We are committed to reducing reoffending and finding alternatives to prison.
Whilst crime should be punished, we believe that people should also be given support where possible to turn their lives around.
We are working with partners to reduce reoffending by:
- encouraging a shift towards community-based alternatives to prison
- extending the use of electronic monitoring technologies to reassure victims and support rehabilitation
- improving the home detention curfew system to strike a better balance between support for reintegration and protecting public safety
- ensuring agencies work together to manage the risks posed by the most serious offenders, including registered sex offenders, using our multi-agency public protections arrangements (MAPPA)
- making changes to the disclosure system to strike a better balance between allowing people to move on from previous offending behaviour whilst protecting public safety
- ensuring we have a modern, fit-for-purpose prison estate which focuses on rehabilitation
- sponsoring the Scottish Advisory Panel for Offender Rehabilitation which sets standards and promotes excellence in rehabilitation programmes
We are also:
- making those who have caused harm face the consequences of their actions through our support for restorative justice
- tackling the causes of offending and reoffending such as drug and alcohol misuse
We published a revised National Strategy for Community Justice in 2022. This Strategy sets the national direction for community justice by building on progress made to date. It is designed to provide a clear roadmap for future improvement work, by highlighting key areas for partners to focus on.
We set up a national body Community Justice Scotland in 2017 to strengthen how public services, third sector and other partners work together to prevent and reduce further offending
Bills and legislation
The Community Justice (Scotland) Act 2016 established the legislative framework for the model for community justice.
The Management of Offenders (Scotland) Act 2019 introduced a number of important changes to improve the criminal justice system in Scotland.
The Bail and Release from Custody (Scotland) Bill was introduced to Parliament in June 2022.