Scotland’s justice system will see total investment of over £3.1 billion in 2022/23 to strengthen and reform vital front-line services.
The Scottish Budget includes £188 million in additional investment - a 7% increase - to recognise the vital role of emergency services and the justice sector during the pandemic and support their continued renewal and reform.
The extra investment includes:
• £53.2 million for renewal and transformation of the justice sector including court recovery, addressing trial backlogs and expanding community justice services.
• £40.5 million for the Scottish Police Authority, maintaining our commitment to protect the police resource budget in real terms each year, for the entirety of this Parliament.
• £4 million for victims’ services, measures to tackle violence against women and girls and support for the justice system to respond to victims’ needs.
• £9.5 million towards supporting the modernisation of our fire and rescue service, including investment to allow it to expand its work on fire prevention and fire safety with vulnerable households.
• £72.8 million to continue the modernisation of the prison estate, including the new female custodial estate and the replacement for HMP Inverness.
Justice Secretary Keith Brown MSP said:
“Our emergency services and justice agencies have been a mainstay of the pandemic. This Budget recognises the role they played and supports their continued operation and reform.
“We will also ensure the necessary funding for recovery and reform of our wider justice system – tackling the pandemic induced backlog, while making access to justice as efficient and effective as possible.
“That includes redoubling our focus on community justice and prevention; retaining the option of a custodial sentence for those who pose the most risk and harm, while supporting diversion from prosecution, alternatives to remand, and community sentencing and ensuring a continuing focus on the needs of victims and their families.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“This Budget demonstrates our ongoing and unwavering commitment to support the justice system and enable our communities to be safe and resilient, to reduce crime and offending and support victims and witnesses.”
The Justice Budget also includes:
• £15 million to the Scottish Prison Service to meet the needs of an increasingly complex prison population, a 4.2% increase.
• £15 million through the justice recovery fund to enhance the effectiveness and capacity of community-based interventions, an increase of £3.2m on this year.
• £4.2 million increase to the Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service, a 3.5% increase, plus £26.5m through the Justice recovery fund to help deal with the court backlog.
• £12.5 million increase through the demand-led Legal Aid Fund to support access to publicly-funded legal advice and assistance, a 10% increase.
Further details can be found here.