Cabinet (Meetings)

Part of First Minister's Question Time – in the Scottish Parliament at 12:00 pm on 7 June 2007.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Alex Salmond Alex Salmond Parliamentary Leader (Westminster), First Minister of Scotland, Leader, Scottish National Party 12:00, 7 June 2007

We hope to make progress in the direction of sentencing, and I will try to take Annabel Goldie with me for as much of that argument as possible. Regarding the argument that there are currently people in prison despite there being no public utility in having them in prison, I cannot think of anything more dramatic than the statistics from Barlinnie, which were released by HM prisons inspectorate for Scotland. In August 2006, 10 per cent of the population of Barlinnie, one of our major jails, were fine defaulters for sums of less than £300. Given that it costs £700 a week to keep somebody in prison, I cannot believe that there is public utility in holding within the prison system people who clearly and evidently should not be there.