This website is now part of Public Health Scotland. Publications released after 16 March 2020 are now published on the Public Health Scotland website.
Improving health
Previously NHS Health Scotland

Today, Scotland is host to a major conference aimed at changing lives by strengthening links between public health and the justice system.

Around 500 delegates from all over the world will gather in Edinburgh for the three-day event. Delegates will come together to promote collaborative working between frontline services, public health, justice workers, academics, policy makers and people with lived experience.

Our Chair, David Crichton, who is also a Scottish Police Authority Board Member, and Police Scotland Chief Constable Iain Livingstone, will attend Monday’s opening session, which will feature the latest research and frontline perspectives on key issues like mental health, childhood trauma, drug use, violence and harm reduction.

Chair of NHS Health Scotland, David Crichton, said:

“We know that people in custody are disproportionately affected by health inequalities.  For example, 49% of women and 23% of men in custody experience anxiety and depression compared to 15% of the general population.  We also know that issues like problem drug use, mental ill health and violence cut across many aspects of society and organisations, and whilst many public health and justice practitioners see the same people, they tend to view the issues through different lenses.

“We want to make a difference in communities across Scotland by reducing reoffending and changing lives for the better, and we know that key to doing this, is to take a public health approach. This includes addressing adversity in childhood, challenging poverty, tackling poor housing and ensuring that everyone can enjoy their right to the highest sustainable standard of health.

“We will continue to work with the Scottish Government, Community Justice Scotland and other justice partners, particularly in health and social care, to improve the health and wellbeing of the people of Scotland, including those involved in justice system, victims and families.” 


For more information on public health and community justice, read our report; Reducing Offending, Reducing Inequalities (RORI).