National Strategy for Community Justice

This strategy provides a shared vision to help partners and communities work together effectively to improve community justice outcomes.

2 The Scottish Government's Vision for Community Justice


Scotland is a safer, fairer and more inclusive nation where we:

  • prevent and reduce further offending by addressing its underlying causes; and
  • safely and effectively manage and support those who have committed offences to help them reintegrate into the community and realise their potential for the benefit of all citizens.

Mission Statement

We will achieve this vision by effectively implementing the Scottish Government's plans for penal policy to:

  • Deliver a decisive shift in the balance between community and custodial sentences by:
  • increasing the use of community-based interventions; and
  • reducing the use of short term custodial sentences;
  • Improve the reintegration from custody to community.

The new model for community justice, with its focus on strong partnership working to ensure effective intervention from the point of arrest onwards, provides the delivery framework for achieving both this mission and the wider vision.


Extensive consultation with stakeholders has made clear that the Scottish Government's vision and mission will be delivered by prioritising action in the following areas:

  • Improved Community Understanding and Participation.
  • Strategic Planning and Partnership Working.
  • Effective Use of Evidence-Based Interventions.
  • Equal access to Services.


Our vision for community justice is underpinned by the following principles:

  • People must be held to account for their offences, in a way that recognises the impact on victims of crime and is mindful of risks to the public, while being proportionate and effective in preventing and reducing further offending.
  • Re-integrating those who have committed offences into the community, and helping them to realise their potential, will create a safer and fairer society for all.
  • Every intervention should maximise opportunities for preventing and reducing offending as early as possible, before problems escalate.
  • Community justice outcomes cannot be improved by one stakeholder alone. We must work in partnership to address these complex issues.
  • Informed communities who participate in community justice will lead to more effective services and policies with greater legitimacy.
  • High quality, person-centred and collaborative services should be available to address the needs of those who have committed offences, their families, and victims of crime.


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