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by Tom Halpin
02 October 2015
Third sector must have seat at the table in community justice reforms

Third sector must have seat at the table in community justice reforms

The arrangements proposed within the Community Justice (Scotland) Bill offer an important opportunity to restructure how we deliver services that are so necessary if we are to challenge people who are offending and support them as participating citizens who do not reoffend.

The diversity of Scotland’s third sector is crucial to delivering services through partnerships, particularly if we are to meet the complex needs of this stigmatised group who are – all too often – excluded from positive opportunity.

A recent scoping initiative showed that around 30 per cent of community justice interventions are already being delivered by third sector organisations.

It is therefore essential that this contribution is recognised in the legislative content of the Community Justice Bill and not simply regarded as a consultee and useful provider of services.

A strong third sector must have a seat at the table where it is fully involved in the planning and design of services; a point now echoed by partners across the justice sector.

Tom Halpin is chief executive of Sacro

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