Analysis: the year in Scottish justice – a need to restore confidence

Press/Media: Expert Comment

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The Liberal Democrats have called on the Scottish Government to go further and promised their support to eliminate short-term sentences altogether, which is also supported by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, David Strang.

And more recently, the latest figures for drug-related deaths show Scotland has the highest level in Europe, two and a half times the UK average, which has led to calls for a move towards a harm-reduction rather than an abstinence approach to Scotland’s drug problem.

Dr Iain McPhee of the University of the West of Scotland told Holyrood: “This ideological approach to drug treatment – which forces users to go completely clean – creates far too high a threshold for many of the country’s problem drug users or ‘heaviest drug users’ to adhere to”.

Health and social care in prisons has also been scrutinised, with a report from the Royal College of Nursing finding that transferring healthcare from the Scottish Prison Service to the NHS had not improved health outcomes, while the Scottish Parliament’s Health Committee called on healthcare in prisons to be improved within two years.

More recently, a significant report, the first in the UK on ageing in prisons, concluded that more staff training is needed, as well as changes to prison buildings, to deal with older prisoners and the illnesses associated with ageing.

While legislation to lift the time limit on personal injury claims for child abuse were passed unanimously, the Scottish Government has faced its first real challenge as a minority administration in the form of Labour MSP James Kelly’s member’s bill to repeal the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act, which has the support of all the opposition parties.

Period5 Sep 2017

Media contributions

1

Media contributions

  • TitleAnalysis: the year in Scottish justice – a need to restore confidence
    Degree of recognitionNational
    Media name/outletholyrood Magazine
    Media typePrint
    Duration/Length/Sizetwo pages
    CountryUnited Kingdom
    Date5/09/17
    DescriptionThe Liberal Democrats have called on the Scottish Government to go further and promised their support to eliminate short-term sentences altogether, which is also supported by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, David Strang.

    And more recently, the latest figures for drug-related deaths show Scotland has the highest level in Europe, two and a half times the UK average, which has led to calls for a move towards a harm-reduction rather than an abstinence approach to Scotland’s drug problem.

    Dr Iain McPhee of the University of the West of Scotland told Holyrood: “This ideological approach to drug treatment – which forces users to go completely clean – creates far too high a threshold for many of the country’s problem drug users or ‘heaviest drug users’ to adhere to”.

    Health and social care in prisons has also been scrutinised, with a report from the Royal College of Nursing finding that transferring healthcare from the Scottish Prison Service to the NHS had not improved health outcomes, while the Scottish Parliament’s Health Committee called on healthcare in prisons to be improved within two years.

    More recently, a significant report, the first in the UK on ageing in prisons, concluded that more staff training is needed, as well as changes to prison buildings, to deal with older prisoners and the illnesses associated with ageing.

    While legislation to lift the time limit on personal injury claims for child abuse were passed unanimously, the Scottish Government has faced its first real challenge as a minority administration in the form of Labour MSP James Kelly’s member’s bill to repeal the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act, which has the support of all the opposition parties.
    Producer/AuthorIain McPhee
    URLhttps://www.holyrood.com/articles/inside-politics/analysis-year-scottish-justice-%E2%80%93-need-restore-confidence
    PersonsIain McPhee

Keywords

  • Drug policy
  • Politics
  • Harm reduction
  • Addiction
  • legislation
  • Prohibition