Information

National Strategy for Community Justice - review: consultation analysis

Analysis of responses to the National Strategy for Community Justice review consultation 2021.


3. Vision, mission statement, priorities and principles

3.1 Overview

This section asked questions about the overall structure and content of the current strategy.

Question 1: Do you think that it would be helpful to shorten and simplify the strategy, to make it more user-friendly?

Forty-seven respondents responded to this closed question. The majority (85%) answered yes, that it would be helpful to shorten and simplify the strategy, to make it more user-friendly, while 15% answered no.

Forty-three respondents responded to the open 'Please explain your response further' section of the question.

Yes

Of those who answered yes, forty respondents responded to the open section of the question, and the following themes emerged:

Theme identified Number of comments relating to this theme
Accessibility, language and a better understanding for a wider audience 24
Different versions of the strategy or supporting sources could be produced 16
Comments on the current strategy 9
Clarity of roles, responsibilities and actions 8
General comments on the length of documents 4

Accessibility, language and a better understanding for a wider audience

The largest number of comments received related to the need for accessibility and clear language to aid understanding by a wider audience. In general, these respondents felt that a shorter and simpler strategy, which is accessible and uses appropriate language, would enable a better understanding of community justice for a wider audience, including partners in the sector and wider communities.

'Sacro would support the strategy being more user friendly, making it accessible to a wider audience. It should take account of language and minimise the use of jargon so that it is easily understood by communities and all age ranges.'

Sacro

Different versions of the strategy or supporting sources could be produced

Some respondents commented that different versions of the strategy, or supporting sources, could be produced for different audiences.

A number of options were suggested, for example:

  • Videos or animations
  • Graphics or infographics
  • User-friendly version for the wider public
  • Summary of key points for partners
  • More detailed guidance document for community justice partners
  • Separate delivery plan
  • Signposting to external guidance and documents

Comments on the current strategy

Some respondents commented on the length of the current strategy, which is 56 pages long, and suggested that there are too many components (vision, mission statement, priorities and principles) and that much of the narrative detail is not, or no longer needed.

Some of those commenting on the current strategy highlighted positive aspects, including the use of infographics and a clear structure.

Clarity of roles, responsibilities and actions

A number of responses suggested that clarity of roles and responsibilities within community justice, and similarly clarity on actions that need taken forward would make the strategy more user-friendly. Of these a number suggested that a road/route map style strategy is preferred.

General comments on the length of documents

A small number made general comments about the length of published documents, noting that the capacity to consider lengthy documents must be considered, and that documents should be user-friendly, with key messages retained, no matter their length.

No

Of those who responded no, 7 responded to the open section of the question, and the following themes emerged:

Theme identified Number of comments relating to this theme
Detailed information within the strategy is required 6
Different versions of the strategy or supporting sources could be produced 5
Strategy should be strengthened, but not necessarily shortened 3
Accessibility, language and a better understanding for a wider audience 1

Detailed information within the strategy is required

A number of respondents commented that detailed information is required within the strategy document and that it should not be diluted, with a small number suggesting that the length of the strategy is reflective of the complexity of the community justice landscape.

Different versions of the strategy or supporting sources could be produced

As with those who answered yes, some respondents commented that different versions of the strategy, or supporting sources, could be produced for different audiences.

A number of options were suggested, for example:

  • A summary
  • Accessible version
  • Infographics

Strategy should be strengthened, but not necessarily shortened

A small number of respondents agreed that the strategy should be stronger, more user-friendly and useful, but that this does not necessarily require that the strategy is shortened or simplified.

Accessibility, language and a better understanding for a wider audience

One organisation commented that the strategy should 'reflect the needs of [the] audience who are accessing it for a specific purpose', and that the primary purpose is to inform the delivery of community justice for those who hold a statutory duty.

Separately, they noted that communication of community justice needs improved, but that this is not a task solely for the strategy.

Not answered

One respondent did not respond to the closed question, but commented that the content is more important than the length of the strategy.

Question 2: Do you think that the strategy should contain more specific and time-limited aims and actions than at present?

Forty-eight respondents responded to this closed question. The majority (73%) answered yes, that the strategy should contain more specific and time-limited aims and actions than at present, while 27% answered no.

Forty-three respondents responded to the open 'Please explain your response further' section of the question.

Yes

Of those who answered yes, thirty-one respondents responded to the open section of the question, and the following themes emerged:

Theme identified Number of comments relating to this theme
SMART aims and actions 28
Long-term ambitions 4
Other considerations 4

SMART Actions

The largest number of respondents who answered yes and commented on this question referred to the need for SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely) actions, or similar, in particular highlighting a desire for:

  • Absolute clarity around what the specific aims and actions are
  • Clarity around roles and responsibilities and ownership of actions, to create more accountability and garner buy-in from partners
  • An action plan with associated timescales for delivery and a mechanism to enable a review of progress
  • Specific aims and actions that are measurable and aid the assessment of progress

Long-term ambitions

A number of respondents suggested that, as well as more specific and time-limited aims and actions, the strategy should also reflect the longer-term aims of community justice.

Other Considerations

A number of responses highlighted other considerations that any aims and actions in the strategy must take into account, including:

  • COVID-19 and ongoing recovery work as part of the Recover, Renew, Transform Programme
  • Links to local priorities and Community Justice Outcome Improvement Plans (CJOIPs)
  • The needs of rural, remote and island communities
  • The ongoing development of the National Care Service

No

Of those who responded no, twelve responded to the open section of the question, the following themes emerged:

Theme identified Number of comments relating to this theme
Local aims and actions 9
COVID-19 and ongoing recovery work 4
No change needed 2

Local aims and actions

The largest number of respondents who answered no and commented on this question suggested that the strategy was not the most suitable vehicle for specific and time-limited aims and actions.

Whilst some responses noted the importance of clear national aims, these responses suggested that it is for local partners to determine the most appropriate specific and time-limited aims and actions for their local area, based on local needs.

COVID-19 and ongoing recovery work

Some responses noted the need for any aims and actions within the revised strategy to reflect the impact of the pandemic and the associated recovery work that is ongoing, with some referring to the current strain on the justice system and capacity of partners to fulfil further specific and time-limited aims and actions.

No change needed

A minority of respondents commented that no change to the scope or content of the actions within the strategy is needed.

3.2 Vision and mission statement

This section asked questions about the vision and mission statement in the current strategy.

Question 3: To what extent do you agree or disagree with the current vision?

Forty-seven respondents responded to this closed question. Of those that responded:

  • 23% answered 'strongly agree'
  • 60% answered 'agree'
  • 9% answered ' neutral'
  • 6% answered 'disagree'
  • 2% answered 'strongly disagree'

Forty-five respondents responded to the open 'Please explain your response further' section of the question, and the following themes emerged:

Theme identified Number of comments relating to this theme
Agree generally with the vision 35
Specific topics raised 29
Concerns with part of the vision 9
Defining community justice 6
Disagree with the vision 2

Agree generally with the vision

The majority of respondents generally agreed with the current vision. In particular some stated that the vision remains relevant, that they largely agree with the focus and ambition of the vision and that it supports the evidence of what works to reduce further offending.

Some did however suggest alterations and raised specific topics, as per the below.

Specific topics raised

A number of responses highlighted specific areas that they believe should be reflected in the vision, including:

  • Scope of community justice with regard to prevention
  • Trauma-informed practice
  • Good practice examples
  • Communities, victims and witnesses/lived experience
  • Person-centred approach
  • Consistency of services
  • Partnership working
  • Pandemic recovery
  • Links to other related policy areas
  • Resourcing

Concerns with part of the vision

Some respondents stated that they disagreed with the latter part of the vision. In particular they questioned the use of the word 'reintegration', as it suggests individuals have been integrated into their communities previously – and this is not the lived experience of all within the community justice sphere. Instead a number offered an alternative based on supporting integration or belonging in the community.

Some also questioned the use of the word 'manage', which does not reflect the breadth of community justice and may cause confusion between the work of community justice partnerships and justice services.

Defining community justice

Some respondents suggested that further clarity of the definition of community justice is needed, as confusion about the scope of community justice continues. In particular it was highlighted that clarity is needed around the distinction between justice social work and community justice and the extent to which prevention forms a part of community justice.

Disagree with the vision

A small number of respondents disagreed with the current vision, with one respondent stating that it was not specific or measurable.

Question 4: To what extent do you agree or disagree with the current mission statement?

Forty-six respondents responded to this closed question. Of those that responded:

  • 24% answered 'strongly agree'
  • 48% answered 'agree'
  • 24% answered 'neutral'
  • 2% answered 'disagree'
  • 2% answered 'strongly disagree'

Forty-four respondents responded to the open 'Please explain your response further' section of the question, and the following themes emerged:

Theme identified Number of comments relating to this theme
Agree generally with the mission statement 25
Scope and ambition of community justice 18
Pandemic recovery and resourcing 9
Penal policy reflections 7
Not necessarily needed 3

Agree generally with the mission statement

Many respondents agreed generally with the current mission statement, particularly the intention and the fact that it relies on a strong evidence-base.

Some however raised issues around its scope and ambition and other specific topics, as per the below.

Scope and ambition of community justice

A number of respondents raised the issue that the mission statement does not necessarily reflect the scope and ambition of community justice, as it focusses solely on penal policy.

Some respondents state that the mission statement should include other aspects of community justice which are within the gift of community justice partners for a local area and shifts the narrative away from custody, for example:

  • Prevention and early intervention
  • Partnership working
  • Trauma-informed practice
  • Accessibility and availability of services
  • Links to other related policy areas
  • Rehabilitation
  • Communities, victims and witnesses/lived experience

Pandemic recovery and resourcing

A number of respondents reflected that the mission statement should be developed to include or take account of recovery from the pandemic, and the Criminal Justice Voluntary Sector Forum adds that it should:

'reflect the transformative ambitions of the Justice Recover Renew Transform programme, which seeks to utilise the learning and opportunities presented by the COVID-19 pandemic to reform and drive improvements to the justice system.'

Associated with recovery from the pandemic, some respondents highlighted the need for investment and resources to deliver on community justice.

Penal policy reflections

Some respondents provided reflections on the Scottish Government's penal policy (i.e. policy relating to how those who have committed criminal offences are dealt with), with some detailing the link between penal policy and achievements in community justice, and others stating that the policy as set out in the mission statement has not yet had the desired effect.

Not necessarily needed

A small number of respondents suggested that a mission statement was not necessarily needed, given the intention to simplify and streamline the strategy.

Question 5: How useful do you think the current vision and mission statement are at helping partners and communities to work together effectively to drive improvement in community justice?

Forty-six respondents responded to this closed question. Of those that responded:

  • 11% answered 'very useful'
  • 28% answered 'quite useful'
  • 33% answered 'neutral'
  • 26% answered 'not very useful'
  • 2% answered 'not at all useful'

Forty-two respondents responded to the open 'Please explain your response further' section of the question, and the following themes emerged:

Theme identified Number of comments relating to this theme
Partnership working 17
Audience and language 11
Action plan 9
Links to other related policy areas 9
Needs updated to reflect developments 9
OPIF 4

Partnership working

A number of respondents noted that the broad nature of the vision and mission statement allowed a range of partners and local priorities to be reflected in the strategy.

Some however noted that the shared responsibility of community justice should be emphasised more clearly, and that the roles and responsibilities of local and national partners, including the third sector, require to be more clearly defined. This would ensure partners can understand their role, participate and contribute to the delivery of driving improvement in community justice.

Some respondents stated that partnership working or multi-agency collaborative working should be explicitly included within the vision and mission statement. Some noted that the strategy alone will not drive effective partnership working, but that a clear strategic direction can be helpful.

Audience and language

A number of respondents noted that there is clarity of language in terms of the expectations of the vision and mission statement, whilst others noted that the language is not easily understood by all, including those in the community, and does not help partners work together to drive improvement. Linked to this, a small number of respondents highlighted that the audience of the strategy needs to be clearer.

Action plan

Linked to the point outlined above that the strategy alone will not drive effective partnership working, a number of respondents suggested that a clear action plan is needed alongside a strategy to ensure effective implementation. For example, reference was made to 'specific aims and actions with appropriate timescales', 'a manageable, measurable and accountable range of key priorities and associated actions for all national and local community justice, public health and protecting people partners' and 'a clear action plan and oversight arrangements'.

A small number also noted that the fulfilment of the vision and mission statement is dependent on other factors including, 'resource availability, judicial decision making, and different communities' experiences of community justice'.

Links to other related policy areas

Some respondents stated that the consideration and alignment of this strategy to other related strategies and policy areas, for example housing, youth justice and employability, would be helpful in ensuring a shared understanding of complex and multiple needs, preventing silo working and encouraging cross sectoral working.

Needs updated to reflect developments

A number suggested that the current vision and mission statement require updating to reflect developments, including:

  • Pandemic and recovery
  • The creation of Community Justice Scotland
  • Utilising a public health approach and focus on prevention and early intervention

OPIF

Lastly, a small number of respondents highlighted that the vision and mission statement may be more meaningful for partners and communities, when viewed in a local context, supported by the OPIF, which is a more practical tool to drive improvement.

3.3 Priorities

This section asked questions about the priorities and associated improvement actions in the current strategy.

Question 6: Do you think that a renewed community justice strategy needs a focus on each of the following?

Forty-eight respondents responded to this closed question in total. This question asked respondents to select each option that applied.

Of those that responded:

  • 94% selected 'Effective Use of Evidence-Based Interventions'
  • 90% selected 'Equal Access to Services'
  • 83% selected 'Improved Community Understanding and Participation'
  • 81% selected 'Strategic Planning and Partnership Working'

Effective Use of Evidence-Based Interventions

Forty-two respondents responded to the open 'Please add any comments on this priority' section of the question, and the following themes emerged:

Theme identified Number of comments relating to this theme
Evidence-base 22
Delivery of interventions 9
Clarity of the priority 7
Experience of victims 4

Evidence-base

A number of respondents commented on the importance of focussing resource on what is effective and therefore improves outcomes and promotes public trust and confidence in community justice.

Others commented on the evidence-base for interventions, with some stating that there is an extensive, up to date, evidence-base on what works, that needs to be translated into practice, and continually evaluated. One respondent suggested that this evidence-base should also drive the development of strategic planning of local community justice partnerships and include the use of strategic needs and strengths assessments.

A small number suggested that evidenced-based interventions should be rephrased as evidenced-based practice, and Social Work Scotland noted that this should include 'trauma-informed practice and the 'what works' and desistance models of practice'.

Delivery of interventions

Some respondents commented on the delivery of interventions noting that they should be responsive to risk and need, be person-centred, and focussed on the quality of relationships between those receiving support and those delivering the intervention. Social Work Scotland also noted the importance of high-quality training across the sector and the use of consistent quality assurance and improvement processes for interventions.

Social Work Scotland also commented on the availability of evidence-based, accredited programmes across Scotland.

Clarity of the priority

A number of respondents commented that the language of this priority should be simplified and that there could be a clearer ask in relation to specific actions and the use of evidence based interventions.

Experience of victims

A small number of respondents highlighted that the experience of victims, public safety and the nature and severity of an offence should be reflected in the interventions used.

Equal Access to Services

Forty-one respondents responded to the open 'Please add any comments on this priority' section of the question, and the following themes emerged:

Theme identified Number of comments relating to this theme
Meaning of equal access to services 21
Current availability of services 13
Difficulties with improving equal access to services 11
Specific and measurable ask 8

Meaning of equal access to services

A number of respondents commented on the importance of consistency of provision and equal access to services and what, in their view, this means.

Some noted that it is key to human rights, and that timeous access to services is fundamental to providing opportunities for intervention and diversion, and in addressing underlying multiple and complex needs and therefore reducing reoffending.

Others noted that the services should be person-centred, high quality, relevant and appropriate.

A number reflected on the need to provide support services to victims and to give people affected by crime a voice.

Other respondents noted that equal access to services should not equate to equal service delivery and structures across Scotland. For example, some noted the differences between rural and urban areas, and the fact that local partnerships should be able to agree how to meet local needs and deliver services.

Others noted the need to address equal access of services by different groups of people who may require different responses, and that intersectionality should be considered.

Current availability of services

A number of respondents noted that the availability of services across Scotland is currently inconsistent, with one referring to a 'postcode lottery', and that this should therefore remain a priority.

Others reflected on the fact that those in the justice system often do not have equal access to services for a number of reasons, including custody transitions, integration and visibility in communities and the communication between services.

Difficulties with improving equal access to services

Some respondents noted the difficulties with improving equal access to services, including:

  • The diverse geography of Scotland, including rural, remote and island communities
  • Resourcing and limited service capacity

Specific and measurable ask

A number of respondents commented on the nature of the actions associated with this priority and noted that they must be more specific, measurable and linked to the person-centred outcomes within the OPIF.

Improved Community Understanding and Participation

Forty respondents responded to the open 'Please add any comments on this priority' section of the question, and the following themes emerged:

Theme identified Number of comments relating to this theme
Benefits of understanding and participation 19
Comments on community engagement and participation 12
Current lack of understanding 10
How community understanding and participation can be improved 9
Difficulties with improving understanding and participation 7

Benefits of understanding and participation

The largest number of respondents highlighted the associated benefits of improved community understanding and participation, as well as the increased understanding of justice partners, including:

  • Reducing the fear of crime
  • Changing attitudes to community justice
  • Increasing trust and confidence in community disposals
  • Reducing stigma
  • Increasing opportunities for inclusion and integration
  • Achieving outcomes

Comments on community engagement and participation

A number of respondents commented on community engagement and participation, highlighting the importance of the involvement of victims of crime, those with lived experience of the justice system, and their families, in the planning, development and delivery of services.

Current lack of understanding

Some respondents highlighted the current lack of understanding of the term community justice and the role of community justice partners, including confusion with the term criminal justice and the work of justice social work.

How community understanding and participation can be improved

Some suggested ways in which greater understanding and participation could be achieved, including:

  • Additional resources
  • Linking with existing structures (work being carried out by Community Justice Scotland on communications, the National Standards for Community Engagement, Community Planning Partnerships, Health & Social Care Partnerships, etc.)
  • Publishing a shorter and more user friendly strategy, with clear definitions and consistent messaging
  • A national communications strategy/plan

Difficulties with improving understanding and participation

Lastly, a number of respondents highlighted the difficulties of communicating and engaging on community justice. For example, opinions may differ across different communities (e.g. those living in areas with higher crime rates and antisocial behaviour may have a different perspective on some issues) and the complexity and breadth of scope of community justice.

Strategic Planning and Partnership Working

Thirty-nine respondents responded to the open 'Please add any comments on this priority' section of the question, and the following themes emerged:

Theme identified Number of comments relating to this theme
Partnership working and the role of partners 21
Difficulties with improving strategic planning and partnership working 13
Benefits of strategic planning and partnership working 10
Involving communities and the third sector 6
Role of Community Justice Scotland 4

Partnership working and the role of partners

The majority of respondents reflected on the importance of partnership working in community justice and its inclusion in the strategy.

A number of these responses however noted that further clarity on the roles, responsibilities and the accountability of community justice partners, nationally and locally, is needed. Some suggested that this clarity would allow partners to more effectively contribute towards driving improvement in community justice.

Difficulties with improving strategic planning and partnership working

A number of responses noted the difficulties with improving strategic planning and partnership working, including:

  • The cross-sectoral nature and breadth of community justice, and existing structures and strategies that are in place across different sectors
  • Working across remote, rural and island communities
  • The potential implications of the proposed National Care Service
  • Budget and resourcing
  • Competing demands of individual community justice partners, locally and nationally
  • The experience and expertise of the workforce

Benefits of strategic planning and partnership working

A number of responses noted the benefits of improving strategic planning and partnership working, including:

  • Sharing good practice
  • Making best use of resources
  • Reducing duplication
  • Providing more streamlined, and better co-ordinated services
  • Gaining local buy-in
  • Whole system responses to offending and re-offending
  • Embedding community justice as a key consideration for all partners

Involving communities and the third sector

Some respondents highlighted the importance of involving communities and the third sector in strategic planning.

The Criminal Justice Voluntary Sector Forum noted the key challenges and concerns around third sector involvement and that it would welcome a clear statement in the revised strategy, 'on the role of the third sector as core partners in local community justice activity, alongside a clear plan for how to support improved third sector participation in community justice in future'.

Role of Community Justice Scotland

A small number of respondents suggested that a revised strategy would not need such a focus on strategic planning and partnership working, given the role of Community Justice Scotland, the annual reporting cycle and the OPIF. A number also suggested that this element could be included in a self-evaluation framework, as part of the OPIF.

Question 7: How useful do you think the current priorities and improvement actions are at helping partners and communities to work together effectively to drive improvement in community justice?

Forty-five respondents responded to this closed question. Of those that responded:

  • 18% answered 'very useful'
  • 44% answered' quite useful'
  • 16% answered 'neutral'
  • 18% answered 'not very useful'
  • 4% answered 'not at all useful'

Forty respondents responded to the open 'Please explain your response further' section of the question, and the following themes emerged:

Theme identified Number of comments relating to this theme
Alignment of the strategy to the work of partners 18
Updates and revision required 11
Impact of the strategy 10
Specific actions and clarity of roles and responsibilities for partners 8

Alignment of the strategy to the work of partners

A number of respondents reflected on the alignment of the direction in the strategy to the work of local, national and third sector partners.

Some stated that the priorities help to raise the profile of and focus community justice work within their organisation or local area, and to work with and see the connections to the work of relevant partners.

Some suggested that it is important that local plans align to the national strategy and framework, and that there is consistency in planning and delivery, and others noted that local plans had been more effective in driving improvement. One noted that the improvement actions in the strategy were overly prescriptive and not useful to every partnership.

Updates and revision required

A number noted that the priorities were helpful at the time the strategy was published, when community justice partnerships were being established and CJOIPs were being developed, but that some revision and updating is necessary, including ensuring alignment to the OPIF.

Impact of the strategy

Some respondents highlighted the recent Audit Scotland and Scottish Sentencing Council reports on community justice, and the need to be able to drive improvement, and demonstrate that improvement, in community justice and the role that a revised strategy could play in this.

Related to this, a small number of respondents commented on the need for consistent data, to be able to assess impact and drive improvement.

Specific actions and clarity of roles and responsibilities for partners

Some respondents noted that more specific actions, with associated timescales, and clearer roles and responsibilities for community justice partners would assist with ensuring that progress is made. The Criminal Justice Voluntary Sector Forum reflected on the learning gained from working in partnership and continually monitoring implementation during the pandemic, for example on the Emergency Early Release Programme, that could inform the development and implementation of the strategy.

3.4 Principles

This section asked questions about the principles in the current strategy.

Question 8: To what extent do you agree or disagree with the current principles?

Forty-seven respondents responded to this closed question. Of those that responded:

  • 21% answered 'strongly agree'
  • 68% answered 'agree'
  • 9% answered 'neutral'
  • 2% answered 'disagree'
  • 0% answered 'strongly disagree'

Forty-five respondents responded to the open 'Please explain your response further' section of the question, and the following themes emerged:

Theme identified Number of comments relating to this theme
Agree generally with the principles 37
Suggested additions 19
Wording considerations 13
Role and needs of victims 7
Reflecting principles in practice 7

Agree generally with the principles

The majority of respondents who answered this question generally agreed with the principles, with some stating that they remain helpful, clear, relevant and evidence-based.

Some however raised specific topics for inclusion and other considerations, as per the below.

Suggested additions

A number of respondents suggested additions to the current list of principles that they felt were missing, including:

  • Trauma-informed and responsive approach
  • Human-rights based approach
  • Person centred relationships within service delivery
  • Addressing causes of offending and supporting those in the justice system to access universal support services
  • Prevention and early intervention
  • Third sector services
  • The role and needs of families
  • The need to engage meaningfully with the voice of lived experience, by those whose lives have been effected by crime

Wording considerations

Some respondents stated that the principles could be considered complex, including within the context of the other strategy components and how they fit together, and could be better expressed. Some suggested that the principles should be shorter, sharper and more memorable, and one suggested that they should be reordered to reflect importance and current thinking.

A number also noted the same concern as with the vision, and the use of the word 're-integrating'. Other specific wording considerations include that 'People must be held to account' could be considered to be too vague, 'practice' is a more suitable descriptor than 'intervention' and 'engaging communities' may be more accurate than 'informing' communities.

Role and needs of victims

A number of respondents specifically noted that the role and needs of victims should be reflected more prominently in the principles.

Reflecting principles in practice

Some respondents noted that despite the fact that the principles are agreeable, there must be a shared understanding of what they mean and they must be reflected and translated into practice. Some also noted that clear aims, actions, structures and resources are needed to achieve these principles.

Question 9: How useful do you think the current principles are at helping partners and communities to work together effectively to drive improvement in community justice?

Forty-five respondents responded to this closed question. Of those that responded:

  • 11% answered 'very useful'
  • 51% answered 'quite useful'
  • 27% answered 'neutral'
  • 7% answered 'not very useful'
  • 4% answered 'not at all useful'

Forty-two respondents responded to the open 'Please explain your response further' section of the question, and the following themes emerged:

Theme identified Number of comments relating to this theme
Principles are generally useful 15
Implementation 15
Suggested improvements 14

Principles are generally useful

A number of respondents noted that the principles are generally useful and helpful for partners, as they provide context and a strong starting point for partners to build on.

Some however raised specific points on implementation and suggested improvements, as per the below.

Implementation

Some respondents noted that whilst the principles are generally useful, further clarity in relation to implementation of the principles is needed. Including the roles and responsibilities of partners and the funding and resources needed for partners to follow the principles.

Some respondents also commented on the difficulty of measuring progress towards improvement in community justice without national outcome evidence.

Suggested improvements

A number of respondents suggested improvements that could be made to the principles in order to help partners and communities to work together effectively to drive improvement in community justice, including:

  • Embedding partnership working, and joint action planning
  • More specific and clearer language
  • Emphasis on community engagement and public understanding
  • Increasing the shared understanding of community justice
  • Reflecting the learning from people with lived experience, and their families, within the principles
  • Closer alignment with the wider strategy and OPIF

Contact

Email: cjstrategy@gov.scot

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