Today we have published a new resource: ‘Reducing Offending, Reducing Inequalities’ (RORI) to highlight the relationship between inequality and offending.

The report seeks to strengthen links between health and justice agencies to promote joint improvements in service delivery. RORI is consistent with the Scottish Government’s Justice Strategy ‘Vision and Priorities for Justice‘, both of which emphasise the need for prevention and early intervention to improve wellbeing and life chances. We are committed to supporting partners in their work and encourage local delivery plans to include work from all sectors in order to achieve sustainable progress.

The Justice Strategy provides greater opportunity for justice and community planning partners to work together to achieve an earlier impact on the risk factors for both offending and inequalities. Through an assets based, trauma informed approach, partners can help build the resilience and positive change needed by people affected by crime and offending.

George Dodds, Director of Health Equity at NHS Health Scotland, said:

“We know that people in prison are disproportionately affected by health inequalities.  For instance, 49% of women and 23% of men in prison have been identified as suffering from anxiety and depression compared to 15% of the general population. 

“We want to make a difference in communities across Scotland by reducing reoffending and changing lives for the better. In order to achieve this, we have worked with others to create an evidence-informed, outcome-focused health inequalities resource linking health improvement, community justice and community planning. 

“We will continue to work with the Scottish Government, Community Justice Scotland and justice partners, particularly in health and social care, to improve health and wellbeing for people involved in justice system, victims and families.  We will also contribute to a strengthening of informal, collaborative links between health and justice agencies and their contribution to community planning.”