On Wednesday 23 November 2022, the Community Justice Ayrshire Partnership hosted their ‘Community Justice Matters’ conference at The Park Hotel in Kilmarnock.
Around 150 delegates were in attendance, ranging from local Elected Members and senior leaders to front line practitioners from a wide range of statutory and third sector services.
Cllr Julie Dettbarn, Chair of the Community Justice Ayrshire Partnership opened the conference explaining why community justice matters in Ayrshire.
Delegates were presented with a short video clip from Keith Brown, MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Justice, and Veterans who set the national context, and highlighted the importance of the work of local community justice partnerships in delivering improved outcomes for communities.
Catriona Dalrymple, Community Justice Deputy Director, Scottish Government, provided the keynote speech which highlighted the need for smart and compassionate justice across Scotland.
Chief Executive of Community Justice Scotland, Karyn McCluskey spoke about the importance of relationships, and organisations knowing their communities.
Linda Bendle, Head of Business and Operations and Malcolm Paul, Mentoring Services Manager from Heavy Sound CIC, provided an overview of their innovative practices in supporting disadvantaged young people and adults caught up in the justice system. They shared their own experiences and their thoughts on how we can make it better for people coming through community justice, using at the team around the person approach.
Naomi Breeze from Breeze Productions gave an energetic and thought-provoking performance of her piece ‘Leaves on the Track’. This was followed by a workshop session designed around the story, which allowed delegates to discuss and explore the impact of crime on individuals, families, and communities.
New Community Justice Ayrshire Partnership Board member, Sally Amor, Consultant in Public Health, NHS Ayrshire and Arran spoke about the importance of evidence, ongoing learning, and the need for action now – making the audience consider the need to understand our own relationships better.
The final speaker of the day, Ian McMeekin, Local Senior Officer, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spoke about the importance of getting Community Planning and Community Justice right, the wider role and opportunities for trusted organisations in communities and putting strategy into action.
Annie Torrance, Community Justice Ayrshire Partnership Manager brought the conference to a close, reflecting on the key messages from the day and reminding everyone that ‘Community Justice Matters’.
Delegates were given the opportunity to view and listen to Community Justice Scotland’s ‘Second Chancers’ campaign. Second Chancers – Community Justice Scotland