A bold new strategy seeking to break the cycle of offending by strengthening community justice has been announced by Justice Secretary Michael Matheson.

Tackling offending through early intervention, identifying the reasons why people offend in the first place, and helping people reintegrate into the community after custody, is at the heart of the new approach.

Strong partnership working is crucial to the new strategy, which will include increased use of community payback orders and electronic monitoring, and reducing the inappropriate use of remand.

Developed with local authorities, health boards, justice agencies, the third sector, victims groups and people with convictions, the strategy will strengthen the way public services, charities and communities work together to reduce and prevent offending.

The strategy supports Scotland’s new model for community justice which comes into effect from 1 April 2017. The new model will improve how community justice is delivered and give greater transparency over progress at a local level and across Scotland.