About Sacro

Sacro is a Scottish community justice organisation which works to deliver life-changing services that empower people, give hope and protection, and help to build safe communities. Sacro provides a wide range of direct, innovative services in Community Justice, Community Safety and Public Protection. Our services are designed to help build safe communities by reducing conflict, helping people to avoid getting caught up in the criminal justice system, and supporting people whose lives are in crisis. The organisation works with a broad range of people, including those harmed by crime and those responsible for that harm, people who are at risk and in need of support, protection and care.

As a Scotland-wide voluntary organisation, we are committed to providing services that contribute to positive transformational changes in the lives of our service users. We work independently and collaboratively within Scotland’s communities to provide support, prevent conflict and challenge offending behaviour wherever the need arises. Our services are based on research evidence, service user feedback, international standards of good practice and a commitment to development and innovation.

Since its inception, Sacro has grown and developed services all across Scotland for individuals who need our support, guidance or monitoring to reduce the risk of further conflict or offending. Sacro has played its part by contributing to reducing reoffending with the figures for recorded crime in Scotland decreasing year-on-year. Sacro’s work has a tangible and far-reaching benefit for the people of Scotland, its communities and society.


Sacro has spent over 50 years working to reduce conflict and offending in Scotland. Initially, volunteers provided a drop-in centre in Edinburgh, a hostel in Glasgow and a travel services for families of prisoners from the two cities to Scottish prisons. Over the years, locally managed Sacro services were set up throughout Scotland and in November 1971, formed The Scottish Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (SACRO).

Much of the focus of this original Association is as relevant today as it was then. In these early years, SACRO volunteers provided ex-prisoners and their families with friendship, support and guidance following release. Problems of loneliness, homelessness and disassociation from society were constant barriers to effective rehabilitation and SACRO provided this vulnerable group with much-needed support.

In 1992 SACRO’s independent local services merged into a single organisation. In 1998 the Board took the decision to rebrand the organisation by dispensing with the acronym and using the descriptor: “Safeguarding Communities – Reducing Offending”. This was to reflect a shift in emphasis of its work from working only for the welfare of individual offenders, to an organisation where services were working with communities and with individuals and their families to make communities safer. It was also to reflect Sacro's belief that people have an instrinsic capacity for personal responsibility and change.

Today's Sacro remains committed to supporting people in making positive changes in their lives. Its life-changing services continue to empower people, give hope and protection, and help to build safe communities, all over Scotland.

Sacro’s Values and Principles

  • Inclusion
  • Not judging
  • Respecting people
  • Trust
  • Kindness
  • Empowering people
  • Inspiring people

Sacro’s Vision

Scotland will be a place of safety, inclusiveness, and wellbeing for everyone.

Sacro’s Mission

To deliver life-changing services that empower people, give hope and protection, and help to build safe communities.