We will work to quickly identify offenders and ensure responses are proportionate, just, effective and promote rehabilitation.
Key Achievements by Priority in 2017/18
- Part 1 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2016 commenced, modernising arrest, custody and questioning procedures.
- The Management of Offenders Bill is in progress, legislating for more extensive and consistent use of electronic monitoring of offenders, updating disclosure of convictions requirements and some changes to Parole Board appointments, membership, functions and requirements.
- Community Justice Scotland are now working with local partners to implement the new model for Community Justice - with Community Justice Outcome Improvement Plans ( CJOIPS) now available for each area.
- Justice social work funding was protected for local authorities - at record levels of around £100 million per year - including ring-fenced funds specifically for community sentences, and increased investment in preparation for extending the presumption against short sentences.
- The Scottish Government responded to the Justice Committee report on its "Inquiry into the Use of Remand in Scotland" in August 2018.
- An evidence led, collaborative approach has been taken to ensuring robust and credible community sentences and non-court disposals are available. Research on the Problem Solving Approach in Aberdeen and work with Community Justice Scotland, Social Work Scotland, COPFS and local authorities on aspects of guidance and good practice has been undertaken.
- Progress in transforming the female custodial estate has been made, with plans developed for the new Women's National Facility and the 2 Community Custody Units. Sites for the Community Custody Units in Glasgow and Dundee are now identified (also priority 7).
- The Justice Board and Youth Justice Improvement Board are collaborating to drive ambitious, evidence-led improvements focusing on prevention, life chances and a person-centred approach as per the whole system approach to offending by young people. A joint meeting on 23 February 2018, built on the previous year's work and focused on sustainability, rights, data and the use of evidence, including insights from the paper 'Children and Young People in Custody in Scotland: Looking behind the Data', published in November 2017.
We will continue to seek effective alternatives to prosecution and custody for those who pose little or no risk to public safety. Our priority will be to support the implementation of an ambitious vision for community justice in Scotland. And we will learn from what has worked well in our whole system approach to youth justice to ensure we sustain advances as well as build on and deliver further success.
New Activity for 2018/19
- Agencies will look to expand the successful whole system approach to youth justice to include, where appropriate, support to young people up to the age of 21 and care experienced young people up to the age of 26.
- Subject to approval by Parliament, the Management of Offenders Bill will complete its passage through Parliament.
- The Scottish Government will publish updated guidance for local authorities on community sentences and remand.
- Access to bail supervision and support services as alternatives to the use of remand, will be increased, where appropriate.
- The Scottish Government, Police Scotland and Scottish Prison Service will consider the outcome of reviews by the Inspectorates of Constabulary and Prisons into Home Detention Curfew arrangements.
- A Restorative Justice Action Plan will be published by spring 2019 setting out how restorative justice services across Scotland will be made more widely available by 2023.
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