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Leaders named for new body to combat reoffending

19 September 2016

The director of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit has been named as chief executive of the new organisation charged with preventing and reducing reoffending in Scotland.

Karyn McCluskey will take the helm at Community Justice Scotland In October, to prepare for its formal launch in April 2017. The new body will develop expertise and provide advice to ministers and local government leaders on better co-ordination of public services, third sector and other partners in tackling reoffending.

Ms McCluskey, a member of the World Health Organisation Violence Prevention Alliance, helped set up the Medics Against Violence charity in Scotland, which attends schools to give inputs on violence reduction, injury and keeping safe. In 2009 she was seconded to the Metropolitan police to develop a violence plan. She has published work on armed robbery teams, alcohol and violence interventions in a clinical setting and violence reduction. 

Chairing Community Justice Scotland will be Jean Couper, chair until later this year of the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission and a former chair of the Scottish Legal Aid Board. She took up her post at the start of September.

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson commented: “Our approach to community justice in Scotland signals our strong belief in reviewing how things have been done in the past, and our determination to follow the evidence of what works in turning people away from crime.

“Our Programme for Government made clear that addressing inequalities is vital to a modern Scotland, and a key part is our vision for fairer, smarter justice. That means moving towards a society where those who have been through the justice system can, having paid their debt to society, be supported to contribute to their community, pursuing their aspirations, alongside families, friends and fellow citizens.

“From next April Community Justice Scotland will be tasked with identifying and promoting best practice from the more effective approaches across the country, including to robust community sentences that make a real difference. Jean and Karyn will bring a wealth of experience to help deliver a world-leading approach to tackling crime and reoffending that builds safer, stronger, inclusive communities.”


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