Vision for Justice in Scotland: measurement framework

Measurement framework to support the delivery of the Vision for Justice in Scotland.


The Vision for Justice in Scotland was published in 2022.

One of the principles which underpins the Vision is that it is:

‘Evidence based: Justice services will implement transformative actions which are informed, funded and prioritised by recognised, credible and robust evidence, and are routinely monitored, evaluated and reviewed’

As part of this principle, a measurement framework for the Vision has been developed. It provides information on the progress towards the high level outcomes outlined in the Vision.


The measurement framework is a tool to allow monitoring of high-level progress against the aims in the Vision for Justice in Scotland over the long term. The indicators in each area are indicative of the change we would hope and expect to see - not a comprehensive audit of all measures that could indicate change.


The indicators have been selected to give an idea of long-term progress against high level outcomes. It is worth noting that for many outcomes there is no one perfect measure of progress, therefore one or more proxy measures have been used that give a partial measurement.

In some cases, work is ongoing on developing data and/or measures, either by Scottish Government or partners. In these cases it is expected that progress will be reviewed in the next publication. These are discussed in more detail in the Appendix.

How to use the measurement framework

The measurement framework can be used at a high level, to highlight areas that may require further investigation to assess whether they may need a renewed focus or change in approach.

The measurement framework is not a performance measurement tool, and cannot be used to explain why changes (positive or negative) are occurring, to assess the impact of specific policies, or give up to date performance data.

The data are presented in two stages – headline indicators under each theme, and then more detailed trend data.

When examining the current year data within a trend, it is important to pick a base year where it was ‘business as usual’. It is advisable not to use 2020/21 or 2021/22, as much of the evidence has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, where possible data is shown from 2015/16 up to the most recent data available.

It is normal for data points to move up and down by small amounts (variability) throughout the years, and therefore it is important to look at trend data over at least four years where possible to explore whether changes are indeed changes, or natural variability.

The framework reports national trends, however the data for some of these indicators can be looked at by protected characteristics to see whether all groups of people are having the same experience or not. For instance, evidence shows that women and people from minority ethnic groups sometimes have a different experience of the justice system. Some indicators in the framework are shown disaggregated by particular protected characteristics, where differences were highlighted in the Vision. However, differences other than those shown here will and do exist for other indicators and groups – sources are provided for all data, further information can be found on the Equality Evidence Finder.



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