It will not have escaped anyone’s notice that Scotland has of late, been engaged in a national discussion about the kind of country it wants to be. Regardless of the politics, the view coming through loud and clear is the one that aspires to a more caring and inclusive society. Such a progressive society will care for all of its citizens. Where people need support to improve their wellbeing or circumstances, it will be made available and provided without prejudice.
There are many reasons why people offend but when citizens become detached or isolated from their community, the supports that can have a positive influence on their behaviour are degraded. Unemployment, poverty, fear, health problems or poor educational attainment are just some of the factors that can result in social exclusion but they are all issues that can be addressed with the proper care and support.
The people who use Sacro’s services are often vulnerable and rely on the work we do to support them more than ever. The anticipated duration of this strategic plan coincides with a sustained period of austerity. This means that the benefit of the work we do in reducing offending and reoffending is of increasing importance.
In a highly competitive and increasingly cost-conscious environment, we are clear about what we need to do differently. We understand the areas we must focus on to achieve the best outcomes for those who use our services; the best value for our funders; and the improved wellbeing of our communities.
At this time, Sacro is fully supportive of, and engaged with the redesign of community justice in Scotland. We will ensure our own operational structures and focus continues to be influential, relevant and competitive within the emerging landscape.
Although this Strategic Plan will guide our path to 2020, we have sought to establish principles and approaches to take us far beyond that. Our long-standing principles of effective conflict resolution and a community approach to addressing offending are as relevant today as they ever were. These principles are simply in Sacro’s “DNA” and will underpin all we do. However, having established principles does not mean standing still. Sacro has a reputation as a progressive organisation, basing our approaches on solid evidence, contemporary thinking and first-hand experience of “what works”.
Sacro remains a strong, confident and assured organisation with clarity of purpose and we look forward to continuing to play a vital role in improving the safety and wellbeing of Scotland’s citizens.