Alcohol (in)justice symposium - Wednesday 19 April at the RCPE
On Wednesday 19 April, SHAAP hosted “Alcohol (in)justice”, a symposium about those with alcohol problems in the justice system.
The prevalence of alcohol problems in those who come into the criminal justice system is known to be high. Many of those in the justice system come from the most disadvantaged backgrounds where alcohol harm is highest. For some individuals, their alcohol problem is linked to their offending behaviour (e.g. violent crime/drink driving) whist for others, it is not. Contact with the justice system provides the opportunity to detect, intervene or signpost individuals into alcohol treatment services. This can not only reduce alcohol harm but could also reduce health inequalities and potentially reduce re-offending.
In order to address the issue of people with alcohol problems in the Scottish criminal justice system, the symposium aimed to raise awareness; act as a knowledge exchange; bring together key stakeholders and identify barriers and opportunities. Attendees were encouraged to ask questions and make a pledge at the end of the day about something they will take forward to ensure that progress is made to better support those with alcohol problems in the justice system.
The speaker schedule was designed to reflect the journey through the criminal justice system. Within each section of the journey, one speaker addressed the issue of alcohol in justice from a health perspective while the other speaker discussed the matter from the viewpoint of the justice system. The event was chaired by SHAAP Director Elinor Jayne.
Speaker presentations from the event
State of Play: Policy and Practice by Andy Perkins, Director of Figure 8 Consultancy Service Ltd and Lead Researcher for Understanding Sbstance Use and the Wider Support Needs of Scotland's Prison Population
Read SHAAP's report on the Alcohol (in)justice sympisium heald at the RCPE on 19 April 2023. This event report aims to capture the main discussion points and communicate them to a wider audience.
This report includes talks from speakers:
- Dr Lesley Graham
- Lisa Millar
- CS Hilary Sloan
- Hannah Cornish
- Sheriff Iain Fleming
- Karyn McCluskey
- Andy Perkins
- Sharon Holloway
- Dr Craig Sayers
- Panelists: Rod Anderson, Lisa Millar, Wendy Sinclair-Gieben and Lynsey Smith.
The report also includes the results from the various polls conducted throughout the event as well as a list of pledges made by attendees to help those with alcohol problems within the justice system.
Read the report: Alcohol (In)justice (shaap.org.uk)
In this blog, SHAAP Steering Group Member Dr Lesley Graham reflects on the current management of those with alcohol problems within the justice system in Scotland and looks back on SHAAP’s most recent symposium “Alcohol (in)justice”.
Read the blog: Alcohol Problems in the Justice Setting (shaap.org.uk)
The Glasgow Alcohol Court was established in 2018 and seeks to reduce the rates of reoffending by supporting individuals who offend with their underlying alcohol issues.
Learn more about Alcohol Courts: Alcohol Court briefing