions to ensure the delivery of effective, evidence-based interventions at all appropriate points in the community justice system, as well as adopting a person-centred approach, tailored to meet the differing demands of specific groups and focused on getting people into support.
Equal access to services - this section is focused on ways to make equal access to services a reality and to ensure that people who have committed offences and their families have equal access to the services that will help them to desist from offending such as health, housing and welfare.
4.5 The National Strategy is set for a 5-year period but can be refreshed by Scottish Ministers at any time. Statutory partners must give due consideration to the strategy when preparing their community justice plans.