Publication - FOI/EIR release

Early prisoner release: FOI release

Published: 26 Jun 2020

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Published:
26 Jun 2020
Early prisoner release: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202000038530
Date received: 19 May 2020
Date responded: 12 Jun 2020
Information requested

-How many prisoners are released early in total, including the ones scheduled to be released in the coming days;
-age groups (in the increments of 5 years per group) of those released;
-types of crimes they were imprisonment for (ie hate crime, theft, driving offences, possession of drugs etc).

Should you be unable to provide specific crime type can you at least confirm whether it was a violence related offense and whether there were any victims directly affected or not?

Response

I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested.
-How many prisoners are released early in total, including the ones scheduled to be released in the coming days;
I can confirm that 348 prisoners were released under these provisions. More detailed information can be found in three Tranche Reports contained on the Scottish Prison Service website on the following page https://www.sps.gov.uk/Corporate/Information/covid19/covid-19-information-hub.aspx

-age groups (in the increments of 5 years per group) of those released;
In the aforementioned Tranche Reports on the Scottish Prison Service website, this information is provided in increments of 5 years (with two exceptions – those aged 16/17 have been grouped together and those aged 58 and over have been included in a single grouping).

Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

-types of crimes they were imprisonment for (ie hate crime, theft, driving offences,possession of drugs etc). Should you be unable to provide specific crime type can you at least confirm whether it was a violence related offense and whether there were any victims directly affected or not?
The detailed classification of crimes and offences used by the Scottish Government to collect criminal statistics contains around 500 codes, which are subsequently grouped into a series of 35 different offence categories. More information about these categories can be found on page 118 of the Recorded Crime in Scotland 2018-19 statistics -
https://www.gov.scot/binaries/content/documents/govscot/publications/statistics/2019/09/recordedcrime-scotland-2018-19/documents/recorded-crime-scotland-2018-19/recorded-crime-scotland-2018-19/govscot%3Adocument/recorded-crime-scotland-2018-19.pdf

Please find enclosed below a table which contains details of the primary offences committed by the 348 prisoners liberated under the early release provisions. Please note that sentencing decisions are reflective of a number of factors such as the severity of the crime and whether the individual has offended in the past. In addition, the decision on what type of sentence is reasonable will be based on the personal circumstances of the offender.

 

Primary Offence

 

Total

0<=3

months

3<=6

months

6<=12

months

12<=18

months

2

'Attempted murder and serious assault' *

21

1

3

4

13

3

'Robbery'

12

0

1

5

6

4

'Other non-sexual crimes of violence'

1

0

0

1

0

9

'Housebreaking'

34

2

11

15

6

10

'Theft by opening lockfast places'

6

0

1

5

0

11

'Theft from a motor vehicle (OLP)'

3

1

1

0

1

12

'Theft of motor vehicle'

12

1

5

4

2

13

'Shoplifting'

62

5

36

18

3

14

'Other theft'

22

2

7

12

1

15

'Fraud'

3

0

1

1

1

16

'Other dishonesty'

8

3

3

2

0

17

'Fire-raising'

3

0

1

0

2

18

'Vandalism etc.'

11

1

5

4

1

19

'Crimes against public justice'

30

2

15

9

4

20

'Handling offensive weapons'

33

0

7

13

13

21

'Drugs'

24

0

4

11

9

22

'Other other crimes'

1

0

0

1

0

23

'Common assault'

31

0

13

16

2

24

'Breach of the peace etc.'

16

2

8

5

1

27

'Other miscellaneous offences'

2

0

1

0

1

28

'Dangerous and careless driving'

6

0

0

6

0

29

Driving under the influence'

4

0

3

1

0

31

'Unlawful use of motor vehicle'

3

0

2

1

0

Total

348

20

128

134

66

* Please note that none of these individuals' primary offence was attempted murder

The legislation passed by Parliament provides a number of statutory exclusions which specifically exclude from consideration any prisoner convicted of sexual or terrorism offences or imprisoned for life. The full range of statutory exclusions in the legislation can be found in Paragraph 19 on the following page - https://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2020/7/schedule/4/enacted

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG