We will use prison only where necessary to address offending or to protect public safety, focusing on recovery and reintegration.
Key Achievements by Priority in 2017/18
- Penal reform continued, including the announcement to extend the presumption against short sentences to 12 months.
- The Management of Offenders Bill is in progress which includes provisions which amend the tenure of Parole Board members, reinforce the independence of the Parole Board and provide for the administrative and accountability arrangements of the Parole Board to be set out in secondary legislation.
- The Scottish Prison Service ( SPS) Corporate Plan set out how the organisation will continue on its journey of transformational change over the next three years. SPS progressed the Prison Officer Professionalisation Programme and continued to work with key partners on the throughcare journey to support successful reintegration back into communities.
- Progress has been made in transforming the female custodial estate, with plans developed for the new Women's National Facility and the 2 Community Custody Units. Sites for the Community Custody Units in Glasgow and Dundee have now been identified.
- Four new Prison Visitor Centres opened across Scotland (now at 11 of 15 prisons), to support people visiting friends and family in prison, and reduce the negative impact on children of having an imprisoned parent.
- Sustainable Housing On Release for Everyone ( SHORE) Standards were published in November 2017, which agreed good practice for prison and housing organisations to deliver better housing outcomes for prison leavers. http://communityjusticeayrshire.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/118/2017/12/SHORE-STANDARDS20-11-175364_2487.pdf
- Plans were agreed to include an exemption from the 6 month waiting period to be eligible for the new Job Start grant for young people leaving custody or completing community sentences.
- SPS continued the expansion of a project enabling prisoners to open new bank accounts prior to release (supporting financial planning, & enabling access to Universal Credit benefits).
When a custodial sentence is deemed appropriate, we will help people to fulfil their potential and improve their life chances.
New Activity for 2018/19
- The Scottish Government will bring forward necessary secondary legislative changes to extend the presumption against short sentences from 3 to 12 months, once additional safeguards for victims in the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) 2018 act are in force.
- The Scottish Prison Service will continue progress on transforming our female custodial estate with construction commencing on the Women's National Facility and engagement with key partners in developing tailored services and support for women in the Community Custody Units.
- Further action will be taken to improve contact between parents in prison and their children, to support positive attachment.
- The Scottish Prison Services's Prison Officer Professionalisation Programme will be implemented to ensure that prison officers are well-equipped to be at the forefront of the rehabiliation process.
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