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Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (1974) in Scotland reform. Responses to SG discussion paper published.

2014 April 23


“Reforms planned to help rehabilitate offenders” Herald
“Clean slate for criminals who get up to four years in prison” Herald

Following posted on 27.8.13

“Consultation opens on offender rehabilitation rules” Law Society Journal Online

Following posted on 13.8.13

“Third of Scots men have criminal past” Herald
“One in three Scottish men ‘likely to have a criminal record’” STV
“Third of men have a criminal record” Courier
“One third of Scots men have criminal conviction, research shows” Law Society Journal Online

See also

Discussion Paper on the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 – Analysis of Consultation Responses (Scot.Gov. April 2014)
Feedback from Discussions on the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 with People Inside Scottish Prisons (Scot. Gov. April 2014)
Rehabilitation of Offenders Act Discussion Paper: Report into Stakeholder Events (Scot. Gov. April 2014)
Response to a Discussion Paper on the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Scot. Gov. April 2014)

“[ . . .] a disclosure scheme of a person’s previous criminal activity fit for the 21st century Scotland needs to succeed in achieving the right balance between protecting the public from those whose offending behaviour makes them a potential future risk while also enabling offenders who want the chance of gainful employment or education, to put their previous offending behaviour behind them and to make a positive contribution to Scottish society. Ensuring this correct balance between rehabilitation and public safety will support our priorities for reducing re-offending; increasing public confidence; strengthening community resilience; and achieving sustainable economic growth.” Ministerial Forward to “A Discussion Paper on the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974″ (Scot.Gov. August 2013)

A Discussion Paper on the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Scot.Gov. August 2013)

“There appears to be a growing presumption of inquiring about an applicant’s history rather than presumption against it. The widening spread, or creep, of non-compulsory disclosure and legally allowed disclosure of a wide range of information beyond unspent criminal convictions can have a chilling effect on the career and educational progression of significant numbers of people.” McGuinness, P., McNeill, F. and Armstrong, S. (2013), SCCJR 02/2013. University of Glasgow.

McGuinness, P., McNeill, F. and Armstrong, S. (2013), ‘The use and impact of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (1974):Final Report’. SCCJR 02/2013. University of Glasgow.

Angiolini Commission on Women Offenders: Herald articles critical of lack of progress

2014 April 14
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Members of the Angiolini Commission Update

“Why are so many women held in prison?” Herald
“Locking women up not answer” Herald
“Women’s prison population rises by 120%” Herald

Following posted on 4.11.13

“Investment made in Scottish women’s prisons” Scotsman
“Edinburgh female offenders facilities boost” Evening News
“Female offender projects awarded £3m by Scottish government” BBC
“MacAskill announces £3m to ‘break the cycle’ of women reoffending” STV

Following posted on 6.11.12

“Women offenders face ‘very undesirable’ situation on release from prison, MSP’s heard” Daily Record

Following posted on 30.10.12

“‘Miserable’ Cornton Vale jail to be replaced” Scotsman
“Plans to replace Cornton Vale” Herald
“New ‘custom made’ women’s prison to be built in Scotland” BBC

Following posted on 20.9.12

“Anger as prison inmates asked what they want in future for nick” Scottish Sun

Following posted on 28.6.12

“Angiolini urges government to close Cornton Vale” Scotsman
“Former Lord Advocate says MSPs must place emphasis on Cornton Vale closure” STV
“Dame Elish Angiolini, chair of the Commission on Women Offenders, told the Justice Committee there was a leadership vacuum in community justice and that community justice alternatives needed an “operational head, a chief executive”, on 26 June 2012″ BBC Democracy Live

Following posted on 26.6.12

“Closing Corton Vale prison will end vicious circle of women re-offending, says Kenny MacAskill” Daily Record
“Corton Vale prison to be replaced as part of 28m reform of women’s jail services in Scotland” Daily Record
“Scotland’s only female prison Corton Vale will be replaced £20m move” STV
“Former Lord Advocate says MSP’s must place emphasis on Cornton Vale closure” STV
“Former Lord Advocate to face questions on Cornton Vale prison closure” STV
“MacAskill looking for alternative to Cornton Vale” Law Society Journal Online
“Scottish ministers accept recommendation on female offenders” BBC
“Overhaul of women’s justice system kick started with £20m” Scotsman
“Closure of Scotland’s women’s prison planned” Herald

“The Report of the Commission on Women Offenders has some worthy objectives, but overlooks the root cause of most offending, and its true cost” Law Society of Scotland Magazine

Following posted on 27.4.12

“MacAskill warns on jail replacement” Herald

Following posted on 19.4.12

“Let us have sex equality in our policy on prisons” Herald
“We need a radical change to the Scottish criminal justice system” Herald
“Praise for the insights into justice system” Herald
“Prison reform can’t bar men” Scotsman
“Cornton Vale facing closure as damning report outlines shocking waste of money & failure to stop reoffending” Daily Record

Following posted on 18.4.12

“End of an era or a new beginning?” Discovering Desistance blog (Fergus McNeill)
“Report calls for Cornton Vale prison to be closed” Scotsman
“At last, a road map to overdue change” Scotsman
“Case study: Petty criminals mixed with dangerous inmates at Cornton Vale” Scotsman
“Cornton Vale demolition job was long overdue” Scotsman
“Demolish women’s jail, says Elish Angiolini” Scottish Sun
“Scotland’s only female jail Cornton Vale ‘should be demolished’” STV
“Commission recommends replacement of Cornton Vale women’s prison” The Firm Magazine
“Ex-legal chief calls for Scots women’s jail to be shut down” Scottish Express
“Vital to keep more women out of jail” Herald
“Damning judgment shows how our society has changed” Herald
“Call for overhaul of system to tackle female offending” Herald
“Cornton Vale prison ‘not fit for purpose’” Herald
“HMP Cornton Vale “not fit for purpose…” “ Lallands Peat Worrier

Following posted on 17.4.12

“Cornton Vale women’s prison should be demolished, says Lord Advocate Elish Angiolini” Daily Record
“Angiolini Commission to call for Cornton Vale to be demolished” BBC
“Special needs of women offenders should be addressed: report” Law Society Journal Online
“A better approach to female crime” Herald
“The number of women in prison has doubled in a decade. Why?” Herald
“Jail failure cries out for an alternative” Scotsman

Following posted on 12.4.12

“Women who pay the price for a system that’s broken” Herald
“Fit only for the bulldozer: Scotland’s prison for women” Scottish Review
“Review may mean the end for Cornton Vale” Scotland on Sunday

Following posted on 15.6.11

“Angiolini leads bid to cut female prison population” Herald
“Former Lord Advocate signs up to help turn tide of female offending” Scotsman
“Cornton Vale report prompts women prison inquiry” BBC
“Improving outcomes for female offenders” Law Society Journal Online
“Government inquiry into female prison conditions as inspector says Cornton Vale is ‘disappointing” Newsnet Scotland
“New commission to examine Scottish women’s prisons” Guardian

Press releases

“Support for women offenders” Scot.Gov. (Nov. 2013)
“Tackling offending by women” Scot.Gov. (Oct. 2012)
“Justice Secretary confirms shake-up of criminal justice” Scot.Gov. (June 2012)
“Report published on women offenders” Scot.Gov. (April 2012)
“Womens Commission Report Published” SPS (April 2012)

See also

Cabinet Secretary for Justice’s second annual progress report to the
Parliament on the steps taken to implement the Commission on Women
Offenders’ recommendations

Cabinet Secretary for Justice’s first annual progress report to the Parliament on the steps taken to implement the Commission on Women Offenders’ recommendations (29 October 2012)
Justice Committee Papers

“The commission made its position clear on the suitability and condition of Cornton Vale prison, as has the chief inspector of prisons in his inspection reports, the most recent of which was published yesterday. I accept the commission’s arguments on that matter and have tasked the Scottish Prison Service with considering in detail the recommendations about prisons. I assure the chamber that those points will be addressed in my formal response before summer.

However, it is important that we recognise that new prisons cannot be built quickly or cheaply. I accept the implications of the recommendations of Dame Elish Angiolini and her colleagues.” Justice Minister, Kenny Macaskill in his initial response to the Report 26.4.12 (see Official Report below).

Scottish Parliament Official Report 26.4.12: Women Offenders
Commission on Women Offenders: Final Report 2012 | Written evidence
Video of launch from Strathclyde Law School, Centre for Law , Crime and Justice (direct to streamed media) | CLCJ – alternative links

Prisoners and mobile phones: blocking technology to be piloted. Facebook accounts shut down.

2014 April 10
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“Facebook pages run from prison shut down” Herald
“Prison bosses shut down Facebook accounts run by Scottish criminals from jail” Daily Record

Following posted on 14.4.13

“High-tech bid to stop prisoners using mobile phones in cells” Herald
“Prison mobile phone signal blocking technology to go live” BBC
“Prison chiefs finally move to stop inmates using mobile phones behind bars after introducing signal blocking equipment” Daily Record
“Scots jails to pilot mobile phone blocking scheme” Scotsman
“Mobile phone blocking technology to be introduced in prisons” STV

Following posted on 18.8.13

“Edinburgh pub assassin caught with a mobile phone in his cell – for the fifth time” Daily Record

Following posted on 18.3.13

“Mother of murdered Kriss Donald hits out at prison chiefs over ‘shocking’ pics of her son’s killer behind bars” Daily Record

Following posted on 15.3.13

“Mobile phone signal blockers could be drafted into Scottish prisons to stop cons using banned handsets” Daily Record
“Revealed: Seizures of banned mobile phones in prison result in 157 convictions in last two years” Daily Record

Following posted on 15.2.13

“Drugs baron given extra six months in jail after being caught with mobile phone in cell” Daily Record

“Prison bosses axe 170 Facebook sites run by cons” Scottish Sun
“Not so friendly: 170 prison inmates barred from Facebook” Herald

Following posted on 31.10.12

“Jailhouse block for crooks’ cell phones” Scottish Express
“Mobile phone signals in prison could be blocked in legal move” BBC
“Killer who ran criminal operations from prison with mobile faces extra jail sentence” Daily Record

Following posted on 30.10.12

“Mobile phone jamming technology set for Scotland’s prisons” Scotsman

Following posted on 29.2.12

“Social network sites and protection of the public” Herald

Following posted on 21.2.12

“Killers using Facebook behind bars logged out by prison bosses” Daily Record

Following posted on 13.2.12

“Jailed killers logging on to Facebook from behind bars to laugh at justice and torment victims” Daily Record

Following posted on 31.8.11

“Crimelords targeted as they run empires from inside jail cells” Scotsman

Following posted on 12.9.10

“Crackdown on mobile phone use in prisons” Scotsman

Following posted on 19.2.10

“Milkman arrested for smuggling mobile phones to Scots prisoners inside milk deliveries” Daily Record

Following posted on 12.12.08

“Mobile phone ban for prisoners” Daily Record
“Ban on possession of mobile phones in prison” Herald
“Mobiles banned from jails to clamp down on crimelords” STV
“Mobile phones banned in Scotland’s prisons”
“Ban on mobile phones in prison” Law Society Journal Online

Following posted on 24.11.08

“Prisoners caught with phones face longer jail terms” Herald
“Inmates with mobile phones face extra time” Times
“Crackdown on prisoner mobile use” BBC
“Big prison crackdown on mobiles” Press and Journal

Press releases

“Justice Minister’s prison visit announces sites for mobile phone blocking pilot” SPS (February 2014)

“Ban on prison mobiles” Scot.Gov. (November 2008)
“Prison ban on mobiles” Scot.Gov. (December 2008)

Books in prison: Scottish Prison Service policy

2014 April 8
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by Mary Munro

“Irvine Welsh slams prison service over book ban” Evening News
“Writers blast book ban on prisoners” Herald
“Revelations of book ban in Scottish prisons provokes writers’ fury” Herald

Following posted on 26.3.14

“Duo smuggled drugs into prison in spines of books” Evening News

See also

Supplies of books, newspapers, etc to prisoners
52. Subject to rules 46 to 50, a prisoner is entitled to arrange, at his or her own expense, or at the expense of a person outwith the prison, the delivery to the prison of such books, newspapers, writing materials and other means of occupation as the prisoner may wish to use.”

Has this been amended? M.

Change of leadership at Children’s Hearings Scotland

2014 April 8
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by Mary Munro

“Children’s panels need morale lift” Herald

Press release

“New chair for Children’s Hearings Scotland” Scot. Gov. (April 2014)

The politics of early release from prison: Justice Committee to look at Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill proposals

2014 April 4
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by Mary Munro


“Prisons early release questioned” Herald

Following posted on 6.1.14

“SNP ‘fooling’ public over pledge to alter early releases” Herald
“Early prison release scandal: Nine killers and 183 sex offenders will be free in less than two years” Daily Record
“Fury as football yob jailed for nine months after bloody mass brawl in train station has been freed after just eight WEEKS” Daily Record (confusing Home Detention Curfew with automatic early release)

Following posted on 4.9.13

“One other change to the justice system will be of interest to the Parliament. We have all now accepted the need to end the system of automatic early release that was brought in by the Conservative Government in 1993 and left in place by the Labour and Liberal Democrat coalition here at Holyrood. It does not command public confidence.

We are now in a position to end automatic early release for sexual offenders who are sentenced to more than four years and for serious violent offenders. That follows the work to stabilise the prison population and then reduce it over time by implementing other recommendations of the McLeish commission, such as introducing strong community-based sentences for less serious offenders. Further steps will follow as we continue the successful implementation of our justice reform programme.” FM Alex Salmond Scottish Parliament Official Report 3.9.13

“Scottish Government to scrap early prison release” Scotsman
“Salmond woos voters with populist policies” Scotsman
“Scottish ministers to end automatic early release for ‘worst’ offenders” Telegraph
“Soft justice on the way out at last” Scottish Express
“Unexciting, yes, but still full of substance” Herald
“Minister Kenny MacAskill welcomes prisoner release plan” BBC
“Prisoner plan ‘will target most dangerous’, says minister Kenny MacAskill (audio)” BBC
“Alex Salmond outlines SNP government plans for year ahead” BBC
“Early prison release changes hailed” Courier

Following posted on 2.1.13

“Scandal of early release for rapists” Daily Record
“Early release for sex attackers will stop victims reporting crime, say support groups” Daily Record

Following posted on 31.12.12

“Teen paedophile’s early release puts spotlight on ‘inadequate’ early release system” Daily Record
“Justice system scandal: Call to end early release rules as killers & rapists prepare to walk free after just two years” Daily Record
“SNP under fire as more prisoners face early release” Herald

Following posted on 15.10.12

“Victims neglected, complains MSP John Lamont” Scotsman

Following posted on 10.9.12

“Bottle killers are freed” Scottish Express

Following posted on 7.9.12

“Hundreds of killers and rapists let out of jail early” Daily Record
“Hundreds of killers and rapists freed early under early-release scheme” Scotsman
“Fury over killers let out early” Scottish Sun
“Thousands of rapists and killers released early from Scottish prisons” Telegraph
“Violent thugs still walking early from Scottish prisons” Scottish Express
“Row over release of prisoners” Herald

Following posted on 20.1.12

“Early release frees 50,000 in five years” Scottish Express
“48,000 inmates released early” Scottish Sun

For headlines on this topic back to 2004, press releases and links to sources read more…

Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) report on UK published: substantial Scottish content

2014 March 28
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by Mary Munro

“Anti-torture body warns Scots prison” Herald

Press releases

“Scotland: Anti-torture monitors urge prison alternatives” Council of Europe (March 2014)
“Council of Europe anti-torture Committee publishes report on the United Kingdom” CPT

See also

Report to the Government of the United Kingdom on the visit to the United Kingdom carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 17 to 28 September 2012

HMP Barlinnnie replacement: larger site, capacity sought

2014 March 24
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by Mary Munro

“Experts warn Barlinnie is not likely to be rebuilt in Glasgow” Herald
“Plan to replace Barlinnie with huge new jail” Herald

Proceeds of crime recovery: Police Scotland budget assumes access to ‘gangster tax’ funds

2014 March 24
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by Mary Munro


“‘Gangster tax’ to plug funding gap for Scottish policing” Herald

Following posted on 21.2.12

“Proceeds of crime officers go after cocaine baron for £86k.. but end up with £142 and a watch” Daily Record

“Recovering ill-gotten gains” Sunday Herald
“‘Costa del Crime’ no longer a safe haven” Sunday Herald
“Proceeds of crime can profit police” Sunday Herald
“Scotland’s top policeman: Let us keep ‘gangster tax’ and we’ll massacre organised crime ‘The money that comes from criminals should go back into catching more criminals’” Sunday Herald

British Transport Police and Police Scotland: possible merger?

2014 March 24
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by Mary Munro


“Historic police merger talks on take over of railway patrols” Herald

Following posted on 7.8.13

“SNP calls for handover of transport police control” Scotsman

Following posted on 10.10.11

“Railway police body faces split over Scots force plan” Herald