The Care Inspectorate has today published an overview report on the first three years of justice related scrutiny and assurance work. 

The landmark report provides an overview of inspections which initially focussed on evaluating the efficiency and effectiveness of court-imposed community payback orders in five local authority areas across Scotland.  

A further five community justice partnership areas were supported to undertake a validated self-evaluation to help gauge their progress in embedding a new community justice model in Scotland to deliver on national priorities. 

Inspectors also supported a focussed review on the extent to which community justice social work services were delivering on their statutory responsibilities in relation to people released from prison subject to throughcare supervision.

This first overview report considers each approach separately, outlines key messages and highlights consistent themes that may have relevance to other local authority and partnership areas. 

Peter Mcleod, chief executive of the Care Inspectorate, said: “The Care Inspectorate is the independent scrutiny and improvement body responsible for regulation, inspection and improvement of social care and social work, including justice social work. 

“The Scottish Government tasked us to lead on scrutiny and assurance of this sector, to support the implementation of the community justice model and provide up-to-date scrutiny and assurance of justice social work.

“Our report identified a number of strengths in practice which were consistent, particularly in relation to report writing and risk management.  

“The actions required to strengthen and improve community justice social work practice are also highlighted in this report. We note the broader systemic challenges to improving the life chances of people affected by offending, which are beyond the influence of justice social work alone.

“We found community justice partners were committed to making best use of the resources available to them. However, partnerships are at different stages of development.

“The pandemic caused significant disruption to the entire criminal justice system, including the delivery of justice social work services and the work of community justice partners.  As we develop our future approaches to scrutiny and assurance, we are mindful of the recovery status and capacity of the sector.  We remain committed to engaging with stakeholders and scrutiny partners to support continuous improvement.”

Contact Information

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Notes to editors

There is an opportunity to further inform future scrutiny and assurance approaches and considerations by taking a few moments to complete this survey.

The report is available here.