5. Future Priorities
As mentioned in the foreword, SAPOR has been seeking to develop their broader role in supporting rehabilitative effort and operationalizing the advise and endorse functions set out in their terms of reference.
As noted in the previous section the panel has started this process by attending various events and engaging with key stakeholders. Moving forward they will be seeking to fulfil their broader remit beyond accreditation of offending behaviour programmes to look at how SAPOR can support the development and delivery of evidence-based community justice interventions and approaches. The panel plans to engage more directly with those who might benefit from their ‘endorse’ and ‘advise’ functions.
In relation to the ‘advise’ function, the panel will be giving this more detailed consideration over the coming months, informed by engagement with community justice partners to explore and confirm how this function can best support the development of community justice services while acknowledging they may have limited resources.
In relation to the ‘endorse’ function the panel envisages this as being primarily relevant to those engaged in interventions and employing specific approaches to wider evidence-based rehabilitative and desistance supportive efforts that go beyond offending behaviour programmes.
The endorse function is intended to promote confidence in, and consistency of high standards of, wider community justice interventions and approaches which support desistance. In order to do this, the panel will be focused on clarifying the type of material that would be submitted to allow this kind of work to be submitted and assessed against the agreed endorse standards.
These standards differ from those for accreditation and are as follows:
- theoretically and ethically sound,
- appropriately focused,
- based on sound models of engagement,
- operationalized effectively and
- reflecting international best practice.
The above standards will be considered in more detail by the panel in discussion with stakeholders.
The panel will develop clear guidance and templates to allow health, justice and social care professionals to self-evaluate their work, and then submit clear evidence of the strength, value and benefit of their work to the Panel. The panel are focused on making this process as streamlined and accessible as possible.
In taking this process forward, the panel intends to continue to work in a supportive and collaborative way with wider community justice partners, we will do this by:
- inviting interested parties for early discussions at a panel meeting to discuss their work their ideas, and which process might be most helpful for them
- reviewing and providing oral and/or written feedback on early draft submissions
- providing general guidance on evaluation with some potential for specific input for specific queries as resource allows
- providing comments and feedback on specific questions as Panel expertise and time allows
- undertaking full paper and oral review of documents in relation to programmes, interventions and approaches to work to ensure that rehabilitative effort and support for desistance is evidence based, robustly implemented and reflects international best practice.
In doing this, we will offer ongoing support to professional colleagues to achieve the standards set out for ‘accreditation’ or ‘endorsement’.
Over the coming year, the panel will identify key strategic priorities within Scottish Government and wider community justice partners around health, well-being, public safety, justice and employment; and we will develop a 1 year and 3 year strategic plan of work so that those working with us can clearly see how the panel can support their work and provide added value in relation to promoting a stronger, safer and just Scotland for all of our futures.