About Us

If you want to learn more about us, you're in the right place. Read to learn how we aim to bring opportunities and create networks within Justice and Arts

Promoting Arts in Justice

Providing networking opportunities through our website, conferences and events from the sector and beyond

Scotland's Network

Using our social platform to celebrate, showcase and inform the sector of the work thats being created

Sharing Resources

Building a comprehensive library of evidence, evaluations and research.

Our story

Our organisation was first started in late 2010 by a small group of artists working in criminal justice as a way to connect with each other and provide a strand of professional development for the sector. At this time we named ourselves the Scottish Prison Arts Network or (SPAN). In February 2011 we held our first symposium at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow and invited anyone with any experience or interest in the arts in justice to come and join the conversations.

Since this time we have held regular events for other artists and organisations to come together and talk more about the arts in prisons, why it is important and what we could do to better support each other and the people we work with. We have worked closely with partners such as the Scottish Prisoner Service, The Koestler Trust, Artworks, Families Outside and the Arts Alliance. We have participated in national and international conversations and developed new projects and new initiatives along with our members.

In January 2019 we took the decision to change our name to reflect the larger field of Justice and the many pieces of work and projects delivered by our members in a variety of contexts in prisons, community justice, throught care and early intervention. And so Justice and Arts Scotland (JAS) was born. Our membership continues to grow and our shared goal remains to create a professional network for artists working in Scottish Justice to connect, share practice and learn together.

Our People

Elly Goodman is a Community Drama Artist at the Citizens Theatre and has worked in arts and criminal justice for 30 years. Elly specialises in theatre in prisons and within the broader criminal justice sector. She is a founder member and Trustee of Justice and Arts Scotland and has delivered an 8-year creative theatre residency in HM Prison Barlinnie, Scotland’s largest institution for male prisoners. Elly’s work places a special emphasis on women and socially excluded adults. Her many theatre projects and productions have involved a wide range of community groups, including asylum seekers, refugees, homeless organisations, mental health support groups and recovery forums. She has presented and collaborated internationally and more recently was invited to present at the International Teaching Artist Conference which was held at Carnegie Hall New York.E

Jack Tully is a community arts facilitator and socially engaged artist working in Glasgow and further afield. Graduating from the University of Glasgow in 2018 with a degree in Public Policy and Theatre Studies he works mostly with children and young people. Jack has facilitated and lead workshops and directed socially engaged performances for children and socially excluded young people including care leavers, young carers and refugees and asylum seekers.

Jess Thorpe is an Associate Director (Engage) of Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance Theatre. She is also co-Artistic Director of the creative partnership Glass Performance through which she also developed long term initiatives such young people’s performance company Junction 25 and Polmont Youth Theatre, the first youth theatre in a Scottish prison. In 2015 Junction 25 won a CATS Whiskers for an outstanding contribution to Scottish theatre. Jess is also Lecturer in the Arts in Justice at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where she designs and delivers creative projects in prisons and with communities affected by crime. Jess has published a large number of articles around the use of the Arts in socially engaged contexts and in 2019 released her first book ‘A Beginners Guide to Devising Theatre’ co-written with her long-time collaborator Tashi Gore for Bloomsbury.

Kirstin Anderson


Kirstin Anderson has taught music in community centres, schools, universities and prisons for over seventeen years and is currently a lecturer in Criminal Justice at the University of the West of Scotland. She is interested in the intersections of the creative arts, education and penology. Her research is published in journals including the International Journal of Community Music, The Prison Service Journal and the Howard Journal of Criminology.


Kevin Harrison

Kevin Harrison joined Artlink Central eight years ago and was previously Arts and Wellbeing Manager with Sense Scotland since 2006, supporting a Scotland- wide participation in the arts for disabled people with communication needs. Kevin managed the development of a range of arts projects including Threads and Found in Translation, projects exploring cultural diversity and disability, and Leaving New Craigs, a life history project in Inverness for people leaving the last long stay hospital in Scotland. He managed a national arts and wellbeing team and supported the establishment of a strong creative programme in the TouchBase, a new inclusive base for people and communities supported by Sense Scotland in the south side of Glasgow.

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