Women Offenders

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at 3:30 pm on 13th April 2005.

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Photo of Linda Fabiani Linda Fabiani Scottish National Party 3:30 pm, 13th April 2005

I will give way in a moment.

The report by HM prisons inspectorate of the inspection of Cornton Vale in 2004 shows that 80 per cent of prisoners have a history of mental illness and 90 per cent have addiction problems. Whatever we have been doing is not working, so we must start to take an innovative approach. If we can provide pump-priming funding and examine ways to make a difference, we will have long-term benefit, as will the women and their families and, ergo, the whole society will benefit.

It is too easy to keep looking at statistics and saying that we must do this or that. We should turn the situation on its head and view it from other directions so that instead of having another debate in the next parliamentary session and, despite all the good intentions, talking about the issue in the same way, we will be able to return to report that there has been true progress and genuine improvement.

I am terribly sorry, but I cannot give way to Jeremy Purvis now.