Community justice outcomes - improvement planning and reporting: statutory guidance

Statutory guidance that supports community justice partners to understand their roles and responsibilities arising from the Community Justice (Scotland) Act 2016.

4. Preparing and publishing the CJOIP

4.1 Content of the CJOIP

In preparing and publishing a CJOIP, the partners for each local authority area must comply with various requirements set out in the Act in relation to its content; information which must be taken into account during its preparation; and bodies which must be involved or consulted during its preparation.

While the Act should always be consulted to ensure compliance with the relevant requirements, these are summarised below along with other considerations which may be relevant during the preparation of a CJOIP.

In preparing the CJOIP, partners must have regard to:

The CJOIP must report on local progress and intended actions towards achieving the nationally determined outcomes set out in the framework. To do this, partners must undertake the following:

1. Using the relevant national indicators from the framework, indicate in their CJOIP whether each of the nationally determined outcomes is being achieved locally or, if not, how near the outcome is to being achieved.

2. Depending on this assessment, decide whether the outcome requires to be prioritised for action in their area.

3. Set out the actions the partners, acting either individually or jointly, intend to take to either achieve or maintain achievement of the outcome.

The partners must use the national indicators set out in the framework when assessing progress on each nationally determined outcome. The partners should consult the strategy to help determine which actions they will carry out to improve performance against the nationally determined outcomes, as well as which partners are best placed to carry out these actions - either individually or in partnership.

The partners may also identify additional locally determined outcomes as part of the planning process to reflect agreed local priorities for community justice, provided they are consistent with the nationally determined outcomes in the framework. Where these are included, the CJOIP must also set out the indicators that the partners intend to use in assessing performance in achieving the local outcome.

Any other local plans, such as the LOIP, and associated outcomes and indicators which the community justice partnerships agree are relevant to achieve improved community justice outcomes may also be included in the CJOIP.

To comply with relevant equalities and human rights legislation, an equalities impact

assessment should be part of the process for the plan’s development.

4.2 Additional considerations

When preparing the CJOIP, the partners should also:

  • Consider developing a local evidence base to underpin the assessment of progress towards each national outcome. This could include preparing and maintaining a community justice strategic needs and strengths assessment for their local authority area. Evidence can also be identified via consultation and engagement activity undertaken with local stakeholders.
  • Consider any relevant guidance provided by Community Justice Scotland.
  • Determine which partners or bodies are best placed to take actions forward jointly or independently (recognising that bodies may be statutory or non-statutory).
  • Identify any other material in relation to community justice that may be appropriate (e.g. specific actions to be taken to address local needs and priorities).

The lifetime of the CJOIP (i.e. the period for which the CJOIP applies) can be determined by the partners subject to the requirements under section 22 of the Act and covered in section 6 of this guidance – “Reviewing the CJOIP”.

4.3 Participation and consultation

During the development of the CJOIP the partners must make all reasonable efforts to secure the participation of non-statutory, third-sector bodies and community bodies involved in local community justice services. This will allow these bodies to contribute to the CJOIP's development as specified in the Act. Appropriate information about the purpose and function of the CJOIP should be provided to the bodies being consulted with in order to support their engagement and contribution. Third sector bodies involved in community justice are those who provide a general service relating to community justice or who represent or promote the interests of designated people (including victims/survivors and families of victims/survivors) as outlined in section 14 of the Act. Relevant bodies will therefore include those representing victims/survivors and their families, the families of people with convictions, people with convictions themselves and any relevant community bodies involved in community justice services as locally appropriate. This should be done in accordance with national standards for community engagement.

Section 21 of the Act requires that a Participation Statement ("the statement") be prepared by the partners. The statement must set out the action taken by the partners to achieve the participation of third sector bodies and community bodies involved in community justice for the local authority area in the preparation of the CJOIP. The statement must give details of third sector and community bodies and others who participated in the planning process and specify the nature of this participation (for example whether this took the form of meetings, other events, online or social media etc.).

The statement may form part of the CJOIP or, if not, it must be published as soon as is practicable after the CJOIP is published and a copy sent to Community Justice Scotland.

Partners are also required to consult with Community Justice Scotland during the preparation of their CJOIP. Under section 20 of the Act, partners must also consult with relevant local third sector and community bodies that that did not actively participate in the preparation of the CJOIP, as well as any other persons considered appropriate. Although partners are not accountable to Community Justice Scotland for their CJOIPs, they are required by section 6 of the Act to provide relevant information, advice or assistance should Community Justice Scotland make a reasonable request for this. Such requests are not restricted to CJOIPs and can be for any purpose that relates to the functions of Community Justice Scotland, which are set out in section 4 of the Act.

4.4 Publication

The partners must publish their CJOIP. The associated participation statement must either be incorporated in the published CJOIP or published separately afterwards as soon as is practicable (see section 4.3 of this guidance). A copy of the CJOIP and statement (if not incorporated in the CJOIP) must also be sent to Community Justice Scotland.



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