Prison Population

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 15th January 2019.

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Photo of Humza Yousaf Humza Yousaf Scottish National Party

It is compatible because the £100 million for that work is protected in the budget, as was outlined by my colleague Derek Mackay, so the resource is available.

However, I do not get away from the central point that, if we are going to use alternatives to custody, they have to be resourced. Actually, from an economic point of view, they are cheaper, so there is an economic argument why we should want to use them. That should not be the primary argument, of course. The primary argument should be about public safety, the reduction in reoffending and the rehabilitative nature of alternatives to custody, but there is an economic argument to be made.

I will continue that conversation with local authorities and third sector organisations. I note that my colleague Derek Mackay is in the chamber and I am sure that he was listening carefully to the remarks that the member made about adequate resourcing.