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Justice Strategy response

Please note that The Robertson Trust has published its new Giving Strategy. This sets out the priorities we will have when awarding funds through our open grants programme. The existing application form and guidelines can still be used until July 31st. In line with our existing procedures, we will aim to assess and present all applications received by this date to our September Board meeting. In the event that we are unable to do so, your application may be held until our November meeting. In such cases a member of staff will contact you and provide any assistance required to realign your application with the new Giving Strategy. Find out all you need to know here.

Last week's publication of Justice in Scotland: Vision and Priorities made for positive reading at The Robertson Trust. In particular, we were pleased to see the prioritisation of prison being used only where necessary to address offending or to protect public safety, with an increased focus on recovery and reintegration.

As a Trust, we have funded and supported projects which have shown unequivocably that young people with convictions can turn their lives around when they are offered the right support at the right time, including Action for Children's Moving On and Access to Industry's Passport. We have identified relationships as the key component of success combined with a flexible but persistent approach which gives young people the ability to make positive choices about their future.

Having spent over 10 years supporting organisations working in the field of Criminal Justice, we feel proud to have played a part in the number of young people being prosecuted dropping since 2006-07. Meanwhile, the recent evaluation of the Reducing Reoffending Change Fund, which we funded with the Scottish Government and Scottish Prison Service, has highlighted that mentoring combined with other support can be an effective approach to reduce risk factors associated with offending behaviour.

We, along with some of our funded projects, shared much of this learning at our Criminal Justice Conference in 2016 which Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Justice, attended and presented at. The resources from that day can be accessed here.

However, the challenge now is to ensure that successful interventions and projects that can evidence positive outcomes and value for money are sustained in the longer term once initial funding runs out. Last week's announcement is certainly a positive step and we welcome the recommendation to deliver a further, decisive shift in resources to focus on prevention and early intervention.

While we will continue to project manage and share learning from our last remaining Criminal Justice projects, The Robertson Trust's Innovation and Learning team has also shifted its focus to new areas borne out of learning gathered over the past ten years. Click here to find out more about our new themes; Preventing Young People from Entering the Criminal Justice System and Improving the Wellbeing of Women and Girls.