Victim centred approach progress update
The purpose of this paper is to update the taskforce on progress to date in the Victim Centred Approach (VCA) workstream and outline the next steps to realising our vision for a VCA in the Scottish criminal justice system.
The VCA workstream was tasked with three key areas of work by the taskforce:
- an exercise to map current provision against the four approaches set out in a previous paper
- the development of a vision for a VCA and
- the development of a new model for a single point of contact type approach for victims throughout Scotland
These actions were agreed as being the most important to provide a solution to the problems described by victims and set out in various reports over many years, for example Lesley Thomson QC’s report into Victim Care in the Justice System (2017). Consistent feedback from victims has described being unable to navigate the criminal justice system due to its complexity and lack of transparency. In addition, the system is often described as re-traumatising in nature as victims are often required to re-tell their stories to a number of different people working in various agencies in order to access information about various processes and proceedings.
The taskforce, at its November 2021 meeting, agreed with the vision for the justice system set out by the VCA workstream.
The taskforce also agreed that additional resource would be made available to the workstream to commission an external organisation to take forward the scoping and modelling work.
The VCA workstream appointed a co-chair and Colin Spivey, Chief Executive of the Parole Board for Scotland, took up appointment - joining co-chair Kate Wallace, Chief Executive of Victim Support Scotland.
A small steering group was appointed from within the VCA Governance Group to oversee the externally commissioned project element of the workplan. The steering group met in February and March 2022 to discuss and refine the brief for this work.
The VCA Governance Group met in April 2022 to discuss this and provided further insight that is being incorporated into the brief. The group emphasised the need for fully scoped and costed models that can be implemented rather than another ‘think piece’.
The governance group agreed that mapping work, previously being planned as a separate exercise should form part of the scoping and modelling work, and the group gave valuable insight into how this work should be shaped to ensure it gathers useful information to inform the wider modelling work.
In September 2022, the steering group issued an invitation to tender to several service design organisations inviting them “to provide the workstream with tangible, fully scoped and costed models of support that can be implemented” for the four approaches set out in a previous paper. These approaches are:
- continuation of current position
- expansion of current approach
- expansion of an existing service or a new service to provide a single end-to-end support service and
- transformational change of the criminal justice system
Two proposals were received and pitch presentation meetings were held on 2 November. The Group agreed a preferred supplier and VSS is in the process of awarding a contract to Journey Associates to complete this work. They are due to start work in February 2023.
Taskforce members are invited to note the progress being made on the VCA workstream.
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