A first consultation invited comments on the proposed draft Public Services Reform (Prison Visiting Committees) (Scotland) Order 2014 (as it was then called), which was laid in Parliament on 4 October 2013. Following publication of the responses received, the Scottish Government’s Community Justice Division and Legal Directorate revised the terms of the draft Order in light of the issues raised by respondents. As a significant number of changes were made to the Order (including the title of the Order and the role titles), it was decided that it would be appropriate to conduct a second period of public consultation in advance of the Order being laid before Parliament to provide stakeholders with the opportunity to make comments on the changes made following the consultation. This report presents an analysis of the responses to the second consultation, which focused on:
• A proposed change of role titles; and the nature of the roles and functions of Independent Prison Monitors (IPMs) and Prison Monitoring Co-ordinators (PMCs);
• Inclusion of a duty on the prison Governor to ensure provision of assistance to the Chief Inspector, IPMs and PMCs;
• Proposed provisions for complaint-handling;
• Provisions for the establishment and composition of a Prison Monitoring Advisory Group;
• Inclusion of an explanation of the purpose relating to the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention Against Torture (OPCAT) objective and Scottish Ministers’ duties in relation to the Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture (SPT) visits; and
• Inclusion of a transitional period of 3 months to allow work by Visiting Committees (VCs) at the time the new system comes into force to be completed.
• A further question gave respondents the opportunity to make any further comments on the revised draft Order or Explanatory Document.