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The Strategy for Justice in Scotland: Evidence Paper

The Strategy for Justice in Scotland: Evidence Paper

Friday, September 21, 2012

ISBN: 9781780458885

This paper provides the evidence underpinning the Strategy for Justice in Scotland.

Executive Summary

This paper provides the evidence underpinning the Strategy for Justice in Scotland.

This document sets out the evidence and analysis that underpins the justice strategy. It contains the detail, references and supporting graphics that complement the main strategy document. It is structured in five chapters.

The first chapter considers the wider context for the justice system covering demographic, social, economic and technological factors. The strategy has been informed by an understanding of this broader context, which helps us to interpret the trends in justice and community safety outcomes and to consider why Scotland fares relatively well or poorly on different justice outcomes.

The second chapter examines some of the key trends in justice and community safety. It compares Scotland’s current performance both to international peers and to our own historical performance. This analysis helps to identify priority areas for intervention.

The third chapter presents a set of short “evidence accounts” across each of the eight justice outcomes. Each high-level account summarises baseline evidence on what we do and do not know about each outcome and provides initial insights into ‘what works’ in delivering each outcome. This evidence has helped us to frame our strategic approach and points the way forward for further analysis.

The fourth chapter explores the geography of justice in Scotland. It demonstrates how performance against justice and community safety outcomes is uneven across Scotland. It shows how poor justice outcomes are often associated with poor socio-economic outcomes more generally, and how these tend to concentrate in particular areas of multiple deprivation. This analysis underlines the need for both the spatial targeting of certain interventions and for holistic approaches to tackling multiple deprivation.

The equalities assessment in Chapter 5 presents an overview of equalities evidence relating to justice, including aspects such as which groups in society are disproportionately likely to be victims of crime or to experience civil justice problems. This assessment has helped to shape the strategic priorities and is a useful guide for future policy formulation.