RMA Newsletter: March 2021

    24 March 2021, Mailing List, General

    This month we are proud to publish our 2021-22 Business Plan, welcome two new Members to RMA Board, celebrate fantastic feedback from our LS/CMI Helpdesk Survey, and on our blog, our Head of Development writes about why we should never stop asking "why?"

    2021-22 Business Plan:

    In March 2020, the World Health Organisation declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic and like many other organisations, we have felt the effects. Whilst we continue to work remotely and adapt to the challenges presented, we have also been planning how to support the transformation of justice in Scotland. Read on to learn a bit about a few of our Strategic Objectives for 2021-22 and view our Business Plan.

    Development Team

    Our Development team undertake and publish research on risk assessment and management across criminal justice, and ensure our Standards and Guidelines remain evidence-based and in-line with current research. In 2021-22 a key Strategic Objective for the team is the production and publication of a series of OLR research studies to inform advice and discussions around policy and practice.

    Effective Practice Team

    A newly formed department within the RMA, our Effective Practice team has responsibility for oversight of policy and legislation relevant to the work of the RMA. The team also lead on aspects of training, learning and development, and a range of support to LS/CMI users. In 2021-22 the team will work with partners on the impact of the Counter Terrorism and Sentencing Bill 2021 for assessment and management in Scotland.

    OLR Team

    Our OLR team provide expert oversight and evaluation of all statutory requirements related to the Order for Lifelong Restriction (OLR), plus advice and support to those bodies responsible for the management of offenders in both custody and the community. In 2021-22 the team are undertaking research to better understand the experience of individuals with an OLR who have been released into the community then recalled to custody.

    Jim Farish and Dr Joe Judge appointed as Members of the RMA Board

    We are delighted to welcome Jim Farish and Dr Joe Judge who both bring invaluable experience and expertise to the RMA Board. Our Board meets bi-monthly to provide strategic direction, support and guidance, and monitor our progress against performance targets.

    “I am delighted that Jim and Joe are joining our Board and bring with them extensive experience working in prisons, community and the state hospital. We look forward to working with them to realise our ambitions to transform the assessment and management of those who pose a risk of serious harm and to make Scotland safer.”

    – Mark McSherry, Chief Executive

    LS/CMI Helpdesk Survey Results

    Over the period January to December 2020 our LS/CMI Helpdesk received a total of 204 queries (from 101 different individuals), of which 121 were from community based services and 83 from prison based services. Users were asked to complete a short survey to help inform the helpdesk process and how this might be improved – we’re pleased to report an overwhelmingly positive response.  

    “Was very happy with quick response to both my queries. Julie was very helpful & supportive and both my queries were resolved. Julie also provided further guidance to both manager & myself to help in future. Very happy with support given & no complaints at all.”

    Survey Respondent

    RMA Blogs:

    Never Stop Asking “Why?”

    “It’s about telling the person’s narrative – what has contributed to the path they have taken to get here, what affects the choices they make, what might interfere with them making better choices, and what might help them make better choices.”

    Geoff Tordzro-Taylor is our Head of Development and a Chartered Psychologist and Registered Forensic Psychologist. In our February blog, he writes about the importance of formulation to tell a meaningful story about an individual, and why we should never stop asking, “why?”

    Assessing Victim Safety

    Victim safety should be at the heart of our justice system, and listening to victims of crime can help us to ensure our justice system can be fair and accessible. 

    In support of Victims Support Scotland’s Victims Awareness Week in February, our Head of Effective Practice and Victims’ Expert lay member of Scottish Sentencing Council, Lesley Weber, writes about her thoughts on ensuring a robust and transparent response to victims within the justice system.



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