Third Sector Engagement with Local Community Justice Partnerships

“The third sector plays an important role in improving community justice outcomes. They are a source of innovation, responsiveness and flexibility, and can provide a meaningful connection to otherwise hard-to-reach service users and communities.” (National Strategy for Community Justice)

Under section 17 of the Community Justice (Scotland) Act 2016, every local Community Justice Partnership must produce a plan for community justice in their area (known as a ‘Community Justice Outcomes Improvement Plan’ or ‘CJOIP’ for short).

The statutory partners have a duty to involve third sector organisations working in community justice in their area and community bodies in the development of the plan.  The requirement is for local statutory partners to:

  • Consider which relevant third sector bodies and local community bodies are likely to be able to contribute to the preparation of the local plan
  • Make all reasonable efforts to secure the participation of such bodies in the preparation of the local plan.
  • Consult appropriate third sector bodies when preparing their annual report.

As a third sector organisation, how can I engage with my local Community Justice Partnership?

It is up to each local area to determine the structures that are most appropriate for their needs and, as such, the routes through which the third sector can engage with community justice planning will vary across Scotland.

In the first instance, third sector organisations are advised to contact their local Third Sector Interface or local Community Justice Coordinator, who should be able to advise them of the relevant route.  Please contact us if you are unable to find contact details.

Strengthening third sector engagement with CJPs

CJVSF has been involved with a number of pieces of work to help support stronger engagement between third sector organisations and local CJPs.  These include:

  • The Strengthening Engagement Transition Project
  • The Making the Change Project
  • A joint event between CJVSF and the Community Justice Network to explore good practice in third sector engagement across CJPs and to identify ongoing barriers and how these could be addressed.

Strengthening Engagement Transition Project

The Strengthening Engagement Transition Project ran between 2015 and 2018, to support the transition to the new local model of community justice.   It was led by CJVSF and funded by the Scottish Government.

During the project, tools were developed to support the inclusion of the third sector in community justice planning, reporting, and service provision and to foster and improve collaboration between statutory and third sector stakeholders.  Copies of these tools are available to download from our resources page.

Making the Change Project

Making the Change was a programme for cross-sectoral leadership that ran between 2019 and 2020.  It was hosted by CJVSF and Community Justice Scotland and facilitated by Wren and Greyhound.  It aimed to:

  • Develop relationships and gain support from likeminded leaders
  • Increase individuals’ ability to frame questions and develop solutions
  • Make the most of existing resources
  • Identify and share learning and new ideas
  • Develop innovative responses by exploring and testing potential challenges and changes

A copy of the final report is available to download from our resources page.