In this area of Scotland, the remit of reducing re-offending was formerly held by South West Scotland Community Justice Authority which was one of eight devolved government bodies across Scotland which operated between 2006-2017. Following reports by Audit Scotland and the Commission for Women Offenders in 2011/12, which recommended changes to the way in which community justice was delivered, the Scottish Government embarked on a series of consultations on a Future Model for Community Justice.
These consultations resulted in new legislation, The Community Justice (Scotland) Act 2016 which laid the basis for the dissolution of Scotland’s eight Community Justice Authorities in favour of a more local arrangement for community justice, and which put a legal duty on a set of statutory partners in each local authority area to engage in a planning process. South West Scotland Community Justice Authority operated across four local authority areas: East Ayrshire; North Ayrshire; South Ayrshire and Dumfries & Galloway.
An Ayrshire-wide community justice partnership, Community Justice Ayrshire, was established as well as a separate community justice partnership for Dumfries & Galloway.
The legislation also established a new national body, Community Justice Scotland. The aim of Community Justice Scotland is to provide leadership for the community justice sector; offer opportunities for innovation, learning & development; provide independent assurance on the delivery of improved outcomes; and provide improvement support where required.
Community Justice means:
- Tackling the causes of offending to prevent it happening
- Working with people who are at risk of re-offending
- Supporting people who have committed crimes to move away from offending.
The Community Justice Ayrshire Shadow Board was established and met alongside the Board of South West Scotland Community Justice Authority on a quarterly basis during 2016-17, prior to full establishment on 1 April 2017.