Structural changes needed to deliver real social justice and safer communities

By making structural changes we can support vulnerable people and communities.

We need to make structural changes if we are to tackle adverse childhood experiences and intergenerational trauma and build safer communities, says Scottish Green MSP Maggie Chapman.

Speaking in a parliamentary debate on the Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities programme, Ms Chapman will praise the work of the scheme, which reinvests money recovered from crime into community projects, while noting that “it is not a complete answer to the deep-rooted problems which it tackles.”

Ms Chapman will warn that while the CashBack for Communities programme has raised vital funds for important projects across Scotland, the real solutions that are needed to create safer and more equal communities are structural.

Speaking in the debate, Ms Chapman will say:

“crime of all kinds has the most devastating effects on the most marginalised communities, on people living in poverty and in areas of multiple deprivation.”

Ms Chapman will conclude in saying that the work of programmes like Cash for Communities, does not remove the need to address the structural problems that underpin crime:

“CashBack for Communities is an encouraging example of what Scotland can do well, within our devolved powers. But it is not a complete answer to the deep-rooted problems which it tackles.

“It works, as it should, with individual young people, families and communities. But that work needs to be complemented by policies which address the structural causes of adverse childhood experiences and intergenerational trauma, causes that include child poverty, inequality, service and resource shortfalls. 

“And it needs to be underpinned by robust and enforceable children’s rights, and by continued reform of a criminal justice system which too often punishes young people for their economic and social situations.”