Report on Draft Budget 2014-15

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Report on Draft Budget 2014-15

The Committee reports to the Finance Committee as follows—

BACKGROUND

1. The Scottish Government published its Draft Budget 2014-15 on 11 September 2013. As with previous years, the Justice Committee agreed to concentrate its scrutiny of the Scottish Government’s spending plans on a number of particular areas of justice spending. In relation to the Draft Budget 2014-15, these were funding for: (a) the police; (b) prisons and alternatives to custody, including services for women offenders; and (c) the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS).

2. The policing and prisons budgets are the largest areas of spending within the justice portfolio and the Committee has a longstanding interest in both areas1. The Committee was also interested to note the commitment made by COPFS in the Equality Statement accompanying the Draft Budget 2014-15 to implement a revised protocol on handling domestic abuse cases and therefore agreed to examine this matter further.

3. The Committee received 16 responses to its call for written evidence on the Draft Budget 2014-15 and heard from four panels of witnesses at meetings on 29 and 30 October and 5 November, before an evidence session with the Cabinet Secretary for Justice and his officials concluded evidence-gathering on 5 November.

4. In January 2013, the Finance Committee invited subject committees, as part of the budget strategy phase, to seek updates from the Scottish Government on any area of the Scottish Government’s spending priorities contained within its spending review 2011 document.2 In response, the Committee agreed to seek updates on a number of issues relating to the spending priorities on policing, prisons and alternatives to custody, including women offenders. The aim of this process was to allow committees to monitor the Scottish Government’s progress in meeting its spending commitments mid-way through the spending review period, with any updates provided by the Scottish Government feeding into the annual budget scrutiny in the autumn. The Committee notes that the Scottish Government’s response provided a useful starting point for its budget scrutiny this year and therefore, it would welcome a similar approach being taken mid-way through future spending review periods.

Structure of this report

5. This report provides a general overview of the spending plans in the justice and COPFS portfolios, before dealing with each of the Committee’s chosen areas of focus in turn. Throughout our evidence-gathering, the Committee has broadly followed the Finance Committee adviser’s suggested approach to financial scrutiny focused on the four principles of: affordability, prioritisation, value for money, and budget process.

6. This year, the Committee agreed to mainstream a number of equalities issues within its budget scrutiny, including women offenders and a commitment made by COPFS to implement a protocol on the handling of domestic abuse cases, which was highlighted in the Equality Statement accompanying the Draft Budget 2014-15. These matters are discussed throughout this report and therefore we have not included a separate section on equalities issues. No climate change issues arose during this year’s budget scrutiny.

Overview of the justice budget

7. Overall spending within the Justice portfolio is set to decrease, in cash terms, from £2,612.7m3 in 2013-14 to £2,589.1m (-0.9%) in 2014-15. This equates to a real terms reduction of 2.8%. Spending within the COPFS portfolio is set to increase, in cash terms, from £108.1m in 2013-14 to £108.7m (+0.6%) in 2014-15, which equates to a real terms reduction of 1.3%.4

8. The central government grant to local authorities for criminal justice social work, which includes funding for community sentences, remains the same in 2014-15 as it was in 2013-14, representing a real terms reduction of 1.8%.5

9. The table below, reproducing figures in the Draft Budget 2014-15 document, sets out the overall spending on the Justice and COPFS portfolios and on the criminal justice social work grant to local authorities for 2013-14 to 2015-16.

Table 1: Justice, COPFS and Criminal Justice Social Work Spending

 

 

 

 

2013-14
budget
£m

2014-15
draft budget
£m

2015-16
plans
£m

Cash terms

Justice

2,612.7

2,589.1

2,615.3

COPFS

108.1

108.7

109.4

Criminal Justice Social Work

86.5

86.5

86.5

Real terms

Justice

2,612.7

2,540.7

2,521.2

COPFS

108.1

106.7

105.5

Criminal Justice Social Work

86.5

84.9

83.4

Source: Draft Budget 2014-15 (tables 6.01 plus additional sums to cover depreciation in 2013-14,

Source: Draft Budget 2014-15 (tables 6.01 plus additional sums to cover depreciation in 2013-14, 6.02, 11.01 and 11.02)

10. More detailed figures for spending within the Justice portfolio (in cash terms) for 2013-14 to 2015-16 are set out below. Spending plans for the police, COPFS, prisons and alternatives to custody, including women offenders, are explored in further detail under later sections of this report.

Table 2: Justice Spending in Cash Terms

 

2013-14
budget

2014-15
draft budget

2015-16
plans

 

£m

£m

£m

Community Justice Services

31.9

32.3

32.3

Courts, Judiciary & Scottish Tribunals Service

51.7

51.6

51.6

Criminal Injuries Compensation

20.5

17.5

17.5

Legal Aid

149.3

142.8

146.4

Scottish Police Authority

1,125.5

1,082.6

1,073.0

Scottish Fire & Rescue Service

314.5

310.2

309.2

Police Central Government

114.0

101.3

101.3

Drugs & Community Safety6

38.7

40.3

40.3

Police & Fire Pensions

291.8

324.7

346.8

Scottish Prison Service

364.5

382.3

398.2

Miscellaneous7

30.1

31.2

25.3

Scottish Court Service

80.2

72.3

73.4

Total

2,612.7

2,589.1

2,615.3

Source: Draft Budget 2014-15 (table 6.01 plus additional sums to cover depreciation in 2013-14)

11. The Draft Budget 2014-15 includes sums within the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) budget lines to cover depreciation charges (e.g. the 2014-15 draft budgets for the SPA and SFRS include £41.4m and £22.0m respectively). The budget document states that “this additional non-cash budget cover was provided directly by HM Treasury and reflects the classification of the SPA and SFRS as central government bodies from 1 April 2013”. The document goes on to explain that this additional money is spending power neutral.8

12. Some of the 2014-15 figures, as set out in Draft Budget 2014-15, differ from the plans for 2014-15 set out in last year’s draft budget document. These differences include an increase in police and fire pensions of £14.9m (£12.9m relating to police pensions), and a decrease in the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) budget of £16.4m (which is more than accounted for by a £19.1m decrease in the capital budget).9

13. At the Committee’s meeting on 5 November, the Cabinet Secretary for Justice explained that the Scottish Government’s capital budget had been reduced by 26% this year, which had put some pressure on the capital budgets in the Draft Budget 2014‑15.10 Kerry Twyman, of the Finance Programme Management Division at the Scottish Government stated that, “on the prisons budget, the partial capital cut reflects the ending of Grampian prison construction the year before; there is also in-year operational flexibility to switch resource into capital, depending on how the budget looks, to make best use of resources”.11 She went on to say that “the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service … capital budget remains what it was set at, which is £22.3m, but for budget classification reasons that is shown within resource”. It reflects “an in-year switch through which it will all go back into the capital pot, and there will be absolutely no operational impact”.12

14. The table below sets out the percentage changes in the proposed justice spending in 2014-15 and 2015-16, when compared with 2013-14.13

Table 3: percentage changes in justice spending

 

 

2014-15
change from
2013-14

2015-16
change from
2013-14

 

2014-15
change from
2013-14

2015-16
change from
2013-14

 

 

cash terms %

 

real terms %

Justice

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community Justice Services

 

+1.3

+1.3

 

-0.6

-2.5

Courts, Judiciary & Scottish Tribunals Service

 

-0.2

-0.2

 

-2.1

-3.9

Criminal Injuries Compensation

 

-14.6

-14.6

 

-16.1

-17.6

Legal Aid

 

-4.4

-1.9

 

-6.2

-5.5

Scottish Police Authority

 

-3.8

-4.7

 

-5.6

-8.1

Scottish Fire & Rescue Service

 

-1.4

-1.7

 

-3.2

-5.2

Police Central Government

 

-11.1

-11.1

 

-12.8

-14.3

Drugs & Community Safety

 

+4.1

+4.1

 

+2.1

+0.3

Police & Fire Pensions

 

+11.3

+18.8

 

+9.2

+14.6

Scottish Prison Service

 

+4.9

+9.2

 

+2.9

+5.3

Miscellaneous

 

+3.7

-15.9

 

+1.7

-18.9

Scottish Court Service

 

-9.9

-8.5

 

-11.5

-11.7

Total

 

-0.9

+0.1

 

-2.8

-3.5

COPFS

 

+0.6

+1.2

 

-1.3

-2.4

Criminal Justice Social Work

 

0.0

0.0

 

-1.8

-3.6

15. During an opening statement to the Committee on 5 November, the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Kenny MacAskill, stated that “our draft budget 2014-15 is focused on maintaining services despite Westminster cuts, while realising the benefits of police and fire reform; continuing to modernise our justice system; and focusing attention on preventative spending to tackle the root causes of crime and helping communities and individuals to realise their potential”.14

16. When asked how difficult it would be to maintain services, given the extent of the budget cuts, Mr MacAskill said that “it is challenging, but we do believe that it can be done”. He also advised the Committee that “if we had not delivered police and fire reform, the challenges would have been greater”.15

POLICE BUDGET

Overview

17. The Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012 replaced the eight territorial police forces in Scotland with one national force, Police Scotland, and the local police authorities and joint police boards with a national oversight body, the Scottish Police Authority (SPA). The Act, which came into effect on 1 April 2013, also abolished the Scottish Police Services Authority and the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency.

18. A key driver for police reform was to deliver substantial savings from 2014-15 onwards. The Financial Memorandum on the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Bill published in 2012 estimated the total net savings from police reform to be in excess of £1.1billion by March 2026.16 The Financial Memorandum included the following table as an indication of the estimated savings to be achieved by 2026 (minus the set-up costs) at 2011-12 prices.

Year

Year 1

2011-12

Year 2

2012-13

Year 3

2013-14

Year 4

2014-15

Year 5

2015-16

Year 6

2016-17

Year 717

2017-18

Total by 31 March 2026

£m

16.3

9.1

-9.1

28.4

83.2

100.0

101.0

1,135.0

19. Both the Committee’s Stage 1 report18 on the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Bill and its report19 on the Scottish Government’s Draft Budget 2013-14 noted the concerns of some witnesses in relation to the lack of detail in the Outline Business Case (OBC) for police reform, on which the Financial Memorandum was based. The ability to achieve the projected savings in the OBC within the expected timescales and the impact of the planned redundancies amongst support staff were also of some concern. In light of this work, the Committee was keen this year to continue monitoring progress towards meeting the projected savings and their potential impact on staff and services.

20. The 2012 Act also saw a change in police funding arrangements from 1 April 2013. Prior to reform, the eight police forces were funded through a combination of funding streams from local and central government. Funds for the new single force now come mainly from the Scottish Government budget through the SPA. As before, local authorities can still opt to provide additional funding for policing in their areas.

21. Level 3 figures on the SPA’s budget are set out in the table below.

Table 4: SPA’s spending plans

 

2013-14
budget
£m

2014-15
budget
£m

2015-16
budget
£m

Cash terms

Resource

1,107.2

1,057.4

1,044.4

Capital

18.3

25.2

28.6

Total

1,125.5

1,082.6

1,036.0

Real terms

Resource

1,107.2

1,037.7

1,006.8

Capital

18.3

24.7

27.6

Total

1,125.5

1,062.4

1,034.4

Source: Draft Budget 2014-15 (table 6.07 plus additional sum to cover depreciation in 2013-14)

22. This table shows that the SPA’s resource budget for 2014-15, compared with the budget for 2013-14, is set to fall by 6.3% in real terms. This decrease represents savings to be achieved as part of the reform programme. The SPA’s capital budget sees a real terms increase of 35% over the same period, which is intended to support components of a three-year capital plan, including investment in new ICT systems. The SPA recently approved an ICT blueprint and awarded the contract for the new i-6 system, which will cover crime management, missing and vulnerable persons, intelligence and custody.

23. The Draft Budget 2014-15 also contains a budget line for police central government, which includes funding for the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC), the Airwave communication system, and to support police reform.20 Level 3 figures on the police central government budget are set out in the table below.

Table 5: police central government

 

2013-14
budget
£m

2014-15
budget
£m

2015-16
budget
£m

Cash terms

National Police Funding/Reform

92.8

98.5

98.5

Police Support Services

21.2

2.8

2.8

Total

114.0

101.3

101.3

Real terms

National Police Funding/Reform

92.8

96.7

95.0

Police Support Services

21.2

2.7

2.7

Total

114.0

99.4

97.7

Source: Draft Budget 2014-15 (table 6.09)

24. This table shows that the police support services budget within the police central government budget line is set to fall significantly in 2014-15, as the new Scottish Crime Campus at Gartcosh is due for completion during 2013-14. The remaining funding for police support services is to cover depreciation costs for Gartcosh.21

25. The table below sets out level 3 figures for police pensions, which are directly funded by the Scottish Government, showing increases in 2014-15 and 2015-16.

Table 6: Police pensions

 

2013-14
budget
£m

2014-15
budget
£m

2015-16
budget
£m

Cash terms

Total

231.0

262.5

275.6

Real terms

Source: Draft Budget 2014-15 (table 6.11)

Budget allocation

26. The Scottish Government’s Draft Budget 2014-15 Performance Evaluation Material dated 11 September 2013 stated that “savings from police reform, expected to be £42 million in 2013-14 and £88 million in 2014-15, are in the process of being identified and delivered … principally from three areas: people, property and procurement”.22 The document further indicated that the bulk of the savings would be made through reductions in police support staff and, to this end, a voluntary redundancy and early retirement scheme for staff had been established. The current scheme runs until 31 March 2014.

27. A joint written submission from the SPA and Police Scotland stated that wage inflation, other contractual and inflationary increases, and the costs of the Scottish Crime Campus at Gartcosh, had “increased the scale of the funding challenge significantly beyond the savings requirement assumed within the police reform Outline Business Case” 23, which was used to inform the Financial Memorandum on the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Bill. Nevertheless, they confirmed that the budget gap for 2013-14 had been reduced from £63.9m to £2.98m and that they were confident they would be able to identify the remaining savings required by the end of the financial year. As at August 2013, the net savings for 2013-14 had been identified mainly within the budgets for people (61%) and procurement (23%).24

28. The SPA and Police Scotland also confirmed that “work is underway to develop expenditure and savings plans for 2014-15 and 2015-16 in line with … funding allocations [within the Draft Budget 2014-15]”.25 However, in its written submission, Unison argued that “due to the fact that estimated savings and, thereafter, the draft budget proposals for 2014-15 are based on the Outline Business Case and not a detailed business case, there are unrealistic expectations on what can be achieved in the timescales given”.26

Police officers

1,000 additional police officers

29. The Draft Budget 2014-15 repeats the Scottish Government’s commitment to deliver 1,000 additional police officers.27 The baseline figure used for this commitment is 16,234, which was the number of police officers as at 31 March 2007. The Scottish Government’s most recent police officer quarterly strength statistics28 show that police officer numbers increased from 16,234 on 31 March 2007 to 17,496 on 31 March 2013.29 Concerns were raised during Stage 1 scrutiny of the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Bill that the police may not be able to maintain an efficient, balanced workforce within the constraints of the Scottish Government’s commitments on 1,000 additional police officers and no compulsory redundancies, along with the need to make significant savings from police reform.30 Similar concerns were raised during this year’s budget scrutiny.

30. On 29 October, Stevie Diamond of Unison told the Committee that the figure of 17,234 police officers was put in place at a time of sufficient financial resources, but now that police support staff were being targeted to “get the budget in line”, a review was needed into the 17,234 figure “to see whether there is best value for money”.31 The Chief Constable stated that the annual cost of 1,000 police officer posts was “around mid-30’s in millions”.32 He indicated that the requirement to maintain 1,000 police officers “obviously has an impact … and means that we must look elsewhere and be more imaginative in finding our budget savings”.33

31. In response to a question on whether the commitment to maintain 1,000 officers impacted on his operational independence to take decisions about what shape his police service should take, the Chief Constable, Sir Stephen House, argued that “there are always a number of constraints on any chief constable”, and cited budgetary and legislative constraints as examples.34 However, he indicated that, “if I was being questioned by any panel about how many police officers I want, 17,234 would be a bottom-line figure … I would want more than that—I could use more than that quite happily”.35 Calum Steele from the Scottish Police Federation (SPF) said his view was that the Chief Constable had more flexibility in relation to where to deploy police officers across Scotland under new arrangements than previously when officers were more strictly bound by local boundaries.36

32. The Cabinet Secretary told the Committee that the Scottish Government “stands by” its commitment to deliver 1,000 additional police officers.37 He said that this approach was working in terms of “reducing overall crime figures by 13% this year to a 39 year low” and that “a visible police presence in our communities is making Scotland a safer place”.38 He also restated the Chief Constable’s comments to the Committee the previous week that he “could even see a scenario where he could work with more” than 17,234 police officers.39

33. The Committee notes the challenges faced by Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority in achieving significant savings from police reform within the commitments on delivering additional police officers and no compulsory redundancies. Some Members of the Committee welcome the commitment to maintain 1,000 extra police officers and believe that this visible policing approach has reduced crime significantly in recent years. Other Members take the view that the Scottish Government commitment constrains the Chief Constable’s decisions on the shape of his workforce and on where savings can be made and therefore would like to see the Chief Constable be given more flexibility in relation to police officer numbers.

Overtime

34. The Chief Constable was asked whether, given the additional 1,000 officers in post, there was potential to make savings by reducing the overtime bill. He advised the Committee that the overtime spend for 2013-14 was expected to be around £22m, which was a reduction of £10m on the previous year.40 However, he said that he did not see any correlation between the additional police numbers and savings that could be achieved from overtime. Calum Steele of the SPF said he believed that “having 1,000 extra police officers should mean that the actual requirement for overtime, rather than simply the cost of overtime, diminishes”.41

Court time

35. Police witnesses agreed that a significant amount of police officer time was spent on attending court.42 The Chief Constable highlighted research suggesting that less than 10% of officers who were cited for court duty were actually called to give evidence.43 The cost of police officer overtime on court duty in the legacy Strathclyde Police force area prior to reform was around £4m a year, however, this had been reduced through joint working between COPFS and the courts.44 The Chief Constable said he would welcome “quicker progress” in this area, with a view to reducing police costs and minimising disruption to officers in relation to shift changes and childcare needs.45 Witnesses added that extending court hours could also lead to individuals being held in police custody for shorter periods of time and alleviate pressures on custody space.

36. The Cabinet Secretary was asked whether he would consider conducting a cost-benefit analysis on the extension of court hours. In response, Mr MacAskill advised the Committee that a working group led by Police Scotland, with membership from the Scottish Court Service and COPFS, had been established to look at the potential of opening courts at the weekend.46 He added that, although there would undoubtedly be savings for the police, it would be important to establish that costs would not just be transferred to other areas of the criminal justice system, such as the courts and COPFS.47

37. The Committee welcomes the work being carried out by Police Scotland, the Scottish Court Service and COPFS to establish the feasibility and costs arising from any extension of court hours, which may or may not include weekend courts as recommended in Lord Carloway’s Report into Criminal Law and Practice. Given the potential for significant savings, particularly for the police, and reduced periods in custody for the accused, the Committee asks that this work be completed at the earliest opportunity and we would welcome regular updates on progress.

Police reform unit

38. When asked whether around 200 police officers were currently working in the police reform unit, the Chief Constable said the figure was “a vast overestimate” and that he did “not recognise that figure at all—not in the slightest”.48 He offered to provide further information on the numbers of police officers working on reform and the Committee awaits this clarification.49

39. In evidence on 5 November, the Cabinet Secretary was also asked if approximately 200 officers were working on reform and if so, whether this was an effective use of the budget. Mr MacAskill said that “these figures are unknown to the Chief Constable and I cannot speculate or comment beyond that”.50 He added that these are “operational matters which I do not have any control over”.51

Police staff and backfilling

40. The SPA and Police Scotland joint written submission stated that, by the end of 2013-14, it was expected that 800 police staff posts would be removed, contributing to the required savings in 2013-14 and around £25.5m of the indicative savings in 2014-15.52 However, the Chief Constable disputed claims from Unison that savings were being solely focused on support staff costs, highlighting that savings were also being made through the delayering of senior ranks, reducing overtime, procurement, property and fleet costs and, in the long term, by investing to save in the i-6 ICT project.53 Rationalisation of control rooms, contact centres and police counter provision would also produce savings in the longer-term.54

41. The Chief Constable advised the Committee that the Scottish Government was to provide £70m for police reform in 2015-16, which he hoped would be used to extend the voluntary redundancy and early retirement (VR/ER) scheme for police support staff.55 John Foley, the SPA’s Interim Chief Executive confirmed that the SPA “supports the extension of the VR/ER scheme in subsequent years”.56 He also told the Committee that the scheme was currently delivering best value, as “the average payback period for those people who have taken advantage of the scheme is just over one year, which compares favourably with other public sector exercises”.57

42. The Cabinet Secretary told the Committee that “we always knew that there would be redundancies” arising from surplus posts, and “we accept that more people are going to go”, particularly once a final decision is made on the rationalisation of control rooms.58 He indicated that individuals were choosing to leave under a voluntary scheme and that “we are proud that there has not been and will not be a compulsory redundancy scheme”.59 He added that “I understand that the scheme is to be continued and I welcome that”.60

43. Stevie Diamond of Unison told the Committee that a significant number of the police staff posts (around 450) that had been lost through voluntary redundancy and early retirement since 1 April 2013 were being backfilled by police officers.61 The Chief Constable reiterated the position that he had set out during last year’s budget scrutiny that “we have no policy and no strategy of backfilling civilian posts with police officers when civilian staff go”.62 He went on to argue that, in most instances where staff leave through voluntary redundancy or early retirement schemes, their jobs are closed down and so no backfilling is required.63

44. The following week, the Cabinet Secretary added that “we continue to monitor the matter, but I have trust and faith in the clear view that Stephen House expressed last week, which is that there is no strategy of backfilling”.64

45. The Committee notes the substantial difference of opinion between Police Scotland and Unison in relation to the level of backfilling of police staff posts with police officers. While we note the Chief Constable’s assurances that Police Scotland has no policy or strategy on backfilling of police staff redundancies, and we would welcome further information from both Police Scotland and Unison regarding this matter.

Police counter service review

46. In June 2013, Police Scotland launched a review into the public service provided at police stations, with a view to: (a) determining the most efficient opening times of police station front counters; (b) determining the most efficient services to be provided; and (c) matching service provision to demand.65 Proposals arising from the review were announced on 2 October. Of the 214 current public counters, 65 are to be withdrawn66, 75 are to operate with reduced hours, 21 are to operate with increased hours, and 53 are to operate with unaltered hours.67 Police Scotland launched a public consultation on the plans which ran until 31 October, alongside a consultation with staff. However, we note that the Chief Constable confirmed to the Sub-Committee on Policing on 31 October that Police Scotland would accept late submissions to its consultation on public counters.68

47. In its written submission, Unison stated that “police reform was meant to identify efficiencies through reductions in duplication of posts … [however], proposals currently being consulted on are purely designed to save budget, not reduce duplication”.69 It went on to suggest that “the proposals involve mainly local services, with police staff directly involved in the community, who are being sacrificed to maintain police officer numbers at an artificially high number”.70

48. The Chief Constable was asked whether the proposals arising from the police counter service review represented value for money, particularly if police officers on an average salary of £36,000 per year would be required to cover additional administrative tasks previously covered by police staff (on an average salary of £21,000 to £23,000) while working on counters. He responded that “if a support staff member who works on a front counter leaves the organisation voluntarily, the automatic default is not that a police officer will pick up that work … after all, there will still be many other support staff who can take on the extra work”.71 He added that “we are seeking to be more efficient; we are not looking at giving all civilian jobs to police officers”.72

49. The Cabinet Secretary was also asked to comment on whether the police counter proposals would deliver best value. He responded that “the Chief Constable believes that these counter closures and variations—some of which are to increase hours—are appropriate and are the best use of resources in terms of both police officers and police staff”.73 He added that he “would rather see people go on a voluntary redundancy scheme when the job in which they serve is not crucial to core policing”.74

50. The Committee notes that the Sub-Committee on Policing is currently monitoring the proposals arising from the police counter review, as part of its investigation into the impact of police reform on local policing, and we would welcome an update on this work in due course.

Balanced workforce

51. There was broad agreement amongst witnesses of a need to establish the appropriate workforce balance for the new police service.75 However, there was a difference in opinion as to when this work should be carried out. Unison argued that, given the “massive de-civilianisation exercise” currently underway, a review should be carried out without delay.76 However, the Chief Constable suggested that “it would be foolish to try to do this within the first 12 to 18 months of the new organisation … we need to bed in first”.77 Paul Rooney of the SPA told the Committee that “the point at which we could start to look at such a piece of work would be after the coming two financial years”78, while David O’Connor of the Association of Scottish Police Superintendents (ASPS) suggested that it could potentially take place next year.79 However, Calum Steele of the SPF added that, while he recognised the need for a balanced workforce, he was “alert to what happens in such situations, which is that if your starting point is 17,234, your answer is 17,234”.80

52. When asked whether work on establishing the optimum balance of workforce for the police service could have been undertaken in advance of police reform to perhaps alleviate some of the pressure on police staff, the Cabinet Secretary told the Committee that “ultimately, how matters are configured have to be left to the Chief Constable and his command team, and so that could not have been dealt with before [police reform] went live” on 1 April 2013.81

53. The Committee notes that there was agreement amongst witnesses that a review into the optimum workforce balance for the police service is needed, although there were differences in opinion as to the most appropriate time at which this should be undertaken. While noting what the Chief Constable said regarding the timeframe, in the interests of best value, the efficiency of the police service, and police staff, we would ask that this review be carried out as early as practicably possible.

Local authority funding

54. During passage of the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012, the Cabinet Secretary for Justice advised the Committee that local authorities would, after reform, still be able to fund additional police officers to work on particular priorities within their local areas. At that time, COSLA estimated that around 600 to 800 additional police officers were being funded in this way.82 During this year’s budget scrutiny, the Chief Constable said that this figure was now nearer 300, at a cost of around £12 million.83 However, he was unable to confirm whether these 300 officers were included within the figure of 1,000 additional officers or was over and above this number, as some of the funding from councils was provided prior to the Scottish Government commitment.84

55. In response to a question on what contingency plans were in place should the local authority funding be withdrawn, the Chief Constable advised that Police Scotland has “firm agreements with a number of councils to ensure that the money will not be withdrawn instantly”.85 However, if the funding was reduced he would be able to reduce proportionately the number of officers who were available to police that area, and he could “simply turn off the recruitment tap” as around 50 to 60 police officers were being currently recruited every six weeks.86

56. The Cabinet Secretary accepted that there was dubiety around whether the 1,000 additional police officer figure included local authority funded police officers.87 He therefore offered to “try to provide greater clarity” to the Committee on this matter in writing.88

57. While the Committee recognises that there may be difficulties in establishing whether the 300 local authority funded police officers are included within the figure of 1,000 additional officers, we believe that, in the interests of transparency and to assist forward planning, this issue should be resolved. We acknowledge the letter from the Cabinet Secretary for Justice of 12 November which details the numbers of police officers funded by each local authority; however, this letter does not address the substantive question of whether these officers are included in the figure of 1,000 additional officers.

Devolved budgets

58. Witnesses were asked whether there were any plans to devolve budgets down to local or ward level. Allan Macleod, Interim Director of Finance and Resources at Police Scotland, told the Committee that, while the “default position would always be to devolve as much of the budget as possible to the lowest level of accountability, … in order to achieve savings this year and for the next couple of years, it is important that the centre has direct control over the big cost drivers”.89 Mr House said that his “ambition is … to push as much as possible down to local level and even to ward level, if that is possible, [to] match how we have already devolved the creation of policing plans and prioritisation”.90 Paul Rooney confirmed the SPA’s position that “in the main, the police service as a public body should devolve to the lowest possible level, and we aim to go further”.91

59. David O’Connor agreed that “it is important that those who are responsible for operational decisions in divisions are also responsible for the financial decisions” and advised the Committee that ASPS would “certainly be pushing for it”.92

60. The Committee believes that devolving budgets for finances down to local or even ward level would allow funding to be better aligned to local and ward policing plans. However, we acknowledge that, due to the scale of the savings required centrally, this may not be possible immediately. We will therefore continue to monitor progress on this matter.

Legislation in progress

61. The Committee has noted during recent scrutiny of the Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Bill and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill that both Bills place a number of new duties on the police, such as providing certain information to victims and witnesses about their case, and the identification of vulnerable adults. In response to a question on whether Police Scotland would have sufficient funds in its budget to apply the new duties arising from this legislation, the Chief Constable advised that the Financial Memorandums provide an accurate reflection of the costs which would fall on the police service. In particular, he indicated that the i-6 ICT programme was “at an early enough stage and … is flexible enough to take on legislative changes” 93, and that a “substantial training package for every officer in the country on the Carloway recommendations” taken forward through the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill was planned.94

62. The Committee notes that the Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Bill and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill place additional duties on the police and that estimated costs for the police in exercising these duties are provided for in the Financial Memorandums to each Bill. Given the level of savings that the police service is already faced with, the Committee would urge the Scottish Government to continue to monitor any potential rising costs to the police as a result of current and proposed legislation.

PRISONS AND ALTERNATIVES TO CUSTODY

Overview

63. The Committee has a continuing interest in the issue of prisons and alternatives to custody, having undertaken budget scrutiny on the matter in 2011, and published a report on purposeful activity in prisons in 201295, which included undertaking visits to seven prisons and young offenders’ institutions. We have also continued to monitor developments in relation to the conditions and treatment of women offenders, since the publication of unfavourable inspection reports of HMP & YOI Cornton Vale (‘Cornton Vale’) by HM Inspector of Prisons for Scotland in 2009 and 2011, who described the prison at that time as being “in a state of crisis”.96 We note that the Commission on Women Offenders’ recommendations97 published in April 2012 brought real impetus to improving the outcomes for women in the criminal justice system and we continue to be encouraged by developments in implementing these recommendations.

64. In 2008, the Scottish Prisons Commission (SPC) recommended that the Scottish Government pursue a target of reducing the prison population to an average daily population of 5,000.98 However, the table below from the SPICe briefing on the Draft Budget 2014-15: Justice shows that the prison population has since continued to grow.99 The figures for 2012-13 may show signs of some stabilisation for the population as a whole and for both the female and male offender groups.

Average daily prison population

 

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

men

7,414

7,539

7,419

7,710

7,556

women

412

424

434

468

457

total

7,826

7,936

7,853

8,178

8,014

Source: Scottish Government 2012b (table A.1) and Scottish Prison Service 2013 (p 69)

65. Design capacity of the prison estate as at 31 March 2013 was 7,820, while the prison population was 7,864.100 An indication of overcrowding can be when the prison population and the design capacity do not correspond. In his annual report of 2012-13, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland welcomed some stabilisation in the prison population, but warned against allowing overcrowding to become a major problem again. He also reiterated his support for the Scottish Prison Commission’s prison population target.101

66. The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) budget covers expenditure associated with operating the prison system102 and provision of a Court Custody and Prisoner Escorting Service (CCPES) on behalf of the courts, police and wider justice system.103 The table below from the Draft Budget 2014-15 sets out level 3 figures for the SPS.

Scottish Prison Service

 

2013-14
budget
£m

2014-15
budget
£m

2015-16
budget
£m

Cash terms

Resource

342.0

368.9

368.2

Capital

22.5

13.4

30.0

Total

364.5

382.3

398.2

Real terms

Resource

342.0

362.0

354.9

Capital

22.5

13.0

28.9

Total

364.5

375.2

383.9

Source: Draft Budget 2014-15 (table 6.12)

67. The SPS capital budget for 2014-15, as set out in the Draft Budget 2014-15, is £19.1m less than the planned figure set out in last year’s draft budget document. However, Scottish Government officials have advised that the reduced capital budget reflects the completion of HMP Grampian and that the SPS intends to transfer some resource funding to capital throughout the year.104

68. Alternatives to custody include community sentences, such as community payback orders, restriction of liberty orders, and drug treatment and testing orders. Funding for community sentences is contained within the central government grant to local authorities to pay for criminal justice social work105, and the offender services element of the community justice services budget line106. The table below sets out level 3 figures for both budget lines.

Criminal justice social work and offender services

 

2013-14
budget
£m

2014-15
budget
£m

2015-16
budget
£m

Cash terms

Criminal Justice Social Work

86.5

86.5

86.5

Offender Services

25.3

25.8

25.8

Total

111.8

112.3

112.3

Real terms

Criminal Justice Social Work

86.5

84.9

83.4

Offender Services

25.3

25.3

24.9

Total

111.8

110.2

108.3

Source: Draft Budget 2014-15 (tables 6.03 and 6.15)

69. This table discloses real terms reductions to the budgets for both criminal justice social work in 2014-15 and for both criminal justice social work and offender services in the 2015-16.

Budget allocation

Scottish Prison Service

70. The Scottish Government’s Draft Budget 2014-15 Performance Evaluation Material stated that 2013-14 resources were being focused on the opening of HMP Grampian, a community-facing facility, in early 2014 at a cost of around £90m; on implementing improvements for women offenders including refurbishment of parts of Cornton Vale; and acquiring a site for HMP Highland to replace HMP Inverness.107 It goes on to state that in 2014-15, resources will include £20m additional capital funding targeted towards the female prison population, and taking forward work to plan for replacement of HMP Barlinnie. However, it would appear that the capital budget for 2014-15 no longer includes all of this funding referred to in the performance evaluation material.108

71. The 2014-15 resource budget for the SPS set out in the Draft Budget 2014-15 increases by £26.9m from 2013-14. The Chief Executive of the SPS, Colin McConnell, told the Committee on 30 October that he was “a wee bit concerned that the apparent increase in the non-capital budget of the SPS implies some largesse … of course, that is not the case … it is planned investment and resource over time”.109 He confirmed that some of the resource budget would be transferred to capital funds to allow the SPS to bring forward capital projects.110 He went on to suggest that “we should not feel bad or embarrassed that the Government wants to resource appropriately a critical public and criminal justice service, namely the SPS”.111

72. Mr McConnell said that there were sufficient resources in the system, but that “we should stand back, view ourselves as the overall service provision and worry through how we can make those resources work more effectively for the benefit of more people”.112 He told the Committee that “we tend to fret too much about resources that are allocated to a particular locus and there is potential to think far too much in silos”. He highlighted that the prison officer role was “developing more into support and advocacy and into the officer being available when acute moments are reached in the first three, four, five or six weeks after a person has returned to the community”.113

73. On 5 November, Mr McConnell also stated that there was sufficient resource in the budget “to deliver against the Angiolini recommendations for women offenders”.114

Reducing Reoffending Change Fund

74. The Reducing Reoffending Change Fund (RRCF) is one of three change funds created by the Scottish Government “to help drive a decisive shift towards preventative spending, to be utilised between 2012 and 2015”.115 The RRCF is worth £10m, comprising £7.5m funding from the Scottish Government, with the addition of contributions from the Robertson Trust (£2m) and the SPS (£500,000). It has two key aims: (a) to provide offenders with substantial one-to-one support through evidence-based mentoring schemes; and (b) to promote strong, equal partnership working between third sector and public sector organisations.116

75. The RRCF has provided two-year funding to public social partnerships (PSPs)117 for the delivery of two national mentoring services to respond to the needs of young male offenders and of women offenders. Two-year funding has also been awarded to other mentoring projects targeted towards specific groups, for example, to improve employability of offenders and to address their addictions. One-year funding has also been made available through the RRCF to support the development of partnerships, or to support the expansion or enhancement of existing mentoring interventions.118

76. There was broad agreement amongst witnesses that funding provided under the RRCF was extremely useful in establishing and building upon existing mentoring services for both male and female offenders. However, there were concerns regarding the implications for the projects should the funding end after two years. Witnesses agreed that short-term funding had a significant impact on staff, the sustainability of the projects, and even the individuals accessing the service.119 Councillor McNamara of the Community Justice Authority Conveners Group described two-year funding for these projects as “ludicrous”120, while Tom Halpin of Sacro stressed that “we need realistic timescales that allow us to provide evidence of what works” in order to be able to access new funding.121

77. An independent evaluation of the public social partnership development funded by the first year of the RRCF was commissioned by the Scottish Government and published on 17 May 2013.122 The report highlighted that interviewees felt that strong partnership working occurred during the PSP process and that “co-production and extensive service user consultation had a positive impact on the quality of mentoring services developed”.123 The limited time for PSP development was felt to be the main challenge identified by those working on the projects.124 An independent evaluator would be appointed to examine the on-going development of the PSPs and the delivery of mentoring services.125

78. The Cabinet Secretary was asked to comment on the witnesses’ concerns regarding the lack of three-year funding for the RRCF projects. Mr MacAskill said that he “understands the concerns of those working in that environment” and said he was “open to discussion on this”.126 He later gave his assurances that the Scottish Government would keep the matter under constant monitoring.127

79. Andy Bruce, Deputy Director of the Community Justice Division at the Scottish Government, explained that “the change fund acts as something of a catalyst”. It provides “a new way of bringing together money, but that is not intended to be for a sustained period”, but “the worth of the project is demonstrated through the change fund mechanism, after which mainstream funding sources are expected to pick up and sustain the project”.128 He went on say that the RRCF was a three-year programme, however, “it took some time for the projects to get underway and so the actual time for delivery is bound to two years”.129 He added that it would be for the public social partnerships to “find ways of convincing mainstream funding partners to support the mentoring projects thereafter”.130

80. The Committee is encouraged by the excellent work being carried out through the public social partnership model in relation to the mentoring of offenders funded by the Reducing Reoffending Change Fund (RRCF). We also welcome the Cabinet Secretary’s assurances that he is “open to discussion” regarding an extension of the RRCF. We recommend that the Scottish Government provides funding for an additional year to allow the projects to run for the full three-year period, as originally planned, thereby enabling the public social partnerships involved to properly measure and demonstrate the success and cost-effectiveness of the projects to future mainstream funders.

Prison estate

81. The SPS written submission highlights that the organisation will focus its resources over the coming year on (a) maintaining the safe, decent and secure operation of the prison estate, opening HMP Grampian and closing HMPs Aberdeen and Peterhead; (b) implementing changes arising from the SPS organisational review; (c) expanding work with partner organisations to improve continuity of service delivery; (d) work on women offenders; and (e) planning for the replacement of HMPs Barlinnie and Inverness.131

82. The SPS Chief Executive told the Committee on 30 October that, “we are fortunate that the Scottish Government has invested £400 million or so in the estate since 2007, so we are in a pretty good position”, but that there were concerns around the fabric and design of HMPs Barlinnie and Inverness and, in the longer term, Dumfries and Greenock prisons.132

83. On 5 November, Mr McConnell confirmed that HMP Inverclyde for women offenders should be ready for opening by Spring/Summer 2017.133 During budget scrutiny last year, he had stated that the prison would be open in 2016.134 However, he suggested that, “rather than slippage, I would say that we have reconfigured and rescheduled and we are learning more and more along the way”.135 He added that “of course, financial allocations have an impact, … we have to look at Inverclyde in the context of the other 14 public sector prisons that we currently run”.136 In the meantime, further work was being carried out on the facilities for women offenders in HMP Edinburgh and on refurbishment of areas within Cornton Vale.137

84. The Committee is concerned that budgetary pressures may have caused some slippage in the project to build a new national prison for women offenders at HMP Inverclyde, as recommended by the Commission on Women Offenders in its report of 2012. However, we note that the Commission recommended closure of Cornton Vale because the design and conditions of the building were inadequate, of poor quality, and not fit for purpose, and any improvements that have been made to the prison, while welcome, cannot become a substitute for a new dedicated facility for women offenders. We would therefore urge the Scottish Government and Scottish Prison Service to make every effort to ensure that there is no further slippage in the project to build HMP Inverclyde.

Sentencing

85. Colin McConnell indicated that projections on prison numbers, albeit based on past trends, were “fairly worrying in that we expect the prison population to increase … in the coming years to around 8,500”.138 However he confirmed that the allocated budget for the SPS addresses these needs in the short to medium term139, and that he expects “to have sufficient operational flexibility to accommodate the sorts of figures that we anticipate”140. He indicated that the Scottish Prison Commission’s recommendation for the Scottish Government to pursue a target of reducing the prison population to an average daily population of 5,000 was “an aspiration”, but that “the Cabinet Secretary for Justice has made it clear, however, that those who need to be in prison must be in prison, so we have to have sufficient places in the system to accommodate that”.141 However, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland, David Strang, who was a member of the Scottish Prisons Commission, suggested that, “although the 5,000 figure is not implementable immediately, if measures were put in place to deal with offenders who have not committed serious offences and who are not a danger to the public, we could get back to the numbers that Scotland had 20 years or so ago”.142

86. Witnesses noted the increasing SPS budget in the context of a “stand-still”143 budget for criminal justice social work in 2014-15, which appeared to be in contrast to the SPC’s recommendation to reduce the prison population and cost-benefit analyses showing that community penalties represented better value for money than custody.144 Tom Halpin of Sacro advised the Committee that the typical cost of keeping someone in custody for a year was £32,000, whereas an individual working with Sacro on a community penalty typically costs around £1,500 to £1,800.145

87. Councillor Peter McNamara of the Community Justice Authority Conveners Group told the Committee that CJAs were “very much in favour of community payback orders” and had been working with it over the past couple of years “extremely successfully.146 However, he went on to argue that CJAs would “welcome further engagement with the judiciary to encourage them to use alternatives to custody, as that would certainly make a great saving to the public purse”.147 Lillian Cringles of North Lanarkshire Council indicated that “since the introduction of the community payback order, there has been a significant increase in the use of community disposals”. She went on to say “we absolutely welcome that, but it brings obvious challenges in respect of continuing to deliver and manage the service”.148 Councillor McNamara also highlighted that use of community payback orders was increasing, particularly in specific areas of Scotland. For example, in Dundee, use of CPOs had increased by around 30% at the same time as there was a real-terms cut in the budget which he argued, “just does not stack up”.149

88. Mr Halpin stated that Sacro was already seeing the effects of the real terms reduction in the criminal justice social work budget planned for 2014-15, as several funders had indicated that they were applying a 1.5% reduction to budgets next year for existing services.150 However, Lillian Cringles told the Committee that she was “trying to overcome gaps in the budget by building on and joining up with universal services, for example, in relation to healthcare and housing”.151

89. Sean McKendrick of the Association of Directors of Social Work suggested that a possible impact of the reduction in criminal justice social work could be that local authorities divert spend away from early intervention services to ensure that they meet their statutory responsibilities.152 The Committee heard similar concerns during its evidence session on women offenders, although it was suggested that women offenders presented more challenging needs and arguably could benefit even more from early intervention.153

90. The Cabinet Secretary told the Committee that he “would prefer prison numbers coming down, but for as long as the judiciary feels that individuals require to go to prison, they will go to prison”.154 He also argued that “in terms of money that goes out of the door, we are managing to keep our heads above water, but it is challenging”.155

91. The Committee shares the concerns of witnesses that there appears to be some discrepancy in relation to the aspiration to reduce the prison population and the shrinking budget for criminal justice social work. While we recognise the complexities in this area, we believe that community penalties provide a real opportunity to prevent re-offending and thereby save money from the public purse in the long term. We would therefore welcome confirmation that the Scottish Government has a joined-up strategy to reduce the prison population which links into improving the use of community penalties and that this approach is appropriately financed. We would further ask the Cabinet Secretary to consider whether there is an opportunity to reconfigure the budget to further support criminal justice social work.

Remand population

92. Mr McConnell told the Committee that there are around 1,200 people on remand, including around 90 to 100 women.156 (The average daily remand population in 2012-13 was 1,437.) Witnesses expressed concern that the majority of those on remand do not go on to receive custodial sentences, yet the effects on individuals can be the same, including the loss of employment, housing, benefits and family relationships. There were also significant financial implications of placing a person on remand compared with a community alternative. HM Chief Inspector of Prisons therefore suggested that these individuals could be dealt with more effectively through bail support and supervision.157 Tom Halpin, Chief Executive of Sacro, agreed that “alternatives such as intensive support in supported accommodation, bail supervision and so on should be used to reduce the use of remand”.158 Witnesses also told the Committee that further work and collaboration between social work and the judiciary was needed to ensure that alternatives to remand were being considered and used where appropriate.159

93. Mr Halpin of Sacro estimated that it would cost around £500,000160 to provide supported accommodation, intensive support and bail supervision for women across Scotland.161 Lillian Cringles of North Lanarkshire Council agreed that the costs of this could be “quite small” but that it could deliver successful outcomes in diverting women away from custody and addressing their offending behaviour.162

94. The SPS Chief Executive reported that the remand facilities at Cornton Vale, which had been severely criticised by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons in his inspection report of 2009163, were significantly improved.164

95. The Cabinet Secretary told the Committee that historically the judiciary had on occasion placed women on remand for their own safety and that the Scottish Government was working with the judiciary to assure them that there were other more suitable facilities available to support those accused rather than placing them on remand.165 He advised the Committee that, while it would not be appropriate for the Scottish Government to intervene in sentencing or remand decisions, it does intend to roll-out best practice in this area.166 The Committee welcomes this approach.

96. The Committee shares the concerns of witnesses regarding the size of the remand population and associated costs. We would therefore urge the Scottish Government to give consideration to costed increased use of approaches to provide supported alternatives to remand, such as bail supervision, where appropriate.

97. We also note that the Commission on Women Offenders recommended that most women prisoners on remand, subject to our views noted in the previous paragraph, should be held in local prisons to improve liaison with local communities and re-integration on release. The Committee would welcome an update on progress in meeting this recommendation of the Commission and the projected costs of this approach.

Purposeful activity

98. The Committee published the report of its inquiry into purposeful activity in prisons in March 2013, which recommended that the SPS put in place a strategy in relation to purposeful activity.167 The joint Scottish Government and SPS response accepted this recommendation and indicated that they would conduct a “root and branch review of purposeful activity in prisons to ensure that such activity is meaningful, can be measured in a useful way and provides overall direction for prisons”.168

99. When asked whether this strategy had any budgetary implications, the SPS Chief Executive confirmed that “the SPS is designing the organisation to provide opportunities for those who come into custody to obtain skills that will be sellable and marketable to employers when they leave prison” and that this could be done within its existing resources.169 HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland, Mr Strang, added that the Committee’s report “provided a useful impetus” and confirmed that the Inspectorate intended to report on implementation of the strategy.170 The Committee welcomes the assurance from HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland that he would continue to monitor progress on this matter, as will the Committee.

CROWN OFFICE AND PROCURATOR FISCAL SERVICE

Overview

100. In April 2012, the eleven areas of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) were reorganised into three geographical federations, together with a national federation containing serious casework and corporate services. This structural change was, in part, motivated by the aim of achieving savings in management costs and ensuring effective links with the new single police force.171

101. The Equality Statement accompanying the Scottish Government’s Draft Budget 2014-15 states that “COPFS [with Police Scotland] commits to implement a revised protocol for processing domestic abuse cases”.172 In September 2013, COPFS announced that it was introducing a new procurator fiscal for domestic abuse to co-ordinate the prosecution service’s response to domestic abuse cases across Scotland.173 This procurator fiscal is also responsible for on-going review of prosecution policy with regard to crimes of this type, further engagement with stakeholders to strengthen the collective response to domestic abuse cases, and assisting in continuing to raise awareness among prosecutors and the police.

102. The Scottish Government is currently developing a new national violence against women strategy for tackling domestic abuse, due to be published in summer 2014.174

103. While the Cabinet Secretary for Justice is responsible for the Justice spending plans, the COPFS budget is negotiated separately between the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Lord Advocate. The table below shows level 3 funding for the COPFS budget.

COPFS budget

 

 

2013-14
budget

2014-15
draft budget

2015-16
plans

 

 

£m

£m

£m

Cash terms

Staff costs

68.7

69.1

69.1

Office costs

4.0

4.3

4.3

Case related

12.7

13.0

13.0

Centrally managed

19.1

18.7

19.4

Capital expenditure

3.6

3.6

3.6

Total

108.1

108.7

109.4

Real terms

Staff costs

68.7

67.8

66.6

Office costs

4.0

4.2

4.1

Case related

12.7

12.8

12.5

Centrally managed

19.1

18.4

18.7

Capital expenditure

3.6

3.5

3.5

Total

108.1

106.7

105.5

Source: Draft Budget 2014-15 (table 11.03)

104. This table shows that spending within the COPFS portfolio is set to increase, in cash terms, from £108.1m in 2013-14 to £108.7m (+0.6%) in 2014-15. However, this equates to a real terms reduction of 1.3%.

Budget allocation

105. Catherine Dyer, the Crown Agent and COPFS Chief Executive, advised the Committee that COPFS has nine priorities: fatalities investigations; hate crime; knife crime; domestic abuse; proceeds of crime; serious and organised crime; sexual crime; homicides, and violent crime.175 As with other public sector organisations, COPFS faces challenges in meeting these priorities within tightening budgets. However, Ms Dyer said that restructuring into three federations, creating specialisms around specific types of crime, and making use of technology, had ensured that COPFS was better prepared to deliver its services within the financial challenges176 and with fewer staff.177

106. Ms Dyer stated that “what we have done by reorganising ourselves and by constantly working with the police, the courts and other partners, including Victim Support Scotland, is to create a new approach to justice in Scotland, which should guarantee that we can deal with whatever comes through the door”. 178She went on to say that this “has required effort, thinking and planning, but it has been innovative, and if the Committee is seeking an assurance that we are able to deliver [within the budget allocation], I can give you that reassurance”.179

Domestic abuse

107. Witnesses were asked what difference the joint protocol between COPFS and Police Scotland on handling domestic abuse cases would make in practice and what funds were being allocated to implement this protocol. Ms Dyer said that a protocol was already in place, but it had recently been updated.180 She confirmed that “we have already invested in additional training for staff, so well over 250 staff in COPFS are now trained to deal with domestic abuse cases at all their different stages.181 She also indicated that “investing in a post like [the Procurator Fiscal for Domestic Abuse] … demonstrates that someone is heading up the issue for the organisation and that they have oversight of the whole thing and are a bridge between what might be policy and the reality on the ground”.182 Anne Marie Hicks, the new Procurator Fiscal for Domestic Abuse, added that “the new protocol is really important for improving quality”.183

108. Ms Hicks was asked to comment on the causes of the current backlog in cases going through the Glasgow Domestic Abuse Court.184 She advised that the robust approach to prosecution of domestic abuse adopted by Strathclyde Police, which has been continued by Police Scotland, had contributed to the increase in cases.185 She suggested that “having a specialist court, putting in specialist resource to both the police and the fiscal side, and putting in a solid advocacy service for victims that provides a lot of support, increases public confidence and gets more people reporting, which is what we want to achieve”.186 She also said that there were sufficient funds in the budget this year and in future years for fiscals to cope with the demand, however, the difficulty was finding adequate court capacity to deal with the cases.187

109. The Cabinet Secretary confirmed that he believes the budget is robust enough to deal with the number of domestic abuse cases and for COPFS to adequately support victims through the court process.188 He suggested that “the issue is not just about the money, but about the how the system is applied and how matters are worked out in court”.189

110. The Chief Constable clarified his position in relation to his approach to domestic abuse cases: “in my six years in Scotland, I have made it clear that our role is to focus on the offenders in domestic abuse and to ensure that they face justice”, however, “sometimes prison is not the best or only answer”.190 He went on to argue that “we must think about viable alternatives that might actually be more challenging for the offender and might help the victim more”.191 He provided examples where this approach might be appropriately applied, including where a relationship “is viable and on-going, but the offender has a particular problem that needs to be dealt with” or “where the offender might be earning a wage that supports the family.192 He agreed that there may be a financial impact to this approach, but said “we would be looking to work with our partners on such issues”.193 Ms Dyer later confirmed that “the new protocol already allows this to happen where appropriate”.194

111. Ms Hicks was asked whether COPFS would be supportive of women being provided with cameras where they were at risk of domestic abuse. She advised the Committee that “this was already happening” in some areas195 and confirmed that she would be happy to explore this option further if victims groups and others were supportive of the approach.196 The Cabinet Secretary told the Committee that the Making Justice Work programme included a work-stream on maximising the use of technology and that he would feed in this suggestion to that group.197

112. The Committee supports the collective approach of Police Scotland and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) in prioritising the issue of domestic abuse and we recognise that their efforts may have led to an increase in the reporting and prosecution of domestic abuse cases. We note that there is a backlog of cases in the Glasgow Domestic Abuse Court, which witnesses have suggested is due to lack of court capacity. We would therefore ask that Police Scotland, the Scottish Court Service and COPFS give consideration to this matter as part of their work on extending court hours.

Legislation in progress

113. Ms Dyer was asked whether COPFS would be able to cope with a possible increased demand arising from the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill. She indicated that creating specialisms had increased the capacity of the organisation and that the Financial Memorandums on these Bills provided an accurate reflection of the expected costs arising for COPFS. She confirmed that COPFS expected a slight increase in the number of cases expected to go to court if the proposal to abolish the requirement for corroboration was agreed to by the Parliament.198 A shadow-marking exercise had been conducted to establish the types of case that would proceed to court under the proposals, but which could not do so under current arrangements.199 Ms Dyer said she anticipated a 1% increase in summary cases and 6% increase in solemn cases. However, she warned that “the reality is that until the cases are reported to the police and come through the justice system’s door, it is difficult for us to know what the figures will be”.200

114. Victim Support Scotland sought assurances that the real-terms cut in the COPFS budget would not impact on implementation of the Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Bill.201 Ms Dyer argued that the automatic entitlement to special measures would in fact cut the amount of work required of COPFS in making applications to the court, whilst also providing certainty to relevant witnesses.202

115. The Committee notes that Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) has prepared for the potential impact should the requirement for corroboration be abolished as proposed in the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill, but we accept that it is not possible to be certain about the level of possible increases in cases going to court. Should these proposals in the Bill be passed, we would urge the Scottish Government to monitor the impact for COPFS and others to ensure that sufficient funds are in place to support any unexpected increase in the prosecution of cases.

COLLABORATIVE WORKING

Overview

116. An overarching theme arising from the evidence gathered on each of the Committee’s chosen areas of scrutiny was the importance of collaborative working, particularly in times of financial constraints. Police Scotland, COPFS, the Scottish Prison Service and community justice partners each highlighted that they were now looking to work in partnership with other bodies to try to maximise their reducing budgets.

117. For example, the Chief Constable told the Committee that he sits on a Justice Board, which “brings together the chief officers of all the component parts of the justice system in Scotland”.203 This Board has a number of sub-groups working on specific issues, for example, looking at court attendance.204 The Committee considers that this type of collaboration is essential in ensuring joined-up working at the most strategic levels. Similarly we were encouraged to hear about the collective approach of Police Scotland and COPFS in prioritising the issue of domestic abuse and of their efforts in implementing a protocol on handling cases of domestic abuse, which allows alternatives to custody to be explored where appropriate and only in circumstances where it would benefit the victim.205

Offender services

118. The SPS Chief Executive told the Committee that there were sufficient funds in the system but that “there is potential to think far too much in silos”.206 He said that he was keen to see more prison officers working outside prison walls along with more community working within prisons to “join up throughcare and make it more impactful, so that rehabilitation is more acute and resettlement works better”.207

119. The Committee heard that steps were being taken to address duplication of services being provided by the third sector within prisons. Tom Halpin of Sacro said that “an ugly truth is that many organisations that work with offenders in prison have sought to deliver their own agenda, [but] the focus on women offenders and the RRCF have given us a great opportunity to co-produce and go right back to basics and focus on the needs of the offender rather than the needs of any organisation”.208 He went on to state that the Criminal Justice Voluntary Sector Forum, which he chairs, had accepted a partnership development agreement to ensure that any proposed service was co-designed with the SPS and partners involved.209

120. Some witnesses suggested that there would be benefits in adopting a statutory approach similar to the one taken in relation to MAPPA (multi-agency public protection arrangements for offenders who pose a certain level of risk), to oblige agencies to work together to achieve the best outcomes for offenders, while ensuring value for money.210

121. In response to this suggestion, the Cabinet Secretary said that “I tend to think that such things are better dealt with by a willing volunteer than a reluctant conscript, but I am more than happy to discuss that matter with COSLA as we work on resolving where we are going with the model for CJAs”.211

122. The Committee also heard evidence highlighting the importance of local authority criminal social work departments working closely with third sector partners to maximise the universal services that are already available. Lillian Cringles of the North Lanarkshire Council told the Committee that this was a challenge but could help to “overcome the gaps in the budget” and “ensure that services are provided for offenders”.212

123. The Cabinet Secretary told the Committee that the Scottish Government was trying to improve the use of community sentences: “some of it is about knowledge raising, some is about ensuring that the judiciary and social work interact, and some is about making sure that the facilities are there”.213

124. The Committee notes the collaborative approach to providing offender services within custody and in the community, which we welcome. We also welcome the Cabinet Secretary’s commitment to discuss with COSLA how to achieve the best outcomes for offenders.

Community Justice Authorities

125. The Committee notes that the Scottish Government recently consulted on three options for ‘Redesigning the Community Justice System’: (a) an enhanced community justice authority model; (b) a local authority model; or (c) a single national service, separate to and sitting alongside the SPS.214 The Scottish Government’s performance evaluation material dated 11 September stated that an early independent review of the operation of the community payback order was also underway, with findings to be reported to the Scottish Government in October 2014.215

126. There was concern from some witnesses regarding the timing of this review. Councillor McNamara of the CJA Conveners’ Group said he was “sad that there is a review of CJAs because it will be re-jigged just as we are starting to get to the nub of the problem”216 and that there was “insufficient evidence yet for a proper and balanced judgment to be made on community sentencing”.217 He argued that the best outcome of the review would be an enhanced CJA model.218 Anne Pinkman of the Scottish Working Group on Women Offending shared Mr McNamara’s concerns regarding the timing of the possible restructuring of CJAs.219

127. The Committee heard from the Cabinet Secretary that he still expected announcements arising from the CJA review to be made by the end of the year. He also confirmed that there were no budgetary implications from these announcements in relation to the spending year currently under consideration by the Committee.

128. The Committee asks the Scottish Government to ensure that any new structures arising from the review into community justice authorities provide an effective service and represent value for money.

Churn

129. The Scottish Government’s Draft Budget 2014-15 Performance Evaluation Material included an update on the effectiveness of efforts being made across justice agencies to tackle churn in the criminal justice system.220 It stated that a number of initiatives were being introduced under the Making Justice Work Programme to help reduce the number of trial adjournments and repeated court diets. Steps were also being taken to conclude cases at the earliest opportunity.221

130. Ms Dyer was asked for an update regarding the measures that COPFS was taking to reduce churn. She confirmed that the criminal justice organisations were working together through the Making Justice Work programme to try to ensure that guilty pleas were given at the earliest possible stage, without impinging on the rights of the accused.222 A number of pilot projects had already demonstrated significant improvements in the number of cases going to trial as planned or pleading at an early stage, including an initiative in Aberdeen which had shown a reduction in the number of cases being adjourned from 45% to 23%.223

131. When asked about addressing ‘churn’ in the criminal justice system, the Cabinet Secretary said that, while it would “never be eliminated, … we can reduce an awful lot of needless delay”.224 He indicated that there was a general recognition throughout the criminal justice system that “everyone has to do more” and that new technology was helping to facilitate more efficient processes.225 He agreed that the Scottish Government had a facilitation role in ensuring that criminal justice partners work together to address inefficiencies in the system and it would continue to do this through the Making Justice Work programme.226

132. The Committee asks the Scottish Government to continue to provide updates in relation to progress with projects under the Making Justice Work programme, such as the initiative aimed at tackling inefficiencies across the criminal justice system.

ANNEXE A: EXTRACTS FROM THE MINUTES OF THE JUSTICE COMMITTEE

25th Meeting, 2013 (Session 4) Tuesday 24 September 2013

Draft Budget Scrutiny 2014-15 (in private): The Committee considered its approach to the scrutiny of the Scottish Government's Draft Budget 2014-15 and agreed: (1) to focus its scrutiny on the budgets for policing; the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service; and prisons and alternatives to custody, including women offenders; (2) to issue a general call for evidence; and (3) a list of witnesses.

28th Meeting, 2013 (Session 4) Tuesday 29 October 2013

Draft Budget Scrutiny 2014-15: The Committee took evidence on the Scottish Government's Draft Budget 2014-15 from—

John Foley, Interim Chief Executive, and Paul Rooney, Chair, Finance and Investment Committee, Scottish Police Authority;
Sir Stephen House, Chief Constable, and Allan Macleod, Interim Director of Finance and Resources, Police Scotland;
Chief Superintendent David O'Connor, President, Association of Scottish Police Superintendents;
Calum Steele, General Secretary, Scottish Police Federation;
Stevie Diamond, Police Staff Scotland Branch, Unison;
Catherine Dyer, Crown Agent and Chief Executive, and Anne Marie Hicks, Procurator Fiscal for Domestic Abuse, Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service; Alan McCloskey, Acting Deputy Chief Executive, Victim Support Scotland.

Graeme Pearson indicated that he receives a police pension.

29th Meeting, 2013 (Session 4) Wednesday 30 October 2013

Draft Budget Scrutiny 2014-15: The Committee took evidence on the Scottish Government's Draft Budget 2014-15 from—

Colin McConnell, Chief Executive, Scottish Prison Service;
David Strang, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland;
Tom Halpin, Chief Executive, Safeguarding Communities - Reducing Offending (Sacro);
Councillor Peter McNamara, Chair, Community Justice Authority Conveners' Group;
Sean McKendrick, Vice-chair, Criminal Justice Standing Committee, Association of Directors of Social Work.

30th Meeting, 2013 (Session 4) Tuesday 5 November 2013

Draft Budget Scrutiny 2014-15: The Committee took evidence on the Scottish Government's Draft Budget 2014-15 from—

Anne Pinkman, Convener, Scottish Working Group on Women's Offending;
Tom Halpin, Chief Executive, Safeguarding Communities - Reducing Offending (Sacro);
Lillian Cringles, Manager, Justice Services, North Lanarkshire Council.

Draft Budget Scrutiny 2014-15: The Committee took evidence on the Scottish Government's Draft Budget 2014-15 from—

Kenny MacAskill, Cabinet Secretary for Justice;
Kerry Twyman, Finance Programme Management Division, Andy Bruce, Deputy Director, Community Justice Division, and Stephen Woodhouse, Police Division, Scottish Government.

31st Meeting, 2013 (Session 4) Tuesday 12 November 2013

Draft Budget Scrutiny 2014-15 (in private): The Committee agreed its report to the Finance Committee on the Scottish Government's Draft Budget 2014-15.

ANNEXE B: ORAL EVIDENCE AND ASSOCIATED WRITTEN EVIDENCE RECEIVED BY THE JUSTICE COMMITTEE

28th Meeting, 2013 (Session 4) Tuesday 29 October 2013

ORAL EVIDENCE

John Foley, Interim Chief Executive, and Paul Rooney, Chair, Finance and Investment Committee, Scottish Police Authority;
Sir Stephen House, Chief Constable, and Allan Macleod, Interim Director of Finance and Resources, Police Scotland;
Chief Superintendent David O'Connor, President, Association of Scottish Police Superintendents;
Calum Steele, General Secretary, Scottish Police Federation;
Stevie Diamond, Police Staff Scotland Branch, Unison;
Catherine Dyer, Crown Agent and Chief Executive, and Anne Marie Hicks, Procurator Fiscal for Domestic Abuse, Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service;
Alan McCloskey, Acting Deputy Chief Executive, Victim Support Scotland.

WRITTEN EVIDENCE

Victim Support Scotland
UNISON
Scottish Police Authority and Police Scotland

SUPPLEMENTARY WRITTEN EVIDENCE

Police Scotland

29th Meeting, 2013 (Session 4) Tuesday 30 October 2013

ORAL EVIDENCE

Colin McConnell, Chief Executive, Scottish Prison Service;
David Strang, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland;
Tom Halpin, Chief Executive, Safeguarding Communities - Reducing Offending (Sacro);
Councillor Peter McNamara, Chair, Community Justice Authority Conveners' Group;
Sean McKendrick, Vice-chair, Criminal Justice Standing Committee, Association of Directors of Social Work.

WRITTEN EVIDENCE

Safeguarding Communities – Reducing Offending (Sacro)
Scotland's Community Justice Authorities
Scottish Prison Service
Association of Directors of Social Work
HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland

30th Meeting, 2013 (Session 4) Tuesday 5 November 2013

ORAL EVIDENCE

Anne Pinkman, Convener, Scottish Working Group on Women's Offending;
Tom Halpin, Chief Executive, Safeguarding Communities - Reducing Offending (Sacro);
Lillian Cringles, Manager, Justice Services, North Lanarkshire Council.
Kenny MacAskill, Cabinet Secretary for Justice;
Kerry Twyman, Finance Programme Management Division, Andy Bruce, Deputy Director, Community Justice Division, and Stephen Woodhouse, Police Division, Scottish Government.

WRITTEN EVIDENCE

Safeguarding Communities – Reducing Offending (Sacro)
Scottish Working Group on Women's Offending

OTHER WRITTEN EVIDENCE

Stop it Now! Scotland
Families Outside
Howard League for Penal Reform Scotland
South Lanarkshire Council
Law Society of Scotland
The Robertson Trust
Scottish Women's Aid

CORRESPONDENCE

Letter from the Scottish Government to the Convener (12 November 2013)


Footnotes:

1 The Committee examined the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Bill in 2012 and the planned savings during last year’s budget scrutiny. It has also undertaken an inquiry into purposeful activity within prisons, scrutiny of spending plans relating to prisons, alternatives to custody and women offenders.

2 Letter from Convener of Finance Committee to Committee Conveners in relation to the Budget Strategy Phase.

3 This figure includes sums within the Scottish Police Authority and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service budget lines to cover depreciation of assets in 2013-14 which are set out within the text of the Draft Budget 2014-15, but not reflected in relevant tables. These sums are included within relevant tables in this report to improve comparability of figures between 2013-14 and the subsequent two years (both of which include sums to cover depreciation).

4 SPICe (2013). Draft Budget 2014-15: Justice, (page 7). Available at: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/69075.aspx

5 SPICe (2013). Draft Budget 2014-15: Justice, (page 7).

6 The Drugs & Community Safety budget line is also referred to as Safer & Stronger Communities.

7 The Scottish Resilience budget, which was shown as a separate level 2 budget line in last year’s draft budget document, has been incorporated into the Miscellaneous budget line.

8 Scottish Government (2013). Draft Budget 2014-15 (page 71). Available at: http://scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2013/09/9971.

9 SPICe (2013). Draft Budget 2014-15: Justice (page 13).

10 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3547.

11 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3457.

12 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3457.

13 SPICe (2013). Draft Budget 2014-15: Justice (page 7).

14 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3530.

15 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3530.

16 Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Bill (2012). Financial Memorandum (contained in Explanatory Notes). Available at: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/S4_Bills/Police%20and%20Fire%20Reform%20(Scotland)%20Bill/Ex_Notes_and_FM.pdf

17 Estimated savings recurring annually after year seven.

18 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee (2012). Stage 1 Report on the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Bill. Available at: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/S4_JusticeCommittee/Reports/jur-12-04w.pdf

19 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee (2012). Report to the Finance Committee on Draft Budget 2013-14. Available at: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/S4_JusticeCommittee/Reports/Jur12_BudgetReport.pdf

20 SPICe (2013). Draft Budget 2014-15: Justice (page 9).

21 SPICe (2013). Draft Budget 2014-15: Justice (page 9).

22 Scottish Government (2013). Draft Budget 2014-15 Performance Evaluation Material. Available at: www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Government/Finance/18127/Performance

23 SPA and Police Scotland joint written submission.

24 SPA and Police Scotland joint written submission.

25 SPA and Police Scotland joint written submission.

26 Unison, written submission.

27 Scottish Government (2013). Draft Budget 2014-15 (page 71).

28 Scottish Government (2013). Police Officer Quarterly Strength Statistics, 31 March 2013. Available at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2013/06/5411

29 More recent figures for 30 June 2013 show a decrease to 17,324 police officers.

30 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee (2012). Stage 1 Report on the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Bill.

31 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3410.

32 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3398.

33 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Cols 3396-3397.

34 Scottish Government (2013). Draft Budget 2014-15 (page 71).

35 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3408.

36 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3401.

37 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Cols 3353.

38 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3532.

39 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3533.

40 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 November 2013, Col 3398.

41 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 November 2013, Col 3397.

42 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 November 2013, Col 3397-3398.

43 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 November 2013, Col 3398.

44 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3398.

45 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 November 2013, Col 3420.

46 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3539.

47 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3539.

48 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3411.

49 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3411.

50 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3535.

51 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3536.

52 SPA and Police Scotland, joint written submission.

53 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Cols 3399-3400.

54 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3400.

55 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3419.

56 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3420.

57 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3420.

58 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Cols 3536-3537.

59 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3538.

60 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3532.

61 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3402.

62 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3402.

63 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3402.

64 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3537.

65 Correspondence from Police Scotland to the Justice Sub-Committee on Policing (June 2013).

66 Figure provided by Chief Inspector Jane Black, Review Team, Police Service of Scotland, 18 October 2013.

67 The unchanged figure relates to core hours. In some instances the start and finish times will move from between 15 min and 1 hour depending on the current opening times.

68 Scottish Parliament Justice Sub-Committee. Official Report, 31 October 2013, Col 262.

69 Unison, written submission.

70 Unison, written submission.

71 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3412.

72 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3412.

73 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3534.

74 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3534.

75 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3534.

76 Unison, written submission.

77 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3407.

78 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3410.

79 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3409.

80 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3410.

81 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3532.

82 Stage 1 report on Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012, paragraph 210. Available at: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/S4_JusticeCommittee/Reports/jur-12-04w.pdf

83 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3402.

84 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3403.

85 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3410.

86 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3410.

87 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3540.

88 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3540.

89 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3429.

90 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Cols 3429-3430.

91 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3430.

92 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3431.

93 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3415.

94 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3416.

95 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee (2013). Report on purposeful activity in prisons. Available at: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/61679.aspx

96 Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons inspection reports, 2009 and 2011. Available at:
http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Justice/public-safety/offender-management/offender/custody/Prisons/hmip.

97 Commission on Women Offenders (2012). Report on improving outcomes for women offenders. Available at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/About/Review/commissiononwomenoffenders/finalreport-2012

98 Scottish Prisons Commission report, page 57. Available at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/230180/0062359.pdf

99 SPICe (2013). Draft Budget 2014-15: Justice

100 SPICe (2013). Draft Budget 2014-15: Justice.

101 HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland (2013). Annual report, page 18. Available at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2013/06/4575

102 The SPS budget covers both publicly and privately managed prisons.

103 Scottish Government (2013). Draft Budget 2014-15, page 83.

104 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3547.

105 The criminal justice social work grant also funds services such as throughcare and provision of reports to inform sentencing decisions.

106 The offender services budget line also includes funds managed centrally such as electronic monitoring and funds to community justice authorities.

107 Scottish Government (2013). Draft Budget 2014-15 Performance Evaluation Material.

108 The draft budget for 2014-15 provides for total capital spending of £13.4m.

109 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 30 October 2013, Col 3475.

110 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 30 October 2013, Col 3487.

111 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 30 October 2013, Col 3474.

112 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 30 October 2013, Col 3481.

113 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 30 October 2013, Col 3483.

114 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3558.

115 Scottish Government website (2013). Available at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Justice/public-safety/offender-management/changefund

116 Scottish Government website (2013).

117 A public social partnership is a partnership between public and third sector organisations which is formed to co-design the proposed service, and which will work together to deliver the service.

118 Scottish Government website (2013).

119 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 30 October 2013, Cols 3483-3484.

120 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 30 October 2013, Col 3484.

121 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 30 October 2013, Col 3484.

122 Scottish Government website (2013). Reducing Reoffending Change Fund Evaluation of Year 1. Available at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Justice/public-safety/offender-management/changefund

123 Scottish Government website (2013). Reducing Reoffending Change Fund Evaluation of Year 1.

124 Scottish Government website (2013). Reducing Reoffending Change Fund Evaluation of Year 1.

125 Scottish Government website (2013). Reducing Reoffending Change Fund Evaluation of Year 1.

126 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3550.

127 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3552.

128 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3550.

129 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3550.

130 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3550.

131 Scottish Prison Service, written submission.

132 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 30 October 2013, Col 3494.

133 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3559.

134 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee (2012). Report to Finance Committee on Draft Budget 2014-15.

135 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3559.

136 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3559.

137 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3559.

138 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 30 October 2013, Col 3475.

139 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 30 October 2013, Col 3474.

140 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 30 October 2013, Col 3476.

141 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 30 October 2013, Col 3475.

142 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 30 October 2013, Col 3476.

143 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 30 October 2013, Col 3472.

144 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 30 October 2013, Col 3471.

145 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 30 October 2013, Col 3471.

146 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 30 October 2013, Col 3473.

147 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 30 October 2013, Col 3473.

148 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3510.

149 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 30 October 2013, Col 3491.

150 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 30 October 2013, Cols 3490-91.

151 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3514

152 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 30 October 2013, Col 3492.

153 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3510.

154 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3554.

155 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3555.

156 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 30 October 2013, Col 3477.

157 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 30 October 2013, Col 3476.

158 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 30 October 2013, Col 3477.

159 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 30 October 2013, Col 3473.

160 In a further written submission, Mr Halpin suggested that the cost would be nearer £300,000. Detailed costs are provided in Sacro’s supplementary written submission available at:

161 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3517.

162 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3518.

163 HM Chief Inspector Prisons for Scotland. Inspection report on Cornton Vale. Available at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/299056/0093283.pdf

164 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013. Col 3560.

165 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3566.

166 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3567.

167 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee (2013). Report on purposeful activity in prisons.

168 Scottish Government (2013). Response to report on purposeful activity.

169 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 30 October 2013, Col 3486.

170 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3485.

171 SPICe (2013). Draft Budget 2014-15: Justice (page 21).

172 Scottish Government (2013). Equality Statement on Draft Budget 2014-15.

173 COPFS (2013). Specialist lead prosecutor to strengthen response to domestic abuse. Available at:
http://www.crownoffice.gov.uk/media-site/latest-news-from-copfs/530-specialist-lead-prosecutor-to-strengthen-response-to-domestic-abuse

174 SPICe (2013). Draft Budget 2014-15: Justice (page 23).

175 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3433.

176 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3434.

177 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3437.

178 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3452.

179 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3452.

180 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3456.

181 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3456.

182 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3456.

183 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3457.

184 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3455.

185 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3455.

186 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3455.

187 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3455.

188 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3543.

189 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3543.

190 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3432.

191 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3432.

192 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3431.

193 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3432.

194 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3458.

195 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3460.

196 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3460.

197 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3544.

198 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3435.

199 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3435.

200 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3435.

201 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3440.

202 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3440.

203 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3420.

204 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3420.

205 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3420.

206 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 30 October 2013, Col 3483.

207 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 30 October 2013, Col 3482.

208 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3426.

209 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013. Col 3526.

210 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013. Col 3553.

211 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013. Col 3553.

212 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013. Col 3514.

213 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013. Col 3567.

214 Scottish Government (2012).Redesigning the Community Justice System. Available at:
http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Justice/public-safety/offender-management/RedesigningCommunityJusticeConsultation .

215 Scottish Government (2013). Draft Budget 2014-15 Performance Evaluation Material.

216 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 30 October 2013, Col 3479.

217 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 30 October 2013, Col 3493.

218 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 30 October 2013, Col 3480.

219 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3526.

220 Scottish Government (2013). Draft Budget 2014-15 Performance Evaluation Material.

221 Scottish Government (2013). Draft Budget 2014-15 Performance Evaluation Material.

222 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3440.

223 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 29 October 2013, Col 3440.

224 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3545.

225 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3545.

226 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. Official Report, 5 November 2013, Col 3545.

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