Criminal Justice Social Work (Glasgow)

General Questions – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:00 pm on 9th December 2004.

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Photo of Patrick Harvie Patrick Harvie Green 2:00 pm, 9th December 2004

To ask the Scottish Executive how it will respond to the performance inspection report on criminal justice social work services in Glasgow. (S2O-4541)

Photo of Cathy Jamieson Cathy Jamieson Labour

The report identifies serious weaknesses in criminal justice social work services in Glasgow. Glasgow City Council has made a commitment to address those weaknesses and to engage with the Executive to improve the system of offender management.

Photo of Patrick Harvie Patrick Harvie Green

I am pleased that the minister recognises the serious concerns that the report raises. Does the minister agree with the assessment that I recently heard from a professional in the field that, with local government receiving a decreasing share of public spending resources over the coming years, the problem will get worse before it gets better?

Photo of Cathy Jamieson Cathy Jamieson Labour

I remind Mr Harvie that the Scottish Executive provides 100 per cent funding for criminal justice social work and that we have substantially increased the amount of money that is available to carry out community service orders, for example. The report and people in Glasgow, from the discussions that I have had with them, do not see the matter as simply a money problem—it is about having effective services. In fact, the report highlights a number of areas in which a number of other tools could be used to work with offenders in the community and to aid their transition back into it. The issue is not as simple as Mr Harvie suggests. He might wish to read the report again and consider some of the other issues that are raised.