Tue 2 March 2004
New quango will not stop re-offending - UNISON
the public services union today responded with concern to the inclusion a new
centralised body in the consultation paper on tackling re-offending.
Smellie, Chair of UNISONScotland's Social Work Issues Group said "Whilst we welcome
the emphasis on tackling re-offending in the consultation paper, the creation
of a new quango may weaken rather than strengthen the ability to work with people
in the community. We fail to see how a new quango will do anything to reduce re-offending
and cut crime. A new unaccountable body dominated by the Prison Service would
be likely to place a greater emphasis on punishment and custody. What evidence
there is indicates that non-custodial sentences are more effective in stopping
"We are also concerned that this major shake up in treating
offending is only to have a 90-day consultation period. This will be very tight
for a number of bodies who would want to respond. Does this mean the Executive
have already made up their mind?"
Joe Di Paola, Unison's Scottish Organiser
for Local Government also points out that this removes a service from local control.
"To remove the planning, running and liasing functions of criminal justice from
local control, and place them in a huge centralised body, flies in the face of
the Executive's stated aim. If they really want to encourage rehabilitation, prevent
re-offending and improve the quality of life in our communities they should be
improving communications between local bodies and national agencies, following
the Justice Committee's recommendation of more investment and resources and introducing
a more radical approach to sentencing."
For Further Information
Please Contact: Stephen Smellie (Chair - Soc Wk Issues Group) 01698 454690(o)
07740 096 864(m) Joe Di Paola (Scottish Org - Local Govt): 0845 355 0845(o) 07990
505 698(m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer): 0870 7777006(o) 07715 583 729(m)