Justice in Scotland: vision and priorities

Document setting out Scottish Government's plan for a just, safe and resilient Scotland, with established priorities for 2017 to 2020.

A safe, just and resilient Scotland

A vision for Scotland

Our vision is for a safe, just and resilient Scotland. This document is for all those working to keep our communities safe and those who deliver civil, criminal and administrative justice. It builds on the outcomes and approach we set out in the first Strategy for Justice in Scotland in 2012, and the significant contribution the reform of our justice services has made to improving outcomes for people across Scotland. Drawing on the latest evidence it reflects on recent successes, highlights key challenges for the immediate and longer-term and sets out seven priorities for 2017-2020 to help shape our collective effort, inspire collaboration and frame a shared vision for the future.

Our vision

Outcome 1

We live in safe, cohesive and resilient communities

Outcome 2

Prevention and early intervention improve wellbeing and life chances

Outcome 3:

Our systems and interventions are proportionate, fair and effective

Outcome 4

We deliver person-centred, modern and affordable public services

Outcome 1

Our vision is for a safe, just and resilient Scotland where people live in communities that feel safe and are safe, allowing individuals, families and businesses to thrive.

Outcome 2

Prevention and early intervention are at the heart of what we do to further reduce crime, prevent offending and improve life chances.

We have a clear and persistent focus on addressing the root causes of disadvantage, enhancing our provision for the people and places experiencing vulnerability and disadvantage.

We work collectively with our education and employment partners to promote wellbeing and improve the futures of looked after children and care leavers.

We empower our people and communities to exercise their rights and responsibilities, to resolve disputes and other civil justice problems at the earliest opportunity.

And we work with others to improve our response for those who experience poor mental health or are in distress, recognising that many people have co-existing physical health challenges.

Outcome 3

Our criminal, civil and administrative justice systems work effectively. We improve the experience of the justice systems for victims, witnesses and everyone who comes to court. We manage cases efficiently and effectively. And we protect the rights of children and vulnerable witnesses.

Victims of crime are confident that the criminal justice system will act fairly, effectively and will help to reduce the risk of further victimisation. We act quickly to deal with those who pose a risk to society and individuals, using custody and our Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements ( MAPPA) as required.

But we will also recognise the limitations of the courts and prisons in improving life chances for people who pose little or no risk. We hold people to account for their offending, but we work with them to be active and responsible contributors to their communities. We deliver what we know works to reduce re-offending, in part by delivering on our ambitions for community justice.

When a custodial sentence is deemed appropriate we empower people to fulfil their potential and transform their lives. And we improve support for reintegration and recovery following custody.

Outcome 4

Overall, our services and interventions now and in the future are designed around people.

They are delivered with care and compassion by a confident and professional workforce who have the right opportunities for continuous professional development.

We embrace technological change and innovation to deliver excellent standards of service relevant to the needs of 21st Century Scotland and its citizens.

We contribute to inclusive economic growth by enhancing cyber-security, reducing the impact of serious organised crime, ensuring people can access the advice they need to protect and pursue their rights and improving opportunities to meaningful activity and jobs in the sector.

And we support our economy and communities to prepare for, respond to and recover from existing and emerging risks and threats, including terrorism and cyber-enabled crime.


Email: Justice Analysts, Justice_Analysts@gov.scot

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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