Prison population: social care needs

Research into the social and personal care needs of people in prison. One of four studies on the health needs of Scotland's prison population.


1  According to the definition used in the report by Fitzpatrick and Bramley (2019), offending includes people that are or have been in prison, had trouble with police, or have been "convicted, arrested or accused in connection with non-trivial crimes".

2  More information on the definition of social care support in the Scottish context can be found here:

3  See for example and

4  The Dilnot Commission definition can be found here:

5  More information on the World Health Organisation (WHO) (Regional Office for Europe) is available here:

6  More information can be found here:

7  See footnote 9.

8  See link in footnote 9 for more information. 

9  More information on the Do-IT profiler is available at:

10  More information can be found here:

11  More information can be found here:

12  The Care Act 2014 on people in custody is available at:

13  The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act is available at:

14  More information on the eligibility criteria under the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 can be found here:

15  More information on the eligibility criteria in England and Wales is available at: and here:

16  The statistics in brackets are approximations and they were calculated by assuming that the English prison population in 2016 was 78,481. This number was calculated using the prison population rate per 100,000 in England in 2016 in (Jones, 2018) and the English population for the same year, which can be found here:

17  People with short sentences were the majority of prison population. Sentences of 3-6 months predominated in Scottish prisons until 2019, and this trend was the case since 2011. In 2018-19, 35% of custodial sentences were of 3-6 months. The total proportion of 6 months or less was 61%. More information can be found here:

However, after the presumption against short sentences passed in 2019, this picture has probably changed, but there is no available data yet.

18  More information on the suspended SPS throughcare support scheme is available at:

19  Information on the Indicator of Relative Need (ioRN) is available at:

20  Further information on the ioRN tool:

21  Interview "Peter Knight discusses the Indicator of Relative Need (IoRN) tool", by Linda White, published in the blog of Scottish Government in 2015. It can be found at:

22  Information on the Clifton Assessment Procedures for the Elderly (CAPE) can be found here:

23  External social care stakeholders consisted of one representative from the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), one from the Scottish Social Services Council, one from Scottish Care and two from Social Work Scotland.

24  The SPS Prisoner Survey is discussed further in section 4.

25  Severe mental illness is defined here as mental illnesses that produce distortions of perception, delusions, hallucinations, and unusual behaviours. Because the symptoms reflect a loss of contact with perceived reality, the disorders are also sometimes known as psychotic disorders. The main illnesses defined here as severe are schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and bipolar disorder. There is a well-established role for social care in these areas.

26  Due to time lags in data collection and availability, data from the Scottish Household Survey, Social Care Services and the SPS Prisoner Survey all correspond to 2017, although the PR2 extract is a snapshot of the March 2020 prison population.

27  Scottish Household Survey:

28  The SIMD provides a deprivation rank for Scottish areas. The deprivation categories include the most deprived categories (1st quintile), and the least deprived categories (5th quintile). More information is available here:

29  Specifically, logistic regression is used, also known as estimating logit models.

30  More information on the types of prison sentences in Scotland can be found in the following links: and

31  The Public Bodies (Joint Working) Act 2014  legislated for the integration of health and social care services: 



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