The founder of Apex Scotland used the organisation’s 25th anniversary lecture to call for a redesign of Scotland’s community and prison criminal justice services using a whole system approach
In the 25 years since Apex Scotland began its work, there have been many changes in the operation of Scotland’s police service, the functioning of its courts and in the organisation of its system of punishment and rehabilitation. Jeane Freeman OBE, founder and first Chief Executive of Apex reflected on these changes and identified in her lecture that, during this time, there had been a much needed recognition of the central role of the victim in the operation of the system; there had been improvements to the integration of intelligence led policing and the systematic targeting of serious organised and drug crime and there had been positive changes to improve the efficient working of courts and changes to the recruitment, selection and appointment of Sheriffs, Sheriffs Principal and Judges which had increased transparency and accountability. She also noted that there had been numerous commissions and enquiries on what to do about sex offending, serious violent and sexual offenders, short term sentences, repeat offending and most recently, women offenders. She suggested that, almost without exception, each of these eminent enquiries and commissions had reached similar conclusions: the public needs to be protected from serious and violent offenders, punishment must be matched by opportunities and encouragement to change and, for the majority of repeat offenders, these opportunities have the best chance of success if they are offered in the community. Why then, she asks, 25 years on, is Scotland still locking up more people than any other European country?
Alan Staff, Apex Scotland’s Chief Executive said “We were delighted that Jeane accepted our invitation to speak at our 25thanniversary Lecture. Her characteristically rigorous analysis of the changes to criminal justice she had witnessed since 1987 was both timely and compelling and prompted much debate on the night.”
To read the lecture, click here.