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UniqueIdEventIdEventTypeIdEventTypeEventSubTypeIdEventSubTypeMSPIdMSPNamePartyNameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswerTextFormattedAnswerDateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateHoldingAnswerQuestionToIdQuestionToAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatusDateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister

To ask the Scottish Government how many people have received funds from the Assisted Prison Visits Scheme to help them visit relatives in the last five years.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (08/01/2019):

I have asked Colin McConnell, Chief Executive of the Scottish Prison Service (SPS), to respond. His response is as follows:

The amount of approved Assisted Prison Visits in the last 5 years, April to March, are in the following table. The figures are of the total approved claims and are not broken down by unique users. The figure provided for 2017-18 takes account of the switch to a digital application system mid-way through the year.

Year

Total Approved claims

2014-15

4,320

2015-16

3,855

2016-17

3,372

2017-18

1,986 (Digital switch – July 2017)

1-4-18 -
‎ 31-11-18

1,993 (Estimated approximately 3,000 approved claims by year end: 2018-19

Statistics indicate there has been a decline in prison population year on year since the most recent peak in 2012. Claims for APVU are increasing this year and if this increase continues it is estimated that around 3,000 claims may be approved this financial year.


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what it is doing to raise awareness of the Assisted Prison Visits Scheme to eligible people.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (04/01/2019):

I have asked Colin McConnell, Chief Executive of the Scottish Prison Service (SPS), to respond. His response is as follows:

During the induction process, individuals admitted to SPS are given information about the Assisted Prison Visits Scheme (APVS). The SPS website has a link to the government website that provides help with prison visits and the APVS. Twelve establishments have a Visitors’ Centre which also support visitors and promote the APVS.

SPS also utilise Family Contact Officers (FCO) who are responsible for encouraging and maintaining links with families and promoting the APVS. The SPS website indicates how contact can be made with FCO’s both in person and by a dedicated telephone line to each establishment.

There are posters and leaflets raising awareness of the APVS available in each establishment.


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 04/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what consideration it has given to expanding eligibility for the Assisted Prison Visits Scheme.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (04/01/2019):

I have asked Colin McConnell, Chief Executive of the Scottish Prison Service (SPS), to respond. His response is as follows:

The Assisted Prison Visits Scheme (APVS) is currently standardised in operation across England, Wales and Scotland. The Scottish Government is not currently considering any localised change to the eligibility for the APVS.


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 04/01/2019
 
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