Alloa community to debate criminal justice bill with committee

13/05/2009

People in Alloa will have the opportunity to offer their opinions on the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Bill when the Justice Committee meets in Alloa Town Hall on Tuesday 19 May.

Alongside former First Minister Henry McLeish, the local community will be asked to contribute its views on the part of the Bill looking at sentencing. The committee is particularly interested in the effectiveness of prison sentences of six months or less. The Bill also covers community payback orders and the creation of a Scottish Sentencing Council.

Committee Convener Bill Aitken MSP said: “It is important for us to hear from local people on how crime and violence have impacted on their lives and their views on the proposals contained within the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Bill.

"This is an excellent opportunity for the Justice Committee to apply the key principles of the Scottish Parliament in being open and accessible to the Scottish public by holding our meeting at Alloa Town Hall.”

Those attending the morning session to talk about community payback orders include Mr McLeish, former First Minister and Chair of the Scottish Prisons Commission, plus representatives from Community Justice Authorities. The committee will also talk about the creation of a Scottish Sentencing Council whose remit would be to develop guidelines and improve public confidence in sentencing by the Scottish courts.

The afternoon session will hear from local community representatives on how crime and violence affect the Alloa community. Organisations who work with offenders such as SACRO and Howard League Scotland will offer their views, as will the organisation includem, who work with troubled young people to tackle their offending behaviour.

There will be an audio feed for the committee meeting accessible via holyrood.tv