The range of initiatives being introduced by the Scottish Government and national and local partner agencies are intended to reduce the use of short-term imprisonment, promote a more effective response to the causes of crime and reduce re-offending. They indicate that the Government and partners recognize that, although crucially important, alternative community based options alone will be ineffective. Other responses, involving a clear focus on prevention and reducing the inequalities and related issues in childhood associated with re-offending into adulthood, are also being introduced. There is a clear emphasis on the importance of available sentencing powers and of agencies working collaboratively and accountably in the community to focus on shared aims. Whether, after years of steadily increasing prison populations, these various measures can demonstrably impact on both the use of custody and re-offending rates remains to be seen. However, in accordance with the research on what works to reduce crime and what might reduce the use of custody, it would appear that the approach collectively shows promise.