News In Focus
Further community justice plans out for views
Further proposals on the reorganisation of community-based services for managing offenders and preventing reoffending have been put out to consultation by the Scottish Government.
The new paper, Future Model for Community Justice in Scotland, proposes a new national body, Community Justice Improvement Scotland, to provide independent assurance to ministers on the achievement of outcomes across Scotland. Community justice authorities would cease to exist, and local strategic planning and service delivery would be the responsibility of partnerships of bodies including local authorities, NHS boards and Police Scotland.
Responses to an earlier consultation, which ended a year ago, failed to offer clear support for any of the options then put forward, and the further model has been developed in consultation with COSLA and social work chiefs.
Previous reports have highlighted serious shortcomings in the existing system for delivering offender services in the community. In November 2012 Audit Scotland published a report on reducing reoffending which found that there are many bodies involved, with "different governance and accountability arrangements and geographic boundaries, resulting in a complex landscape". Community justice authorities had "made progress in bringing people together but have had little impact on reducing reoffending"; and "the way they were set up and inflexible funding have significantly limited their effectiveness".
Responses to the present consultation are due by 2 July 2014.