The Scottish Government has pledged that Scotland “must strive to be regarded internationally as having a truly progressive and enlightened criminal justice system”.

Scottish Drugs Forum is hosting this important one-day conference as Scotland’s criminal justice landscape undergoes a series of transformational changes to achieve this goal.

With 70 percent of prisoners testing positive for illicit drugs on admission to prison during 2011/12, many of these changes which will have major significance for people experiencing substance use issues and those who work with them.

Unfolding initiatives include:

  • redesign of the adult community-based justice system in Scotland
  • the Scottish Government’s Reducing Reoffending programme
  • the impact of transfer of prison healthcare to the NHS in Scotland in 2012
  • greater focus on mental health issues – including trauma – in the new Scottish Mental Health Strategy
  • the Scottish Parliament Justice Committee Inquiry into purposeful activity in prison
  • Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government focus on tackling Health Inequalities

About this conference

This Conference aims to dovetail policy and practice under the national Road to Recovery Drug Strategy with these emerging themes within the Scottish criminal justice system – thereby improving responses at policy development, planning and practice levels to people with substance problems in the criminal justice system.

This event will focus on sharing information and best practice on a range of topics exploring:

  • the landscape and context of national policy
  • areas for development
  • examples of innovative projects on addressing the current needs and meeting future of service users in the criminal justice system.


Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Scotland’s Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs, is keynote speaker.

She will be joined by other leading figures in the field including:

  • Colin McConnell, Chief Executive of the Scottish Prison Service, in his first major address on substance use issues within the Scottish Prison Service since his appointment last year
  • Gill McIvor, Professor of Criminology, University of Stirling
  • Dr Lesley Graham, National Prisoner Health Care Network
  • Alan Staff. Chief Executive, Apex Scotland 
  • The View from The Bench – speaker to be confirmed


These will be led by a range of experienced practitioners – and will focus on two themes:

  • Meeting the needs of specific populations of substance users in the criminal justice system
  • Emerging good practice with substance users - and lessons for future policy

You can read the Conference Programme and book a place online here....

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