MacKay Hannah

ONLINE CONFERENCE Tackling Crime and Delivering Justice in Scotland: The Scottish Government's long term vision

Thu 11th Feb 2021

OVERVIEW View Conference Agenda

This online conference examines the Scottish Government's intentions to set out a long term vision for the Scottish justice system, how that vision can be translated into deliverable action and what is required if policies and services are to effectively tackle the high levels of imprisonment created by a cycle of offending and re-offending.

Humza Yousaf MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Scottish Government said: "...the progressive reforms that we have to make to our punitive policy. That involves not just politicians; it involves the judiciary, the third sector, schools, early intervention, social work and many others.....There absolutely has to be a culture change, or a mindset change, in how we approach punitive policy. That high prison occupancy rate - the highest imprisonment rate in western Europe - is a stain on our conscience." Statement to Justice Committee, Scottish Parliament, 11 June 2019

What is required for a new approach to criminal justice in Scotland which aligns public service, cultural, health and environmental factors to work? Is it possible to deliver an inclusive strategy which sees justice as part of a much wider policy challenge across the economy, health, education and broader public services as well as public engagement?

We have lower levels of recorded crime than in recent decades and yet the highest imprisonment rate in western Europe. What then do we need to understand about the fundamentals of crime in Scotland and the factors which underpin it in order to break the cycle of imprisonment? As we look to focus on criminal justice interventions that are most likely to lead to minimising reoffending, what resources and skillsets are required to properly support rehabilitation?

The Scottish Government wants to see effective intervention that works on pre-offending, tackles reoffending and supports re-integration. How much can shifting criminal justice interventions to the earliest possible point in the offending and pre-offending cycle help?

This conference will examine what is needed to deliver an effective long-term vision for Scottish justice, exploring how we can protect communities while delivering effective prevention, maximise the use of non-custodial alternatives and re-think justice to shape and take advantage of what works best.

Key Points

  • Understand where crime in Scotland currently stands and why
  • Examine whether justice social work can bring Christie Commission principles to life
  • Discuss how community sentences can be made to work best
  • Assess the role of mental health, early intervention and factors such as drugs misuse
  • Reflect on prevention and rehabilitation: effective intervention and smart disposals
  • Discover what the Scottish Government wants to do about whole-system changes
  • Get informed on delivering multi-agency justice policy and find out what an inclusion-based approach should look like



Humza Yousaf MSP

Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Scottish Government

Graham Goulden

Member, LEAP Scotland (Law Enforcement Action Partnership)

Jane Kelly

Service Manager (Strategic Scrutiny - Justice), Care Inspectorate

Karyn McCluskey

Chief Executive, Community Justice Scotland

Martin Dorchester

Chief Executive, Includem

John Hutchison

MD, Tern Business Systems Design Ltd and Lead Designer for the CLF and SCP projects

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"I felt all the speakers were very good and gave informative presentations."

Gary MacKenzie, Criminal Justice South Ayrshire,
Criminal Justice Scotland Conference, 23/01/18

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