Briefing for Stage 1 debate of the Community Justice (Scotland) Bill

By: Shelter Scotland
Published: November 2015

Briefing for Stage 1 debate of the Community Justice (Scotland) Bill

Shelter Scotland supports the broad aim of this Bill to create a new model of community justice that will deliver better outcomes for offenders and reduce re-offending. However, we believe that the Bill represents a significant missed opportunity to ensure that prison leavers' need for housing is addressed, along with other basic needs, which must be met to enable people to stop reoffending.

We believe that the Bill would be considerably strengthened by including the following changes:

- The Bill should name housing as an area that the Strategy must address.

- The definitions of 'support' and 'general services' should be broader to reflect the full breadth of services that are necessary to support people to stop reoffending.

- There needs to be a duty for local criminal justice partnerships to engage with both voluntary sector partners and housing associations to ensure the new model is truly collaborative and effective.