National Strategy for Community Justice

This revised National Strategy for Community Justice 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.

Aim 4: Strengthen the leadership, engagement, and partnership working of local and national community justice partners

It is necessary for community justice partners to work together to adopt a strategic approach to planning and delivering improved outcomes, and lasting change for individuals and communities. This includes ensuring the active involvement of the third sector, relevant community-based organisations, communities and people who use local services (including people with convictions, victims and families) in the planning and delivery of community justice within their areas. Ensuring that victims feel supported, that their voice is heard and that they are empowered to participate effectively in their justice journey is critical to achieving an inclusive justice system. Central to the strategy is also the need to ensure that the Scottish public, communities and workforce have an improved understanding of, and confidence in, community justice.

Over the duration of this strategy community justice partners will:

11. Deliver improved community justice outcomes by ensuring that effective leadership and governance arrangements are in place and working well, collaborating with partners and planning strategically

It is the collective responsibility of statutory partners to ensure the achievement of community justice outcomes, and the legislative requirements within the Act, rather than partnership chairs or coordinators. Community justice should be embedded as a key consideration within the priorities of each community justice partner. Implementation of the delivery plan should be prioritised, and roles and responsibilities must be understood, with staff empowered to become leaders within their organisations. Strong, inclusive and innovative leadership is required, at both local and national level, with effective accountability and communication mechanisms between national organisations and their representatives driving community justice partnership activity locally, in addition to collective local partnership accountability arrangements. Community Justice Scotland will support partners by providing advice, guidance and assistance to the community justice partnerships and making national and local improvement recommendations where appropriate, supporting strong governance and accountability.

The effective provision of data is vital to the success of strategic planning and to allow the measurement of progress against outcomes. Statutory community justice partners must work with both Community Justice Scotland and partnerships to ensure that all partnerships receive necessary information in a regular and systematic way.

At a local level, community justice partnerships should:

  • clearly define their remit, and ensure effective collaboration with Community Planning Partnerships (CPPs), and alignment to Local Outcomes Improvement Plans (LOIPs),and other community planning groups (and vice versa). As previously stated, the focus of this strategy is from the point of arrest onwards and we would encourage community justice partnerships to focus their action from this point onwards, as opposed to on primary prevention. The Violence Prevention Framework for Scotland, due to be published later in 2022, will include a focus on primary prevention given the importance of preventing violence from happening in the first instance. However, community justice partners will play a crucial role in secondary and tertiary prevention to help people access the support they need to help stop further offending and more people ending up in the justice system.
  • carry out strategic planning, monitoring and reporting activity to ensure the identification of local priorities. This will include maintaining a current evidence base and an understanding of local needs and service provision. Identified local improvement priorities should be clearly presented within the Community Justice Outcomes Improvement Plan (CJOIP). These activities and a robust use of programme and project management (PPM) methodologies (with SMART actions) should underpin the targeting of resources to improvement activity identified in CJOIPs. This may include targeting engagement with partners in line with topics where they can add value.
  • seek to secure the contribution of partners and other stakeholders, including the third sector (and reflect this in their participation statements), to help bolster community justice resources. This can include information sharing, co-ordinated planning and joined-up services, as well as contributing staff and other resources (including across local authority boundaries), as required to meet the community justice outcomes noted in local plans.
  • work across boundaries, to coordinate and allocate resources strategically so that, with a proportional input, they can collectively deliver services which have a larger impact on outcomes. This is in recognition of the different populations of community justice partnership areas.
  • work across regional and operational boundaries to facilitate peer learning, share best practice and enhance co-ordination of improvement activities.

12. Enhance partnership planning and implementation by ensuring the voices of victims of crime, survivors, those with lived experience and their families are effectively incorporated and embedded

Ultimately, we want victims of crime and families impacted by the justice system to feel heard, understood and empowered to participate in their justice journey.

In order to understand what is important to our communities and to promote inclusivity, community justice partners should ensure that those with lived experience of the justice system, including victims of crime, have the opportunity to appropriately and effectively participate. Their experience should be represented in order to inform policy development, implementation, and the design and delivery of services.

Community justice partners also need to have an awareness of, and effectively promote, the support that is available for victims of crime and families impacted by the justice system, both nationally and in their area complementing the work of third sector organisations and other local planning partnerships, for example ADPs and VAW Partnerships.

This should help identify how partnerships can contribute towards the achievement of improved outcomes for victims of crime and families impacted by the justice system, through the signposting and provision of information and inclusive person-centred and trauma-informed support, and helping to ensure they are safe and well.

13. Support integration and reduce stigma by ensuring the community and workforce have an improved understanding of and confidence in community justice

Partners should work to improve the visibility of community justice and ensure it is positioned as an important part of the local and national justice landscape. Specifically, partners should work collaboratively to improve understanding and confidence in community justice amongst the Scottish public and the local justice workforce. Senior leaders of community justice partners, in particular, should seek to champion community justice within their organisations and across community planning. In particular, they should clearly communicate what their organisation is seeking to deliver towards the achievement of the community justice priority actions. Partners should ensure their communications are trauma-informed, utilise the National Standards for Community Engagement and the resources provided by Community Justice Scotland. Community Justice Scotland have a statutory duty to promote public understanding of community justice and the benefits associated with it. Partners can then build on this foundation to shift attitudes and increase support for community justice as an approach, for example through communicating the benefits of unpaid work to local communities. This can in turn support integration and reduce stigma, leading to improved community justice outcomes.



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