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Community Justice Strategic Assessment for Dumfries & Galloway
Community Justice Strategic Assessment for Dumfries & GallowayJust Communities – strengthening relationships, building resilience & reducing reoffendingVikki Binnie, Community Justice Partnership Manager
DUMFRIES AND GALLOWAY COMMUNITY JUSTICE STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT
BackgroundThe Community Justice (Scotland) Bill was passed by the Scottish Parliament on 11 February 2016, receiving Royal Assent on 21 March 2016 making it The Community Justice (Scotland) Act 2016[footnoteRef:1] [1: The legislation is available at the following link http://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2016/10/contents/enacted ]
This will see the disestablishment of Scotland's 8 Community Justice Authorities on 31 March 2017 with the establishment of a national body, Community Justice Scotland, and arrangements for local strategic planning and delivery of community justice being undertaken within local Community Planning Partnership structures. This legislation seeks to establish:"a new model for community justice which puts local delivery, partnerships and collaboration at its heart"
The following persons are statutory “community justice partners” for the purposes of this Act. In Dumfries and Galloway this is:
· Dumfries and Galloway Council
· NHS Dumfries and Galloway
· Police Scotland
· Scottish Fire and Rescue Service
· Skills Development Scotland
· The Integration Joint Board established by virtue of section 9 of the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014
· The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service
· Scottish Ministers; that is the Scottish Prison Service (linking with HMP Dumfries and HMP Kilmarnock), and Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service
The new model for community justice requires the statutory partners at a local level to prepare, implement and review a community justice outcomes improvement plan (CJOIP) for the local authority area. Locally this will be coordinated by the Community Justice Partnership Manager.
Community Justice is defined in the National Strategy for Community Justice as:
‘the collection of individuals, agencies and services that work together to support, manage and supervise people who have committed offences, from the point of arrest, through prosecution, community disposal or custody and alternatives to these, until they are reintegrated into the community. Local communities and the third sector are a vital part of this process which aims to prevent and reduce further offending and the harm that it causes, to promote desistance, social inclusion, and citizenship’.
This paper provides information about local provision for individuals in Dumfries and Galloway at each stage of the justice process and will form an ongoing community justice strategic assessment for Dumfries and Galloway, effectively highlighting action points for the Community Justice Outcomes Improvement Plan.
Third sector consultation and involvement continues to be crucial to the success of the new model for community justice. Across Dumfries and Galloway we have a number of third sector partners delivering services specific to justice, whilst many more have an important contribution to make to the wider community justice outcomes in relation to health, substance misuse, financial inclusion and housing[footnoteRef:2]. [2: Only justice third sector services are included in this paper which examines what is currently available at each stage of the process.]
Our Area Profile
Dumfries and Galloway is the third largest region in Scotland covering 6,426 sq km (8.2% of the total land area of Scotland) and has a population of 149,670[footnoteRef:3] which shows a slight upward trend since 2006 when the figure was 148,030[footnoteRef:4]; although there has been a decrease since 2012 which is expected to continue over the longer term. [3: National Records of Scotland (NRS) 2015, Mid-Year Population Estimates (2.8% share of the total population of Scotland)] [4: General Register Office for Scotland (GROS) Mid Year Population Estimates 2006]
The total number of people with convictions however has fallen, from 1676 (2006/07) to 1319[footnoteRef:5], just 0.88% of the entire local population. The area is further broken down in to four localities; Wigtownshire, the Stewartry, Nithsdale, and Annandale and Eskdale. Dumfries and Galloway is well known for its arts and cultural activities as well as its natural beauty hosting Scotland's most Southerly point, the Mull of Galloway in the west of the region. [5: Scottish Government Reconviction Figures released May 2016. Available at http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2016/05/2243 ]
As stated, the number of people involved in the criminal justice system is on a downward trend at under 1% of the entire population of Dumfries and Galloway, however the consequences of offending behaviour can be problematic for many areas of our community and tackling the underlying issues through a community justice approach will have benefits for all.
Poverty and health inequalities are a recognised contributory factor when it comes to offending and Dumfries and Galloway is no different. The recent Anti Poverty Strategy[footnoteRef:6]for our region states that the pattern of poverty in Dumfries and Galloway is complex and intricate, with a total of 4,025 households across the region affected by at least three different dimensions of deprivation including having: [6: ‘On the UP’ – Dumfries and Galloway Anti Poverty Strategy 2015-2020. Available at http://www.dumgal.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=17822&p=0 ]
· A person who is unemployed or long term sick/disabled
· No person with a qualification of level 2 or above
· A person with bad/very bad general health, or long term health problem
· Overcrowded accommodation or no central heating
The same issues are contributory factors for the creation of the most vulnerable in our communities, ultimately leading to more chaotic lifestyles and isolation, as well as decreasing life chances and increasing health inequalities. Furthermore the Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Strategic Needs Assessment 2016-2019 has identified ‘Prisoners and Offenders’ as one of nine ‘at risk’ populations in relation to healthcare needs, again highlighting their increased vulnerability in regards to mental health issues, poor general health and lack of qualifications and employment. During 2013/14 there were 472 unplanned attendances at Accident and Emergency departments in Dumfries and Galloway that mentioned police involvement.[footnoteRef:7] Custody, arrest or detain was mentioned in 184 records; 85 records mentioned drugs (illegal/legal), 85 mentioned alcohol whilst almost double that (155 records) mentioned mental health issues.[footnoteRef:8] [7: Not all of these would have involved an offence or an offender. Source Dumfries and Galloway Integrated Joint Board Health and Social Care Strategic Needs Assessment 2016-2019] [8: Including suicide, self harm, psychosis, depression or anxiety.]
The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) is the official tool for finding the most deprived areas in Scotland. SIMD16 was published on 31 August 2016. Previous SIMDs were published in 2004, 2006, 2009 and 2012. SIMD shows where Scotland’s most deprived areas are, so organisations know where their work can have the biggest impact. It is a relative measure of deprivation across small areas in Scotland and looks at multiple deprivation. ‘Deprived’ does not just mean ‘poor’ or ‘low income’. It can also mean people have fewer resources and opportunities, for example in health and education. The following map shows the areas of Dumfries and Galloway most affected.
Dumfries and Galloway Datazones across Multiple Deprivation Indicators[footnoteRef:9] [9: Map contains Ordinance Survey data @ Crown copyright and database 2013. Ordinance Survey Licence number 0100024655]
*The areas in red indicate 8 or more indicators of deprivation
In August 2016 a Housing Need and Demand Assessment[footnoteRef:10] was undertaken in Dumfries and Galloway. It stated that existing need is driven by several factors such as homelessness, overcrowding and care and support needs. Most existing need can be responded to by in-situ measures such as adaptations[footnoteRef:11] (e.g. installing disability aids), transfers (moving into a more appropriate dwelling) and improvements. However, a small proportion of existing need must be met through additional units where in-situ solutions cannot be found, for example to tackle homelessness. [10: ‘Housing Need and Demand Assessment’. August 2016. Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership. Available at http://egenda.dumgal.gov.uk/aksdumgal/images/att42131.pdf] [11: Existing need that requires an in-situ solution - this will help to inform policy on the type of stock to provide, how to reduce stock pressures and other stock management issues, existing need that requires additional housing units will in turn inform the Housing Supply Target and Local Housing Strategy policies
The Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 places a responsibility on local authorities to prepare an Local Housing Strategy (LHS) supported by an assessment of housing provision and related services. Dumfries and Galloway Council are responsible for preparing the LHS, which will set out the strategic direction to tackle housing need and demand and inform future investment in housing and related services across the region. It is therefore crucial that housing and homelessness are represented on the local partnership. When considering housing need local population figures show that the distribution of the Dumfries and Galloway population by age demonstrates a greater proportion of older people than the national average, with nearly a quarter of the population being 65 plus, compared to the Scottish figure of just under 18% in this age bracket. 9.6% of the population is aged 16-24 compared with 11.7% nationally. 20.8% of the population is aged 25-44, over 5% lower than the national figure of 25.9%. The biggest majority of households comprise of two adults with no children[footnoteRef:12]. The second largest household type is one adult households which has those aged 75 and over as its largest group. [12: This is 5% higher in Dumfries and Galloway than the national figure. National Records of Scotland 2012 based Household Projections for Scotland by Council Areas. Available at https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/statistics-and-data/statistics/statistics-by-theme/housholds/household-projections/archive/2000-based-household-projections/local-authority-and-household-type ]
Dumfries and Galloway Councils housing stock was transferred to a Registered Social Landlord (RSL) - Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership (DGHP) in April 2003[footnoteRef:13]. Although the Council no longer owns and manages social housing it still has statutory responsibilities as the strategic Housing Authority for the area. Rents have increased fairly significantly between 2008 and 2013, however, overall, Dumfries and Galloway has rents below the national average, as well as having one of the lowest average social rent levels of all Scottish local authorities. However we need to remember that Dumfries and Galloway is classified as a low income region[footnoteRef:14]. As many households remain on a limited income they will continue to rely on access to affordable housing in order to meet their housing needs. [13: DGHP is the largest RSL in the region, managing nearly 75% of social housing in 2012-13, followed by Loreburn Housing Association with just over 15% of the stock. Both of these RSLs only operate in D&G, whilst the remaining stock is divided amongst a number of national providers.] [14: Source: Herriot-Watt Small Area Income Estimates (2008)]
Employability data to add
Police Scotland, formally established on 1 April 2013, is the second largest force in the UK after the Metropolitan Police, consisting of thirteen divisions across Scotland. Despite being a single division, Dumfries and Galloway Division has two territorial command areas, each having a dedicated Area Commander who has the responsibility for all day-to-day policing functions in that area.
Each area is served by a number of community policing teams. These teams are built around the needs of local people. They are responsible for responding to calls in the local area, as well as looking for long term solutions to key issues and working in partnership with communities and local service providers.
According to police figures released in May 2016, crime detection rates in Dumfries and Galloway are the highest in Scotland. A local policing report from Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary also praised the force for helping reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on the region's roads by nearly thirty one per cent.[footnoteRef:15] This remains a focus for the local Community Safety Partnership. [15: Available at http://www.itv.com/news/border/2016-05-17/crime-detection-rates-in-dumfries-galloway-highest-in-scotland/ ]
Crimes recorded in Dumfries and Galloway Division have decreased overall by 11% since 2011-12 to total 5,350. There have been overall decreases in most crime and offence groups ranging from a 6% decrease in Other crimes to a 23% decrease in fire-raising, vandalism etc. However for the first time in several years crime rates showed a slight upward trend between 2014/15 and 2015/16
Chart showing Crimes recorded by the police, Dumfries and Galloway 2006/07 to 2015/16[footnoteRef:16] [16: Implementation of the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act on 1 December 2010 affected the comparability of the breakdown of Sexual crimes over time.]
The overall clear up rate for crimes in Dumfries and Galloway Division was 72%, 21 percentage points higher than the Scotland total and the highest rate of all eight police forces (2012/13 figures[footnoteRef:17]), despite being the smallest police force in the country. The clear up rates for crimes of dishonesty (58%) and fire-raising, vandalism etc. (57%) were the highest rates recorded across all forces in 2012/13, with clear up rates for sexual offences joint highest with Fife, at 80%[footnoteRef:18]. Improvements in detection, and higher reporting of particular offences may offer some explanation of slightly higher crime rates for specific offences in the last year. [17: Prior to the establishment of the single force in April 2013] [18: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2013/06/9697/5 ]
The Scottish Crime and Justice Survey (SCJS) is a large-scale social survey which asks people about their experiences and perceptions of crime. The survey is important because it provides a picture of crime in Scotland, including crimes that haven’t been reported to, or recorded by the police and captured in police recorded crime statistics. The findings from the SCJS are used by policy makers across the public sector in Scotland to help understand the nature of crime in Scotland, target resources and monitor the impact of initiatives to target crime. When considering specific public perception questions, the sample were asked how safe they felt walking alone in their local area after dark. The results have improved over the last five years with an increase of 10% in those reporting they felt safe and a decrease of 8% of people saying they felt unsafe.
Respondents were also asked if they perceived the crime rate had changed over the last two years, both in their local area and in Scotland. The following graph shows that local people appeared confident that crime had stayed about the same, however, they confidence was greater when considering their own local area (71% compared to 40% nationally)
People offend for many different reasons. LS/CMI[footnoteRef:19] is a tool used by criminal justice social work and the Scottish Prison Service and has been the common method of risk assessment since October 2010. The tool supports practitioners to conduct a thorough review of a person’s individual circumstances, difficulties and strengths that then leads to a plan of intervention, often involving other agencies. National LS/CMI data tells us that of those assessed and undertaking community sentences: [19: LS/CMI Level of Service/Case Management Inventory]
D&G LSCMI data needs to go in here to reflect information above, is the picture the same in D&G
It can be clearly seen from the above illustration that justice interventions alone are not the answer if we want to have a sustained impact on reducing reoffending.
We know reconviction figures are lower for those serving community sentences for both men and women. A Scottish Government report stated “...a number of studies have found that community sentences are more effective in reducing reoffending than short-term prison sentences. This may be due to increased opportunities for rehabilitation during community sentences and avoidance of the negative unintended consequences of imprisonment, such as losing employment or housing....... No studies included in this review concluded that short prison sentences were associated with reduced reoffending when compared to community disposals”[footnoteRef:20] [20: What Works to Reduce Reoffending: A Summary of the Evidence. Justice Analytical Services 2015. Report available at http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0047/00476574.pdf]
Holistic interventions that address multiple criminogenic needs are more likely to be effective in reducing reoffending[footnoteRef:21]. This is particularly true for young people and women who offend[footnoteRef:22]. There is also evidence that mentoring[footnoteRef:23] can have positive effects in reducing reoffending, employability and motivation to change, with national Public Social Partnerships evaluating well in Scotland[footnoteRef:24]. A number of people have argued that desistance from crime is a different journey for women than it is for men[footnoteRef:25], and that women require different interventions to help assist this process. This must be considered in the development of future services and supports. [21: Ministry of Justice (2010a) Breaking the Cycle: Effective Punishment, Rehabilitation andSentencing of Offenders Green Paper Evidence Report available athttp://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20120119200607/http:/www.justice.gov.uk/consultations/docs/breaking-the-cycle.pdf] [22: Fraser, A., Burman, M., Batchelor, S. and McVie, S. (2010) op cit.] [23: “A one-to-one, non-judgmental relationship in which an individual voluntarily gives time to support and encourage another.” NOMS (2013) Intermediate outcomes of mentoring interventions: a rapid evidence assessment. Available at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/254452/Intermediate-outcomes-of-mentoring-interventions.pdf ] [24: Evaluation by Ipsos Mori, available at https://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/publications/1793/Evaluation-of-the-Reducing-Reoffending-Change-Fund.aspx ] [25: Farral S. Lightowler C. Maruna S. McNeill F April 2012‘How and why people stop offending: Discovering desistance’ Available at https://www.iriss.org.uk/resources/insights/how-why-people-stop-offending-discovering-desistance ]
Reconviction data also shows a different reconviction pattern for males and females. Reconvictions for women seem to peak between the ages of 26-30 years for both reconviction frequency and reconviction rate (reconviction frequency 0.55: reconviction rate 26.7) compared to males where those under 21 demonstrate the highest rates (reconviction frequency 0.59: reconviction rate 35.2). As sentence length increases unsurprisingly reconviction rates decrease.
Locally, reconviction rates are lower in Dumfries and Galloway than those of Scotland and South West Scotland as a whole, with a local reconviction rate of 27 compared to 28.3. This is also the case when considering the average number of reconvictions per offender, where we have seen a steady downward trend, falling from 0.53[footnoteRef:26] to 0.44[footnoteRef:27] (figures published May 2016); this compares to a national figure of 0.51 which is substantially higher than our Dumfries and Galloway figure. This can be more clearly seen on the following graph comparing reconviction figures for Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland and the SWSCJA Area over the last four years. [26: 2010/11 cohort] [27: 2013/14 cohort. Figures are published after following the said cohort for a two year period to establish reconviction/frequency of offending.]
There are many factors which impact on reconviction figures therefore these figures should not be considered in isolation. Gender, disposal, sentence length and age all play a part, and with a relatively low number of offenders in Dumfries and Galloway small changes may impact significantly on some of the figures.
To demonstrate the impact of age on offending, the chart below shows Dumfries and Galloway reconviction rates for those aged under 21, aged 26 to 30 and for those over 40.
For the first time in several years Dumfries and Galloway has a slightly higher reconviction rate for those under 21 than that seen nationally. However, the number of young people in Dumfries and Galloway involved in offending and aged under 21 is small in comparison to that nationally and mirrors an overall downward trend.
Reconviction Rate by Gender
Sentence type (disposal) clearly shows that community sentences are more effective than custodial sentences, although the length of a custodial sentence is significant, with short term sentences, particularly those under 12 months being the least effective when it comes to reducing reoffending.
The Justice Journey
The following section considers the individual justice journey in Dumfries and Galloway, from the point of arrest to sentencing and beyond. The journey involves different people and services at different stages, moreover some services may only be available in a particular area of our region. However the way decisions are made and the interactions between those involved, including victims, the accused, families and communities often has a knock on effect on other stages of the system and the outcomes of all those affected not just the person accused of committing a crime.
Stage of the system: The Police (point of arrest)[footnoteRef:28] [28: It is important to consider that the point of arrest can be extremely traumatic for families and children, particulary when the arrest takes place within the family home.]
Once an arrest has been made communication and support can be crucial. The circumstances of the arrest can also have a huge impact on the families of those arrested even if the arrest concludes with no further action.
At the point of arrest there are a number of options available to the police which help to keep people out the justice system as far as possible through the discretion to offer direct measures. Such direct measures include Recorded Police Warnings, fixed penalties and fines. Direct measures are generally used for low level offending enabling the incident to be resolved more quickly. However, it should be noted that a Recorded Police Warning is held on record for a period of 2 years by the Scottish Criminal Records Office and although not counted as a formal conviction, it may be considered if any further offences were committed.
Arrest Referral Service
The Arrest Referral service has been a service for those involved in alcohol related offending. At the time of writing[footnoteRef:29], the service offers an Alcohol Brief Intervention (ABI) and the option of an Alcohol Education Programme (AEP). The service is not gender specific therefore referrals are not recorded by gender. The Arrest Referral service is delivered across South West Scotland and includes Dumfries and Galloway, North, South and East Ayrshire local authorities. The Sacro worker (all of whom are trained in Alcohol Brief Interventions) will offer a brief intervention followed by further meetings to complete an Alcohol Education programme if appropriate. Sacro can also link the Service User to other appropriate wider support services and specialist addiction services if required. This is a voluntary service and those referred are under no obligation to take up the programme. However, it can prove helpful to people when their case goes to court as Sacro will advise their lawyer that the AEP has been completed indicating a willingness to address negative behaviours. Police referrals have been lower this year and this could be in part due to Recorded Police warnings. Statistics for the year 2015/16 are as follows: [29: December 2016]
· 632 people referred to the service (Dumfries 368, Stranraer 264)
· 41 engaged (6.5%)
Of those who engaged
· 5 completed the Alcohol Programme (Dumfries 3, Stranraer 2)
· 36 ABIs were delivered (Dumfries 12, Stranraer 24)
· 17 service users signposted on for further support (all Stranraer)[footnoteRef:30]. [30: A breakdown of agencies referred to was unavailable.]
It is interesting to note that that the number of ABIs delivered and onward referral for support are concentrated in the west of the region, this may be an area for further action. The current provider does not record which other organisations were referred to or the outcome of such onward referral.
The number of alcohol brief interventions delivered in Dumfries and Galloway is a priority for both Community Justice and Dumfries and Galloway Alcohol and Drug Partnership, yet at present information regarding ABIs is not reported back to the ADP routinely and therefore not included in annual performance reports. This also remains a quantitative measure which on its own tells us very little.
Stage of the system: Procurator Fiscal
The Procurator Fiscal also has a range of direct measures at their disposal to dispense of cases prior to court (fiscal warnings, fiscal fines/compensation and fiscal work orders[footnoteRef:31]). They can also make a decision to take no further action if it is not in the public interest to do so. [31: Fiscal Work Orders were also rolled out nationally last year and are slowly beginning to filter through.]
In Dumfries and Galloway, following a review of adult diversion in collaboration with COPFS, priority for diversion was agreed for young people, women and people with mental health problems. Hence all referrals for diversion and cases commenced in Dumfries and Galloway were for those aged under 25 years, for both males and females[footnoteRef:32]. Of the four local authorities previously covered by SWSCJA, Dumfries and Galloway made the most of use of diversion overall and is clearly very proactive in this area, however South Ayrshire referred the highest number of women in percentage terms. Diversion includes an option to refer service users for additional support or treatment if required, although many of those coming in to contact with the system may already be engaged with services. Only 3 women across South West Scotland were referred on (2 for drug treatment and 1 for alcohol treatment), all 3 were from Dumfries and Galloway. [32: For the year 2013/14]
Local Authority Area
Number of cases commenced
Number of women
Women as a percentage of total cases
Dumfries & Galloway
Stage of the system: Court and sentencing
Bail Support and Supervision
Bail Support and Supervision is a direct alternative to remand if the service user meets the required criteria. It is a Court mandated service and service users must adhere to the conditions of meeting with Sacro (the local delivery partner in Dumfries and Galloway) three times a week. Failure to do so will result in them being breached with the Police being informed and appropriate action taken.
There were 71 referrals made to the Bail Support and Supervision service in total for 2015/16, just 5 of these were from Dumfries and Galloway (7%). Currently the funding for this service sits within Section 27 Criminal Justice Social Work and is tendered out to the third sector alongside Arrest Referral as a pan South West Scotland service. This is under review at the present time.
Supervised Bail has 3 main components:
· Monitoring through 3 prescribed contacts per week.
· Supporting and offering advice in relation to any issues the individual may have.
· Reporting back to the court on the level of adherence with regard to progress during the supervision period.
Sacro also offer Counselling and Occupational Therapy services to female referrals as part of this service through additional funding received for female offenders. There are currently 3 open cases in Stranraer, no cases in Dumfries and 34 open cases in Kilmarnock. A CPD event took place in Dumfries in June 2016 with Faculty, Procurator Fiscal and social work in attendance, to raise awareness of Bail supervision and Arrest Referral and try to increase the uptake of both options. It was very well attended, with points being raised by the Faculty and PF on changes which may be required to increase referrals.
Structured Deferred Sentence (SDS)[footnoteRef:33] [33: MacDivitt K ‘An Evaluation of the Structured Deferred Sentence Pilots’ Justice Analytical Services, Scottish Government. 2008. Available at http://www.gov.scot/Resource/Doc/219353/0058866.pdf ]
SDS enables sentence to be deferred for up to 6 months with an interim report provided to the court at 3 months and involves a needs-based action plan. It is a low-tariff intervention providing structured social work intervention post-conviction, but prior to final sentencing. Primarily aimed at those with underlying problems such as drug or alcohol dependency, mental health or learning difficulties or unemployment. It is not used for violent, serious or sex offenders. SDS was initially piloted in just five areas of Scotland before being extended further. Dumfries and Galloway do not receive funding to support the provision of structured deferred sentences locally.
Stage of the system: Community Sentence
Community Payback Orders (CPO)
Courts can impose one or more of a range of requirements as part of a Community Payback Order. These requirements are:
· Alcohol Treatment Requirement
· Compensation Requirement
· Conduct Requirement
· Drug Treatment Requirement
· Mental Health Treatment Requirement
· Supervision Requirement
· Programme Requirement
· Residence Requirement
· Unpaid Work and Other Activity Requirement
Community sentences are supported by Criminal Justice Social Work teams across the region, working in partnership with the service user and other agencies to encourage and support successful completion of orders. Data for CPOs is included in local authority aggregate returns annually. The following graph shows the number of Community Payback Orders undertaken in Dumfries and Galloway over the last three year period (CPO information recorded considers 3 different elements; unpaid work only, supervision only or supervision with unpaid work)
It is encouraging to see an increase in the use of community payback orders coupled with a decrease in custodial sentences, and important to highlight the positive contribution many of those undertaking such orders make to their community. When considering the different elements of the order there has been a shift in pattern with a decrease in unpaid work only and an increase in supervision.
SHINE Women’s Mentoring Service
The service provides one to one mentoring support for women involved in the justice system. Referals come via Local Authorities (Criminal Justice Social Work) who refer women they feel are at risk of breaching a Community Payback Order. Locally SHINE is delivered by Apex Scotland in Dumfries and Galloway as part of a national Public Social Partnership (PSP) led by Sacro.
· 212 women from South West Scotland were referred to Shine for the year 2015/16, 114 (54%) from prison and 98 (46%) in the community. However closer examination of local Dumfries and Galloway figures show an even higher percentage of community referrals (59%) demonstrating effective local partnership working between CJSW and the third sector.
· South West Scotland has the highest referral rates to Shine in the whole of Scotland, accounting for 28% of all Scottish referrals from both community and prison, and 62% of all community only referrals.
Local Authority Area
Number of Shine Prison Referrals
Number of Shine Community Referrals
Dumfries & Galloway
Turnaround is community-based support for women and men with offending and addiction issues (non-residential support only; the Turnaround residential unit in Paisley is for males only) Turnaround provides a unique criminal justice service to young men and women aged 18 and over whose offending is persistent, high volume, low tariff and who are failing in other community based alternatives.
Turnaround is a Turning Point Scotland service delivered locally by Apex/Turning Point staff and co located within CJSW CPO teams. Priority is given to individuals who may be vulnerable due to substance misuse, mental health issues, homelessness or lack of coping skills. Turnaround staff support the recovery approach and believe that people can and do recover from the difficulties associated with offending.
Stage of the system: Custody
Figures published on 1st May 2016 show that Dumfries and Galloway had 117 people in custody, 5 of whom were women. Of the 5 women from our area in custody, 4 were in Cornton Vale whilst 1 was being held in HMP Greenock. Three of the women were being held on remand, one was serving a sentence of between three and six months, and one was sentenced to between six months and two years. Of the 112 males in custody from Dumfries and Galloway, 61 were being held locally in
HMP Dumfries, whilst 12 were in Barlinnie, 9 in HMP Shotts, 8 in HMP Kilmarnock and the remainder in various other establishments throughout Scotland. This can be seen on the following graph[footnoteRef:34]. [34: Figures are received from SPS monthly and are a snapshot of the prison population on a particular day]
Dumfries prison serves the local courts of Dumfries and Galloway (Stranraer and Dumfries Courts). It holds up to 80 males who are remanded in custody for trial and those convicted but remanded for reports. Convicted men serving short term sentences (under four years) may be retained at HMP Dumfries or transferred to another establishment according to their length of sentence and the availability of spaces. Dumfries prison also provides a national mainstream facility for holding up to 100 long term and short term offenders who require to be separated from the mainstream prison population because of the nature of their offence, termed as offence related protection offenders[footnoteRef:35]. [35: Information from SPS website, available at http://www.sps.gov.uk/Corporate/Prisons/Dumfries/HMP-Dumfries.aspx]
Patterns regarding sentence length vary greatly depending on gender with no local women serving sentences over two years at this present time. At a national level it can clearly be seen in the following chart that the there is a higher percentage of women held on remand than there is serving sentences over four years[footnoteRef:36], whilst the majority of males are serving longer sentences. [36: The figure for women being held on remand is almost 10% higher than that for men]
Stage of the system: Throughcare
“Offenders who desist are more likely to maintain an offence free life if communities acknowledge and reward the change through inclusion” (Maruna and McNeill (2007)
SHINE Women’s Mentoring Service
Shine Mentoring support should be offered to all women leaving prison; referrals are made while in custody and support is then continued in the community. Information regarding the Shine service is included in the previous section as the service supports both women in custody, as well as those undertaking community sentences. Figures for South West Scotland show that 114 women were referred to SHINE from custody in 2015/16; 21 of these women were from Dumfries and Galloway.
Scottish Prison Service Throughcare Support Officers (TSO)
The Scottish Prison Service made a commitment in 2015 to having Throughcare Officers available in every prison to help those in their care make the transition back to their communities. This is a positive development and offers a choice of support to both women and men leaving custody. Data to be inserted. HMP Kilmarnock is one of two private prisons in Scotland and as such does not have Throughcare Officers. Attempts should be made to link with the areas that the person in their care is returning to, however the reality is that this does not always happen resulting in men from Dumfries and Galloway leaving this particular prison with no effective supports in place, a clear gap in provision.
Mentoring support offered to all young men aged under 25 years of age who meet the service criteria. The service is offered both pre-release and post release in the community. In 2015/16 New Routes received 10 referrals in Dumfries and Galloway with 9 young men engaging whilst in custody 8 of whom continued to engage on their release. The service works with men in every prison establishment across Scotland which should mean there is a consistent approach on release, helping mentees to access the community supports they require for successful reintegration.
Positive Routes was a collaboration between Turning Point Scotland and the Wise Group. The service was available to men aged over 25 years of age who had an identified addictions or mental health issue and is therefore not representative of the entire over 25 male prison population. For the period August 2014 to July 2016 the service received 12 referrals of which 11 engaged and made progress. The service user who did not make progress was returned to custody shortly after liberation on an historic charge. Positive Routes is no longer available due to funding.
Statutory and Voluntary Throughcare
A range of prisoners are subject to statutory supervision by CJSW following their release:
· Those sentenced to more than 4 years, up to and including life sentences
· Those sentenced to less than 4 years but subject of extended sentences
· Sex offenders sentenced to less than 4 years
· Those subject of Supervised Release Order
Throughcare services have a primary objective of public protection, by assessing risk and providing appropriate interventions. They also help prisoners to prepare for release and to resettle into their community.
Voluntary assistance is available to prisoners not subject to statutory throughcare supervision on release who request such a service while in custody or within 12 months of release[footnoteRef:37]. Is there data available for numbers on statutory throughcare and receiving voluntary assistance? [37: Information sourced from Media Briefing; Criminal Justice, ADSW. Available at http://www.google.co.uk/url?url=http://www.socialworkscotland.org/doc_get.aspx%3FDocID%3D121&rct=j&frm=1&q=&esrc=s&sa=U&ved=0ahUKEwiYoZWhxOnOAhWJL8AKHW5rAqAQFggfMAI&usg=AFQjCNFSWnGDhS2VLOz5qTvvqS9MtVNWXw ]
Circles of Support and Accountability is a model of intervention that assists in the monitoring and community re-integration of certain high risk individuals who commit sexual offences. Each circle endeavours to address identified dynamic risk factors linked with the offender’s Risk Management Plan (as agreed through the Multi Agency public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA)). Circles are not intended as an alternative to the formal risk management arrangements or statutory supervision of offenders. Circles provide an additional component to the risk management arrangements as dictated by the local MAPPA. Locally this service is delivered by Sacro. Insert number of CoSA locally
A “Circle of Support and Accountability” is a trained group of volunteers from the local community which forms a Circle around the identified individual who is referred to as “the Core Member”. The Circle aims to provide a supportive social network that requires the Core Member to be accountable for their actions. Accountability is a central issue in the effective development of Circles. The Core Member must voluntarily agree to be part of a Circle in order to demonstrate some awareness of their own risk within the community. Each Circle is unique, because it is individually designed around the needs of the Core Member.
Overarching Justice Services in Dumfries and Galloway
Apex Scotland’s Moving On service provides support to service users aged sixteen plus in Dumfries and Galloway to address personal barriers to employability. The service is aimed at those involved in, or at risk of becoming involved in offending behaviours, and those who are socially isolated as a result of problems including homelessness, substance misuse, low literacy and numeracy, lack of work or education etc. This is one of the longest standing third sector services for those involved in the justice system in our area with a target of 300 referrals per year.
The service has evolved over time, moving from being a service specifically for those aged under twenty five to becoming an all age service. Referrals can be made by all partners locally, including criminal justice, DWP, housing and self-referral. It is the only service of its’ kind working on effective disclosure of convictions, empowering individuals to become more confident in disclosing their previous criminal convictions in the most appropriate way in order to secure employment.
The U Turn service, also delivered by Apex, came from an original suggestion from service users involved in Moving On. U Turn is an adult group work programme which involves weekly group work sessions in the units as well as working in local volunteering opportunities identified by the community themselves. The service offers those who have completed Community Payback Orders the chance to build on the routine and structure they developed whilst on their order, as well as give
something back to their local communities and gain valuable new skills; referrals are also taken from other partner organisations. The service also enables those engaging to become more involved with their own communities, helping to reduce stigma and create a more positive identity. For the year 2015/16 U Turn received 249 referrals, with 198 people engaging. As some of the funding for the service is provided through Dumfries and Galloway ADP assessment and review is done via Outcome Star, this is a requirement of all ADP funded services.
Families Outside provide support to the families of those involved in the justice system across Scotland, working to improve outcomes for all children and families affected by imprisonment.
Any involvement with the justice system can be distressing but imprisonment is an extremely traumatic experience for families, and its impact is often significant and enduring. Families Outside provide help, advice and support for families of prisoners; assisting families with someone in prison through our Support & Information Helpline as well as through direct one-to-one support. The organisation also inform the development of policy and practice, through their long standing relationships with prisons, government bodies and other charities.
They have also developed training for teachers (Out of the Shadows) and delivered sessions locally in HMP Dumfries. Additional funding has been granted to help build up further links in Dumfries and Galloway, particularly around Girfec and the named person agenda.
Victim Support Scotland provide services to both victims and witnesses locally as well as nationally. SWSCJA had a Victims Group chaired by Victim Support and it is imperative that the voice of victims is considered as part of the ongoing community justice agenda. Victim Support are not the only organisation working with Victims of crime in the local area, specialist support services are offered by Women’s Aid and Rape Crisis who are both represented on the local Domestic Abuse Violence Against Women Partnership (DAVAWP).
An issue with all services is robust and consistent evaluation. Each service uses different assessment tools, largely dependent on the source of funding received and the outcomes required. This can make it difficult to measure services against each other. As mentioned previously, all locally ADP funded services are required to use Outcome Star but this is not the case with services receiving funding from other sources. Funding cycles can also make it difficult for service providers to plan ahead, with many funders continuing to fund on a yearly basis. There has been little collaboration between partners for jointly funded services, however the PSP model has evaluated well and this may be an opportunity for future development. Mentoring and throughcare services are mentioned in both the National Strategy and as part of the OPI framework for community justice, therefore there is an expectation that these will continue in some form.
There are numerous other service providers who deliver services in the region which contribute to the wider justice outcomes. Health has a major role, including general health services (GP, dentist etc.) and specialist mental health and addiction services. As stated previously, in a recent Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Strategic Needs Assessment prisoners and those involved in offending were identified as an “at risk” and vulnerable group[footnoteRef:38]. The new strategy for community justice has the aspiration that every contact within the justice system should be a health improvement opportunity which provides us with a challenge and an area for development, although there has been evidence of good practice with ‘Keep Well’ health coaching sessions delivered to many of those undertaking Community Payback Orders[footnoteRef:39] and ABIs taking place through the Arrest Referral service. [38: Dumfries and Galloway Integration Joint Board Health and Social Care Strategic Needs Assessment 2016-2019. Available at http://www.dg-change.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Strategic-Needs-Assessment-V1_01.pdf ] [39: This service is currently unavailable due to funding issues]
Addaction and Alcohol and Drug Support South West Scotland both provide third sector specialist addiction support as well as services around life skills, behaviour change, volunteering and recovery. Local data tells us that of those who have been supported to complete Community Payback Orders in Dumfries and Galloway 80% had a substance misuse issue and 60% of their offences were a result of drug related crime[footnoteRef:40]. [40: See note 19 above.]
Recent local developments include new recovery cafés held in Stranraer, Newton Stewart and Dumfries supported through a multi-agency approach and the development of Recovery Orientated Systems of Care will continue to be a focus for the Alcohol and Drug Partnership moving forward. Such recovery communities could provide additional support and social interaction for those with experience of the justice system.
The development of MASH[footnoteRef:41] has seen greater collaboration and quicker decision making between health, social work and police regarding Adult Support and Protection referrals which may impact positively across all areas of public protection. A childrens MASH is currently in development. In other areas of Scotland different approaches are being taken and Dumfries and Galloway should take cognissance of these as we move forward[footnoteRef:42]. [41: Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub] [42: A new pilot is about to start across Ayrshire which will utilise a local Crisis Resolution Team between the hours of 10pm – 6am seven days a week. The service is a collaboration between Police Scotland Health and will enable those in distress to contact the team and either receive support by telephone or a home visit if required. It is hoped by taking this approach unplanned attendances at A and E will be prevented, as will the criminalisation of those in distress.]
Financial inclusion projects and welfare advice services both have a part to play in community justice, helping people learn to manage their money more effectively and maximise their income. Housing support services, locally Independent Living Support (ILS) as well as mainstream housing providers are another crucial link and one which has not been previously involved through Community Justice Authorities. There are also several organisations across the region delivering work on food poverty, providing soup kitchens and food parcels for those most vulnerable and in need.
Other relevant developments and penal policy changes:
There are a number of changes which require consideration by statutory services, the third sector and the wider community justice partnership. The Scottish Government has recently consulted on a presumption against short sentences[footnoteRef:43] of three months or less being replaced by six, nine or twelve months, meaning many more people will be serving their sentence in the community. Would be good to include some prison data here to reflect potential impact of this, data has been requested. This will have an impact on criminal justice social work, the third sector and local communities and there is a requirement for this to be communicated and resourced effectively in order to create the greatest impact on those undertaking a community sentence, as well as bring benefits to local communities. There is also on going work needed with both the judiciary and local communities to highlight the effectiveness of robust community sentences as an alternative to custody where appropriate. [43: An analysis on the responses to the consultation is available at http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2016/03/8624]
The Prisoner (Control of Release) (Scotland) Act 2015[footnoteRef:44] means that many of those serving long term determinate sentences now have to complete much more of their sentence in custody than previously was the case, this also impacts on the length of time they can be supported on their return to the community. [44: Legislation available at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2015/8/pdfs/asp_20150008_en.pdf]
A consultation has recently taken place around the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act[footnoteRef:45] with a number of changes being discussed. This could be a very positive step for those with criminal convictions and should in theory make the disclosure process more straightforward. However this would still require specialist advice and support to be achieved effectively, with work required with both service users and employers, further education providers etc. There is an opportunity for the council to lead by example and champion the recruitment of those with a criminal record. [45: Consultation responses available at http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/12/1435]
The Robertson Trust has been working with partners developing an Ayrshire Centre for Women and Girls in Cumnock. This community development supported by Centrestage will complement any work done locally to support women involved in the justice system and although it is not aimed specifically at those within the justice system the holistic approach being adopted is likely to help reintegration as the community comes together. Dumfries and Galloway could use the learning from this in considering developments locally.
As previously stated the region has one prison for men located in Dumfries, although depending on the sentence and offence male prisoners can be sent to other prisons across Scotland. NHS Dumfries and Galloway have responsibility for prisoner healthcare in HMP Dumfries which should help with continuity of care and throughcare. The prison has its own healthcare centre with clinics for long term disease management and blood borne virus service. Prisoners also have access to a mental health nurse, substance misuse services, smoking cessation, counselling, dental treatment and podiatry. The main prison for women is HMP Cornton Vale, whilst there are also female units at HMP Greenock and HMP Edinburgh, whilst young men under twenty one are held at Her Majesty’s Young Offenders Institute, Polmont. The rurality of the local area means that this can lead to difficulties in maintaining contact between prisoners and their families, particularly for women and young men; even if a male member of the family is held in Dumfries this represents a one hundred and fifty mile round trip by car for families in Stranraer. Furthermore, evidence shows that prisoners who maintain family ties are up to six times less likely to reoffend and cope better during their period of imprisonment[footnoteRef:46]. [46: Loucks, N. (2004) ‘Prison Without Bars’: Needs, support, and good practice for work with Prisoners’ Families. Dundee and Edinburgh: Tayside Criminal Justice Partnership and Families Outside.]
For children and young people the period following arrest is the worst time for them, not least because of the sudden change in circumstances, a sense of powerlessness, lack of information and possible uncertainty in care arrangements[footnoteRef:47]. This can then impact on their behaviour and longer term future outcomes unless handled sensitively. [47: http://www.familiesoutside.org.uk/content/uploads/2013/08/Families-Outside-Who-We-Are-12pp-Dec-2015.pdf]
To be added
What we don’t know:
The impact of ongoing developments with women who offend and the new prison estate. There is continued consultation on the development of the new female prison estate, particularly the introduction of new community custodial units (CCU) which will be a very different model for Scotland. Whilst it has now been confirmed that Dumfries and Galloway will not be one of the areas considered for a CCU this may provide an opportunity to improve partnership working and collaboration rather than a threat. Work is ongoing in South West Scotland with a short life working group established by SWSCJA considering a whole systems approach for women in the justice system.
We know more women are remanded in South West Scotland but we do not know why this is.
As a percentage, 48% of our local women in custody are held on remand compared to 27% across Scotland. This figure is approximately 10% higher than the percentage of men held on remand in Scotland.
Restorative justice options for adults, particularly women. There is little evidence available regarding the use of restorative justice with female offenders in Scotland, although there is some evidence from Sacro that indicates that female offenders have not engaged as effectively in the process. This may be an area of potential future development, perhaps through utilising SHINE mentors who are already working with women.
Electronic monitoring is mentioned in the new National Strategy for community justice as the Scottish Government considers how to make best use of this technology moving forward. Evidence shows that electronic monitoring without support is not effective, therefore there may be opportunities to develop an electronic monitoring partnership locally between the technology provider (currently G4S), criminal justice social work and the third sector. There is also a desire to use electronic more innovatively rather than its traditional application for twelve hour curfews. With a move towards GPS the technology can be used to help people establish routines and encourage engagement in programmes and support.
The effectiveness of electronic monitoring and its use with female offenders has not been researched despite there being an appetite to increase the use of electronic monitoring in Scotland. I was unable to source any gender specific data on its use so far.
Despite consultation on a presumption against short sentences we continue to struggle to access data which tells us how many prisoners in Scotland are serving sentences of twelve months or less. This information is crucial for future planning and the provision of a robust community response to the proposed legislation. The CJA’s at a national level are liaising with SPS to try and ensure this data is forthcoming.
Ongoing funding for community justice has not been confirmed. Dumfries and Galloway are one of the only areas in Scotland which has given a firm commitment to the community justice agenda by making the Community Justice Partnership Manager post permanent and establishing a new overarching Public Protection Partnership. All other partnerships within the remit of public protection come with some form of funding which helps to drive actions forward effectively. Whilst partners can commit resources in the form of time, financial support will be more difficult to secure.
What we’re already good at in D&G
What we could develop
68% left school at the minimum age
49% left school without qualifications
71% were unemployed (higher for women)
65% had an alcohol problem and 53% had a drug problem at some point in their life
52% had a lack of problem solving skills
14% of were homeless
20% had health and mental health issues (higher for women)
26% had been exposed to family violence
Overall Reconviction Rate for Men in Dumfries and Galloway
Overall Reconviction Rate for Women in Dumfries and Galloway
How safe people feel walking alone in their local area after dark
2009/10Very SafeFairly SafeA bit unsafeVery unsafeDon't know0.460.260.170.10.012014/15Very SafeFairly SafeA bit unsafeVery unsafeDon't know0.560000000000000050.250.127.0000000000000007E-20
Perceived change in crime rate in Scotland and the local area over the last two years
Scotland 2009/10A lot moreA little moreAbout the sameA little lessA lot lessDon't know0.10.410.360.0300.1D&G 2009/10A lot moreA little moreAbout the sameA little lessA lot lessDon't know3.7999999999999999E-20.195000000000000010.674000000000000046.9000000000000006E-21E-32.3E-2Scotland 2014/15A lot moreA little moreAbout the sameA little lessA lot lessDon't know0.130.280000000000000030.40.10.010.08D&G 2014/15A lot moreA little moreAbout the sameA little lessA lot lessDon't know4.4999999999999998E-20.110.708999999999999967.6999999999999999E-22.5999999999999999E-23.3000000000000002E-2
Scotland2010/112011/122012/132013/1430.129.628.928.3SWSCJA2010/112011/122012/132013/1431.128.727.828.3Dumfries & Galloway2010/112011/122012/132013/1429.627.526.827
Dumfries and Galloway Reconviction Rates by Age Group
Under 212010/112011/122012/132013/1432.70000000000000334.933.29999999999999738.126-302010/112011/122012/132013/1436.426.628.229.8Over 402010/112011/122012/132013/1418.217.821.616.2
Number of Young People Involved in Reoffending in Scotland
Number of Young People Involved in Reoffending in Dumfries and Galloway
Dumfries & Galloway Reconviction Rate by Disposal
Total Number of Community Payback Orders in Dumfries & Galloway
2013/14CPO supervisionCPO Supervision with Unpaid WorkUnpaid Work only93147288
2015/16CPO SupervisionCPO Supervision with Unpaid WorkUnpaid Work only138172278
Dumfries and Galloway Males in Custody by Establishment
1st May 2016
Dumfries And GallowayAddiewellBarlinnieDumfriesEdinburghGlenochil PrisonInvernessKilmarnockLow MossOpen EstatePerthPolmontShotts11261351872129
Male prisoners in Scotland by sentence
RemandUndeterminedFine defaultersLess than 3 months3 months less than 6 months6 months less than 2 years2-4 years4 years or more including life1310381129288162911872687
Female prisoners in Scotland by sentence
RemandUndeterminedFine defaultersLess than 3 months3 months less than 6 months6 months less than 2 years2-4 years4 years or more including life104554131086483
Non-sexual crimes of violence2006-072007-082008-092009-102010-112011-122012-132013-142014-152015-16160153149112128127109176141148Sexual crimes2006-072007-082008-092009-102010-112011-122012-132013-142014-152015-161231301118099150133261314374Crimes of dishonesty2006-072007-082008-092009-102010-112011-122012-132013-142014-152015-163649296127632609273522962124217319472144Fire-raising, vandalism etc.2006-072007-082008-092009-102010-112011-122012-132013-142014-152015-16329329742594222319571649127711119811390Other crimes2006-072007-082008-092009-102010-112011-122012-132013-142014-152015-162322217118861876185418141707163015671823
Just Communities – strengthening relationships, building resilience & reducing reoffending
Just Communities – strengthening relationships, building resilience & reducing reoffending