Community Support

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Feeling like you’re a part of your local community can make a big difference to your overall wellbeing.  After a conviction, many people find that they lose some of their social connections and find themselves feeling isolated. 

Each local community has different opportunities available and so we aren’t even going to attempt to create a list of what might be available in your local town/city.  However, below we’ve highlighted some of the sorts of places that you are likely to find in your own community and who are likely to give you a very warm welcome if you reach out to them to find out what they have on offer.

Community centres

Many small communities have a Community Centre at their heart.  They often provide social activities, some have cafes/lunch clubs, many offer support services (such as employability services, access to computers, job search support, etc.), all have connections with other support services and agencies. 


There are many charities working across Scotland to improve the wellbeing of people who have been involved with the criminal justice system.  One good place to start looking is the list of members in the Criminal Justice Voluntary Sector Forum.  Many charities connected to the criminal justice system are a part of this forum and so browsing their list of members might give you an idea of which charity might suit you.  Some are national, whilst others are local to specific areas. You might need to browse for a while before you find an organisation operating in your local area. 

If you are looking for support that is not specifically related to the criminal justice system, you may want to search on ALISS; a national database sharing the information of support services across Scotland.

Faith Groups

Faith groups often deliver community outreach projects that are very welcoming, regardless of whether or not you practise that particular religion. These days, most churches, mosques, synagogues, etc. have a social media presence and it is likely that they will share information about activities that are open to the general public.

Peer networks

Our Facebook peer support group (www.facebook.com/groups/nextchapterscotland) is a great way of connecting with other people who have lived through some of the same experiences as you. In the group you can ask questions if you need help navigating specific challenges and you can share your experiences to help others.

There are other online peer support networks. Some examples include:

There are many more peer support groups for people with experience of the criminal justice system operating in local communities across Scotland.  Some are run by charities, some are run by local Criminal Justice Social Work departments.  If you want to be able to connect with other people, it is likely that your local Criminal Justice Social Work department will be aware of groups in your local area. 


There are a number of podcasts available online that share excellent information and might help you to feel less alone.

Examples include:

A table with examples of appropriate language use
A table showing the notification periods for the various sentence types. Prison sentence of 30 months or more (including life), Indefinite. Order for lifelong restriction, Indefinite. Admission to a hospital subject to a restriction order, Indefinite. Prison sentence of more than 6 months but less than 30 months, 10 years. Prison sentence of 6 months or less, 7 years. Admission to a hospital without a restriction order, 7 years. Community payback order with an offender supervision requirement, The length of the offender supervision requirement. Any other sentence (e.g. a fine or admonition), 5 years.
Last updated:
February 24, 2024
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