This Government has a clear vision of how a progressive and co-ordinated justice system can contribute to the development of a just, equitable and inclusive society, by establishing a system that holds individuals to account for their offending, but which ultimately supports them to rehabilitate themselves, improve their life chances, and make positive contributions to our communities.

Our “Vision and Priorities for Justice in Scotland” made clear that justice organisations should work in partnership with stakeholders from across the wider public and third sector – improving the preparation and support for those in and leaving custody, and reducing the risk of reoffending.

Under the Scottish Government’s 1 National Strategy for Community Justice, Local Authorities and other statutory partners have a key role to play in improving community justice outcomes. The better joint working and information sharing between statutory housing providers, community justice partners and other third sector organisations that the Strategy affords, will provide an invaluable opportunity to ensure better shared outcomes for people in the criminal justice system.

A vital part in preparing people in and leaving prison for successful reintegration into the community is ensuring that their housing needs are identified at the earliest opportunity, throughout their sentence and as part of the preparation for their release, and that their needs are then met in a timely and efficient fashion.

That is why we both welcome the development of the Sustainable Housing on Release for Everyone (SHORE) standards. These standards are an important resource to support individual’s reintegration by improving how their housing needs are met. This will improve the individual’s chances of reintegrating back into their community successfully, not just through meeting their housing needs, but also by improving their access to other public services, and supporting their desistance from future offending. Having a more consistent and effective set of processes will also benefit housing providers, and reducing the churn of individuals in and out of prison and public housing, will reduce wasted and repetitive activity.

The full document can be viewed here.