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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-05425: Claire Baker (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 8 December 2016

To ask the Scottish Government which of the projects reviewed by the Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services in its report, Evaluation of Sixteen Women’s Community Justice Services in Scotland, have been mainstreamed.

Answered by: Michael Matheson 21 December 2016

Over 201314 and 201415 the Scottish Government provided a total of £3.1m grant funding to projects providing community-based services to women who offend, to support the creation or development of services in line with the recommendations of the Commission on Women Offenders (CWO). These were the sixteen projects reviewed in the IRISS report, which was funded by the Scottish Government.

The CWO report indicated that improved services could be delivered utilising existing resources, and need not require additional central funding. These grants were offered as one-off payments, made in response to improvement proposals presented by local justice stakeholders. It was made clear to both the projects and their local partners that this funding would be non-recurring, and that they would be responsible for securing funding beyond the scope of the initial grants. The projects were encouraged to seek a level of funding that they anticipated to be able to sustain at the conclusion of the grant period. To provide additional assistance, a further £640,000 was distributed by the Scottish Government in 2015-16 to twelve of the projects, to sustain them for a further year whilst they demonstrated their impact, and engaged with local funding providers.

There was no suggestion that the Scottish Government would provide ongoing funding, and any decisions on mainstreaming were and are the responsibility of local community justice bodies, with their partner organisations.