Scottish prison population statistics technical manual

Information on data presented in the Scottish Prison Population Statistics reports from 2019-20 onwards.

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Data Quality Assurance at SPS

PR2 is the sole management information system used by SPS in managing individuals in custody.  It is of critical operational importance to ensure the correct housing, management and release of individuals held in prison establishments.  Internal training and quality assurance are used to maintain accurate prisoner records for these purposes.

Prison officers are given training on the use of PR2 when they attend the SPS College (SPSC) prior to being deployed operationally. The training focuses on the aspects of PR2 the officers are most likely to use, depending on whether they are Operations (i.e. security, visits, movements) or Residential (i.e. cell sharing risk assessments, integrated case management).  The importance of accurate information being inputted is stressed during this training.

Each prison establishment has a Business Improvement Manager who runs regular business objects reports from PR2 to check the accuracy of information held. Database Amendments are sent to the central Digital Solutions Team to correct any errors in the data or Database Administer is used to correct within the database itself. Validation controls also exist within PR2 to ensure data accuracy. Where possible, users choose from a pre-populated list of values instead of entering free text.

National Statistics Assessment

The Scottish Prison Population Statistics are currently undergoing assessment by the UK Statistics Authority for compliance with the standards required of National Statistics. The interim result of this assessment by the Regulator is available here: Office of Statistics Regulation assessment. Requirement 2 from this initial assessment requires a fuller explanation of the quality  of data collected for operational purposes in prisons as they pertain to the production of Official Statistics. To that end the prison statistics team will be completing a full QAAD exercise over the coming months.

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