5. The Scottish Prison Service (SPS)
The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) is an Executive Agency of the Scottish Government. The SPS’s principal objective is to contribute to making Scotland Safer and Stronger. It has a duty to protect the public from harm by keeping those who have been sentenced in safe and secure custody. Its commitment to public safety is delivered through constructive engagement with those in its care, focussing on recovery and reintegration.
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. A key objective of ICM is to ensure that - along with the Police and other community justice partners, such as Local Authority Social Work, Housing, and Children and Families Departments - SPS meets statutory requirements to establish joint arrangements for assessing and managing the risk posed by individuals subject to MAPPA, including the sharing of information with community partners.
Such individuals are risk assessed, using a structured professional judgement approach informed by a variety of risk assessment tools to determine the management of the individual whilst in custody, and in preparation for pre-release planning and release. 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 Scottish Government MAPPA National Strategic Group, MAPPA Development Group and other short-life working groups, established to progress the future delivery of MAPPA. Prison Governors also contribute to and attend local Strategic Oversight Groups.
Between April 2022 and March 2023, programme delivery achieved more stability following the COVID-19 pandemic and relaxation of covid-related practices. The following table provides an overview of programme targets and completions from this delivery period:
|Number of Completions
|Moving Forward 2 Change (Pilot)
|Self-Change Programme (SCP)
|High intensity Violence
|Moderate Intensity Violence
|Problem Solving and Consequential Thinking
|Substance Use connected to offending behaviour
|Modular for young people in custody
|Adult women in custody
|Short-term intervention Programme (STIP)
|Focus on desistence for men serving a short-term prison sentence
The 2022-23 delivery period also held some positive outcomes in terms of the MFMC re-design (MF2C). Pilot programmes are ongoing and evaluation of MF2C will take place in the lead up to the end of this delivery period. SPS will continue to deliver MF2C following the pilot period as the main moderate intensity intervention for those who have sexually offended.
The Self-Change Programme (SCP) has also been piloted in HMP Glenochil and HMP Edinburgh with some re-design updates. SCP continues to be delivered in HMP Shotts and HMP Low Moss.
In the April 2023-March 2024 delivery period, evaluations of both MF2C and SCP will be complete and subsequently the programme materials will be presented to SAPOR for accreditation.
With the opening of HMP Stirling, a version of the Short Term Intervention Programme (STIP) has also been developed for female prisoners who have short-term sentences (F-STIP). Implementation of this is ongoing, with staff training being a requirement for this to progress.
Resource and Delivery Focus
Across some SPS sites there are at times requirements for Programmes Officers to be redeployed into other operational roles. This has some impact on the programme delivery, with each site managing this locally. In line with previous years, completions have also been impacted by staff turnover, which in turn has an impact on training requirements. This continues to be managed via the national training plan, Programme Manager meetings and centrally within HQ.
The Psychology function is responsible for the Treatment Management of high intensity programmes as well as training delivery for programmes. Due to the difficulties in recruiting and retaining qualified psychologists, the training schedule has been reduced for critical requirements only. This has been planned in order to have minimal impact on national programme delivery plans.
SPS remains cognisant of the needs of the population of individuals who are awaiting offending behaviour programmes. Each year the National Waiting Lists are reviewed to inform delivery. As such, high intensity programmes will continue to be an area of focus. For the SCP, there is additional staff training planned to allow this programme to also be delivered in HMP Perth within the April 2023-March 2024 delivery period.
SPS also offers a range of other opportunities and support to people in custody to help them build their strengths and address their needs in preparation for release. Such support is 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.
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