MSPs from the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee have spent a morning in Glasgow finding out more about electronic tagging and the impact criminal convictions have on employment prospects.
The visit comes as Members on the Committee are considering Scottish Government proposals to extend the use of electronic tagging set out in its Management of Offenders Bill. The new law would also reduce the time that many people with a conviction would have to disclose it to others, for example, a potential new employer. Finally, it would also alter who sits on a parole board.
The visit saw Members meet with representatives from The Wise Group, a social enterprise that supports former prisoners to find employment, and employs people with previous convictions. Members also spoke with representatives of G4S to find out more about how tagging devices work.
Speaking after the visit, Committee Convener, Margaret Mitchell MSP, said:
“While there are some interesting ideas in the proposed law, the Committee wants to take the temperature of people who would be directly impacted by any changes.
“While we’ve heard from a range of academic, official and legal experts, it has been invaluable for Members to see tags in action, hear directly from an employer of people with prior convictions and to meet some of these people who are now in work.
“Although we have more to consider before taking a view on the proposals, being in Glasgow really helped shape our views.”
More information on the Management of Offenders Bill, and the Committee scrutiny, are available here.
Members attending the visit were:
Convener: Margaret Mitchell MSP (Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Central Scotland)
Deputy Convener: Rona Mackay MSP (SNP, Strathkelvin and Bearsden)
Maurice Corry MSP (Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, West Scotland)
Daniel Johnstone MSP (Scottish Labour, Edinburgh Southern)
Liam Kerr MSP (Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, North East Scotland)