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REDUCING REMAND – IMPROVING BAIL SUPPORT

REDUCING REMAND – IMPROVING BAIL SUPPORT
BY KAREN BAXTER, Policy Officer, Community Justice

To progress our work on collaborative commissioning, a Short-life Tactical Working Group was formed involving all of our relevant Community Justice Glasgow partners, to provide practical steps to deliver the Partnerships’ commitment towards Collaborative Commissioning. 

This group prioritised two areas of focus to test collaborative commissioning, which were:

  1. Reducing Remand by Improving Bail Support.
  2. Improving Diversion from Prosecution Options for Adults.

To that end, an event took place on 30/10/19, bringing together all relevant partners to focus on how to achieve this.  The event resulted in improvement plans for each of the two areas. 

The Bail Support Improvement plan included all of the ideas that came about from this session, and these were also ranked by priority by all participants.  This then provided a focus for partners to take forward the options that were collectively felt to be of greatest value or priority.  The actions given highest priority were:

  • linking to housing initiatives including Housing First and the Rapid Rehousing Transition Plan;
  • mentoring;
  • improving processes around the breach process for bail;
  • victims;
  • restorative justice; and
  • Trauma Informed Practice.

To date there has been some progress on priority areas, and work is ongoing to progress the overall Improvement Plan.  Examples of the work being carried out include:

  • Our data sharing agreement with Scottish Prison Service and others has enabled us to share information with partners to ensure the best housing outcomes for people who do go to prison and on release. These principles can be assessed and used to improve bail outcomes. 
  • On board senior management staff across disciplines ensures that the needs of those involved in justice services are reflected in housing and homelessness strategic plans for the city.
  • Work is ongoing with the Crown Office Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) National Marking Team to ensure that the Procurator Fiscals who are marking cases before they go to court are aware of all of the options in Glasgow to support bail.
  • The Court Social Work Team have worked hard to promote Supervised Bail as an option in all relevant cases they work with. They are based within the court which helps with visibility, and promotional materials have been produced to increase knowledge and awareness of the services they provide.  The number of Supervised Bail cases increased significantly for 2019/20.
  • A bail mentoring service was tendered and Sacro are now providing this service to ensure appropriate support for people and reduce the risk that they will be remanded.
  • There is ongoing work with Victim Support Scotland, improving partnership working and there will be initial work to assess the flow of information on bail to victims, and what can be done to improve this.
  • A Restorative Justice pilot is being carried out in the North West of the city, with dedicated staff, and this will be evaluated and potentially rolled out further.
  • There is planning in place for Restorative Justice approaches which are also being integrated into community based justice service programmes.
  • A Trauma Training Needs Assessment had previously been completed for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, which included Community Justice Services and many relevant partners including Homelessness and Housing services. The resultant action plan is currently being rolled out, and involves staff training to ensure trauma informed approach in our services.

You can read about progress on the Diversion from Prosecution Options Action Plan in another articles in this Annual Report by clicking on this link:

A PLAN TO IMPROVE DIVERSION FROM POROSECTION OPTIONS (ADULT) 

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