Holyrood committee consults on community justice bill

Christine Grahame

The Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee has called for submissions of written evidence on the government’s proposed Community Justice (Scotland) Bill.

The legislation, which was introduced to the devolved legislature on 7 May, is intended to help create a stronger community justice system based on local collaborative strategic planning and delivery, with national leadership, support and assurance.

It would abolish the eight existing community justice authorities and give local community justice partners responsibility for local planning and monitoring of community justice services.

A new national body would also be created to provide strategic leadership and oversight of the services.

Christine Grahame MSP, justice committee convener, said: “It is in everyone’s interest to have effective community justice services which manage and support offenders in local communities to help reduce their re-offending.

“It is therefore essential that this Bill encourages and supports the wide range of service providers to work together to achieve the best outcomes for offenders and the wider community.

“The committee is keen to hear from the service providers and others with an interest in this area whether they think the new model proposed for community justice services would address the weaknesses in existing arrangements identified by the Commission on Women Offenders and Audit Scotland in their 2012 reports.

“We also want to know if the bill achieves the right balance between national and local responsibility.”

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