A survey to obtain citizens views on Community Justice has been launched by Community Planning Aberdeen’s Community Justice Group.
Community justice involves a diverse range of services, including health, housing, social work, third sector, as well as the police and courts, working together to repair harm to the community, address offending behaviour and support reintegration back into society.
Community Justice partners in Aberdeen are working to improve outcomes for people involved in the justice system, their families and communities.
In order to inform this work, they want to find out what the priorities, views and experiences are of those involved and to learn from them.
They also want to help communities better understand how the system and services function, to enable citizens support this work and make communities safer and stronger places to live, work and play.
According to statistics nearly two thirds (63%) of Scots do not know what community justice is* or its aims to empower communities and to provide people with the information needed to actively participate.
Aberdeen City Council’s co-leader, councillor Jenny Laing, chair of Community Planning Aberdeen Board, said: “We need citizens to be part of an effective Community Justice system to ensure that our communities are safer and stronger and by doing so making them better places to live, work and play.
“By raising awareness of what Community Justice is we want communities to actively participate in Community Justice. I would encourage citizens to take part in the survey as the results will help us to further develop community engagement in a matter that affects all of us.”
Jonathan Smith, chair of Aberdeen Civic Forum and Aberdeen Community Council Forum, said: “It is essential that we all listen to the views of our communities, the experiences of those affected, stories shared by our neighbours and explore ways to be safer and more supported together.
”This is an opportunity for the people of Aberdeen to have a meaningful say in shaping the future of Community Justice, and to be part of making a lasting difference for the future of the city.”
The consultation is now open until 01 February 2020. Please click here to take part in the consultation.
Paper copies of the questionnaire can be obtained by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
The survey coincides with the Scotland-wide Second Chancers campaign, which has been launched by the national body Community Justice Scotland. It aims to raise awareness of what community justice is and building confidence in it as an effective sentencing option that reduces offending, reduces the number of victims and improves lives.
Sentences served in the community are more effective than sentences served in prison. Yet data has shown that nearly two thirds of the public don’t know what community justice is: only 21% of Scots agree that Scotland operates a smart justice system that is robust, effective and fair.*
Aimed at changing perceptions of what justice should look like in 21 century Scotland, Second Chancers is centred around the voices of those whose lives have been touched by the justice system.
Comprising of a series of short documentary films and a touring audio exhibition, the campaign tells authentic and raw stories of success and failure, change and transformation, obstacles and helping hands.
To watch ‘Second Chancer’ please click here.
*Attitudes towards community justice. Independent research commissioned by Community Justice Scotland, published January 2018.