3 Community Justice Partners: Introduction
The new model for Community Justice, underpinned by the Community Justice (Scotland) Act 2016, has transformed the community justice landscape to bring a local perspective to community justice.
By community justice we mean: "the collection of individuals, agencies and services that work together to support, manage and supervise people who have committed offences, from the point of arrest, through prosecution, community disposal or custody and alternatives to these, until they are reintegrated into the community. Local communities and the third sector are a vital part of this process which aims to prevent and reduce further offending and the harm that it causes, to promote desistance, social inclusion, and citizenship." 
The new model for Community Justice, underpinned by the Community Justice (Scotland) Act 2016, has transformed the community justice landscape to bring a local perspective to community justice. The new model places planning at the local level where decisions can be made by people who know their area best. A legal duty is placed on statutory Community Justice Partners to engage in this planning process and report annually on their progress towards improving community justice outcomes.
Partnership working is crucial to improving community justice outcomes and community planning partnerships have an important role to play in facilitating this. In addition to the statutory partners, this requires the input of a diverse range of individuals and organisations covering a wide-range of interests, including housing, employability, and health and wellbeing. The diagram below shows just some of the diverse range of partners and stakeholders who have a role to play in community justice.
The third sector plays an important role in improving community justice outcomes. They are a source of innovation, responsiveness and flexibility, and can provide a meaningful connection to otherwise hard-to-reach service users and communities. The most effective way to improve outcomes for people and communities is by joined up working with the Third Sector at the planning stage.
Community is at the heart of the new model. Whether challenging stigma, employing people with convictions, or participating in community justice planning - improving community justice outcomes will require the involvement and support of local people and businesses. It is vital that this includes victims of crime, people who have committed offences, families, and the community bodies that represent them.
The national strategy for community justice will help this broad range of stakeholders to work together. There is a statutory duty on partners to have regard to this strategy which provides a shared vision to help partners and communities work together effectively to improve community justice outcomes, while retaining the flexibility to adapt to local needs and circumstances. 
Continuous improvement will provide the new model with the flexibility to respond to new issues as they arise. An outcomes, performance and improvement framework has been developed alongside the strategy and will provide partners with opportunities to record and share achievements while identifying learning and innovation to drive improvement, with the assistance of Community Justice Scotland.
A collaborative approach has been used to develop this strategy, and the broad range of members on the steering group helped us to capitalise on a wide range of expertise. We face complex and long-standing challenges but we look forward to new opportunities to address these issues together. 
"We believe that the vision for community justice is the right one to improve outcomes for the people of Scotland. We must prevent and reduce further offending in a fair and effective way by addressing its underlying causes. Under the new model for community justice, we will seize these opportunities for collaboration to drive innovation and improve community justice outcomes."
National Strategy for Community Justice: Steering Group, 2016
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