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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S6W-01761
Asked by: Jamie Greene, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Date lodged: 22 July 2021

Question

To ask the Scottish Government what measures are in place to support people who are held on remand for an extended period and are then not convicted at trial.

Current status: Answered by Keith Brown on 17 August 2021


Answer

We recognise the importance of ensuring that support is available to people leaving custody, including those who have served a period on remand, to enable their reintegration. We know that short periods of imprisonment are not effective and don't address the underlying causes of offending and that is why this Government is committed to reducing the use of short sentences and remand.

For those individuals who do serve a period of remand, the Scottish Prison Service have a range of measures in place to support them during their time in custody and on release. This includes an initial induction process which assesses needs including general welfare, mental health and addiction so that support can be put in place for them during their time in custody. This is further supplemented by support for family contact, provision of housing advice (where needed), access to work and wage earning where appropriate and possible and access to social services through prison Links Centres to deal with immediate concerns regarding social issues.

It is recognised that circumstances where individuals are liberated from a period on remand straight from court can be challenging in terms of linking with local services. To support this, SPS have agreed with GEOAmey that they will provide liberation packs to those released at courts (including those who have been held on remand). These information packs are specific to the local area within which the individual is being liberated.

Specifically for women held on remand, the Shine PSP, funded by Scottish Government, provides support in the lead up to their liberation and beyond.

We will continue to work with partners to explore how we can improve support for people leaving remand.