Prison Population

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

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Photo of Liam McArthur Liam McArthur Liberal Democrat

I turn to the women’s estate. Last year, Her Majesty’s chief inspector of prisons for Scotland, David Strang, warned that because the new female prison estate would hold only 230 prisoners,

“much work is still required to reduce the number of women in custody ahead of the new prison’s opening in 2020”.

The female prisoner population currently stands at 381. It is little wonder, therefore, that organisations such as the Howard League Scotland, Sacro and others are so concerned.

Will the cabinet secretary now confirm that the timetable has slipped and that three of the community custody units will not even be started by the 2020 deadline initially set by his predecessor for the completion of the new estate? Will he confirm how many women will benefit from the new estate in 2021?