Single agency for correctional service could be dropped

Plans for a single agency for correction services in Scotland
are likely to be dropped in favour of a partnership-based approach,
the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities has revealed,
writes Lauren Revans in Edinburgh.

Speaking at Community Care Live Scotland, Cosla chief executive
Rory Mair said that the outcome of negotiations with the Scottish
executive was likely to be a compromise model that was “more
partnership and less structural”.

“My view is that we will not have a single agency,” Mair said.
“We will have something that is not quite what we really want and
not quite what the executive really want. So we will have to see
that what we get now is a stepping stone to what we want.”

Negotiations began back in 2003 following the commitment in the
Partnership Agreement between the Scottish Labour Party and
Scottish Liberal Democrats to publish proposals for consultation
for a single agency to deliver custodial and non-custodial
sentences in Scotland with the aim of reducing re-offending

Justice minister Cathy Jamieson said such an agency would bring
together the Scottish Prison Service and the 32 local authority
criminal justice social work services.

Mair warned that if the partnership-approach compromise was
given the go-ahead, practitioners should not breathe a sigh of
relief but start working immediately on getting their own house in

“Once we have got this out of the way, we have to deal with the
real internal issues,” he said. “That is why the partnership system
has to work. That has to be built up. People cannot not be in it
and resources have to be made available.”

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