Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA): overview report 2020 to 2021

Operation of Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) in Scotland from 2020 to 2021.

6. The Scottish Prison Service (SPS)

The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) is committed to protecting the public from harm as a Responsible Authority in the operation and governance of the MAPPA.

The risk assessment and management of individuals in custody who are subject to release on licence is carried out in partnership with Local Authority Justice Social Workers, through an enhanced version of the Integrated Case Management (ICM) process.

Such individuals are risk assessed, using a structured professional judgement approach informed by a variety of risk assessment tools. For certain individuals, a Psychological Risk Assessment may be carried out by SPS Forensic Psychologists and used to inform ICM case conferences and at key points in a person's time in custody, to share information and inform action plans.

SPS establishments work in partnership with MAPPA Coordinators, prison and community based Justice Social Work Teams and Police Scotland Offender Management Units.

SPS is represented on the MAPPA National Strategic Group, MAPPA Development Group and short-life working groups established to progress the future delivery of MAPPA. Prison Governors also contribute to and attend local Strategic Oversight Groups.

SPS activity in 2020-2021 largely focussed on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and developing and implementing its COVID-19 Route Map for recovery, guided by the Scottish Government's own plan. Additional activity included:

  • Ensuring all internal practitioners and stakeholders are aware of relevant policy and guidance.
  • Continued response to all actions relating to Significant Case Review (SCR) Recommendations.
  • Working closely with the Scottish Government in continuing to review processes relating to First Grant of Temporary Release applications, in order to strengthen focus on: Risk Assessment, Analysis, suitability of Risk Management Plans and assurance. An enhanced model of quality assurance was implemented by SPS in January 2021.

Considering findings and recommendations of an external report by an experienced prison operator which reviewed implementation of the 2018 revision to policy and guidance for Risk Management, Progression & Temporary Release. The SPS Risk Management Review was published on the SPS Website on 17 August 2021.

Programme Delivery

As anticipated in the SPS submission for last year's report, COVID-19 restrictions significantly impacted delivery of offending behaviour programmes (OBPs). Having been temporarily suspended on 20 March 2020, delivery of OBPs recommenced in early September 2020, adhering to physical distancing requirements. As such SPS delivered 66 completions of its range of OBPs to individuals who were assessed as eligible and motivated to participate. This is broken down in the following table:

Programme Target Risk Number of Completions
Moving Forward: Making Changes Sex Offending 12
Self-Change Instrumental Violence 16
Discovery Violence 9
Constructs Problem solving & consequential thinking 17
Pathways Drug & Alcohol Misuse 9
Youth Justice Youth Offending 3
Total 66

SPS continue to be represented on the Scottish Government Moving Forward: Making Changes (MF:MC) National Advisory Board, along with a number of other national partners with expertise in this area. Further to last year's report, work continues on the redesign of the MF:MC Programme. All MF:MC programme completions annotated in the above table were delivered to the standards in place when the programme was subject to accreditation.

SPS also offers a range of other opportunities and supports to people in custody to help them build their strengths and address their needs in preparation for release. Such supports are assessed on an individual basis and can include substance misuse treatment, assistance with mental health, vocational and academic education to increase job readiness, and support with family matters such as parenting and relationships. There is a specific intervention for young adult men and a separate specific intervention for female offending, which is scheduled to be submitted for accreditation late 2021.

Programme delivery is being prioritised across the prison estate, with scheduling taking account of the competing demands for staffing and space requirements to adhere to the current COVID-19 restrictions.



Back to top