Prisoners released early under COVID-19 regulations: FOI release

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

Information requested

- The total number of prisoners released early from Scottish prisons under Covid-19 regulations, including a breakdown of numbers per region of Scotland
- All correspondence received by the justice secretary from members of the public, on the subject of the early release of prisoners under Covid-19 regulations, to date


I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested.
In relation to the first element of your request, the information you have requested is available from the Scottish Prison Service website - specifically at the following page - A total of 348 prisoners were released under the relevant statutory provisions and the aforementioned webpage contains three tranche reports which provide information on prisoner release by Scottish local authority area.

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(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

In relation to the second element of your request, while our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because of exemptions under section s.38(1)(b) (personal information) and under section s.30(c) (prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs) of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why that exemptions apply is explained below.

S. 38(1)(b) (personal information)
An exemption under S. 38(1)(b) (personal information) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. Details held within the correspondence that you requested have been redacted where its release could lead to the identification of an individual - including their names, contact details and certain specific information about their circumstances or the circumstances of another party mentioned in the correspondence.
This exemption is not subject to the 'public interest test', so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

FoI-202000066524 - Information released


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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