The mission of the Joint Faiths’ Board on Community Justice is to promote constructive action from an Inter Faith perspective, on issues related to crime and its prevention, victims of crime, offenders and their families, prisons, community measures, sanctions, and the Judiciary in Scotland.
- To contribute, from the perspective of Scotland’s faith communities, to the development of Community Justice philosophy and penal reform; and to upholding the rights of victims of crime, offenders, untried persons, and their families.
- To raise awareness in faith communities about matters of community justice, and to encourage members of faith communities to take up opportunities to get involved in work relating to community justice in their local areas.
- To consult with the Scottish Government, Crown Office, the Judiciary and the Procurator Fiscal Service, and, where appropriate, the Westminster Government on matters of law and criminal justice in Scotland, and on matters relating to the well-being of those who are in custody or under supervision within the Community Justice system.
- To assist and encourage faith communities in their engagement with the police and other community justice agencies.
Victims of crime
- To support victims of crime, recognising the pain and distress caused to individuals and communities by offending behaviour.
- To consult with agencies working with victims of crime.
Offenders and Prisoners
- To promote values of reconciliation, forgiveness and restoration of relationships throughout the Community Justice system; and to support initiatives that use restorative justice practices.
- To stimulate the interest and participation of all faiths in ministry within the Criminal Justice System.
- To represent faith communities in dealing with the Scottish Prison Service, and the Advisors to the Scottish Prison Service, on matters relating to prison chaplaincy.
- To report to, and consult with, faith communities on matters relating to the well-being of those who are in custody or under supervision within the Community Justice system.
- To visit penal establishments, when deemed appropriate by the Board and by the Justice Department or its agencies.
- Christian Churches
- a) Each of ACTS’ Member Churches are invited to nominate one representative;
- b) Other Churches, eligible to become Members of ACTS, may seek agreement from the Board to nominate a representative.
- Other Faiths
Each of the non-Christian major faiths represented on the Executive Committee of Interfaith Scotland to be invited to nominate one representative.
In attendance: Specialist Advisers in Prison Chaplaincy; representatives of the Scottish Churches Parliamentary Office and Roman Catholic Parliamentary Office; and Parliamentary Officers serving the other faiths represented on the Board shall be invited to attend meetings of the Board in an advisory capacity.
Membership of the Board will normally be for five years (though some appointments may initially be for a shorter period to facilitate gradual renewal of members; any member at the end of her/his term may be reappointed by her/his nominating body; no part-time or whole-time employee of the Scottish Prison Service will be appointed by the Churches or by other faith bodies.
The Board may co-opt up to two additional members to broaden the range of expertise within the Board, and may invite others to attend meetings from time to time. Co-option will normally be for a period of not more than two calendar years.
From among the members, the Board shall elect a Convener and Vice-Convener for a period of two years, with the possibility of re-election for a further period of two years. Elections will normally take place at the first meeting of the Board in a calendar year.
The Board may also appoint an administrative Secretary.
The Board will meet normally at least four times each year.
Decisions of the Board on action will be reached by consensus of the members.
ACTS’ Member Churches will support the Board by providing, through their contributions to ACTS, administrative and other assistance for its work.
Other member bodies of the Board will be expected to make annual financial contributions to support the work of the Board. The level of contribution to be requested will be decided annually at the first meeting of the calendar year.
Each member of the Board will be responsible for reporting on the work of the Board to her/his nominating body.
Annual Reports on the work of the Board will be prepared by the Convener and Vice-Convener and will be submitted, for information, to the appropriate body of ACTS and to the Executive Committee of Interfaith Scotland.
Any representative of a Church or Faith Group may bring a proposal to amend the Constitution to a meeting. The proposal will be discussed at the next meeting of the Board and, if it is approved by the Board, will be submitted to member bodies for their approval.
Contacting the JFABCJ
Please contact Miriam Weibye at ACTS for more information.