The Restorative Justice Action Plan of the Scottish Government published in June 2019 aims to have RJ widely available across Scotland by 2023. The government will invest £300 thousand to make delivery consistent by that date.
Talking to BBC Scotland, Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf says he wishes he had access to RJ himself.
He said: “I know from my own personal experience when I have been the victim of racial abuse, I would have liked to sit down with the offender and got them to understand the impact the crime has had on me and my family.
“I think it would have made a big difference. I want to get this right for the whole of Scotland. There is not one panacea to reduce reoffending on its own. This is part of a jigsaw to reduce reoffending and help victims. And if there are less victims, society wins.”
The plan identifies four areas where development is needed:
- Training – No widely available training exists so third sectors may step in to expand provision and focus on specialist training for certain individuals and offence types.
- Information Sharing – A lack of understanding and expertise in data protection legislation has made it difficult for services to share details on offenders and persons harmed, restricting restorative justice services.
- Awareness – Individuals and communities are not aware of this option or how to access it.
- Resources – There are no specific funding streams which limits provision.