Management of Offenders (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 25th June 2019.

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Photo of Liam Kerr Liam Kerr Conservative

All my amendments in the group seek to reverse Daniel Johnson’s terminology amendments at stage 2. Parliament cannot fail to have been aware of the considerable public outcry when those amendments were agreed to at stage 2. It is important that the full chamber has an opportunity to reflect on the committee’s decision.

This is the Management of Offenders (Scotland) Bill. Its purpose is to deal with people who have offended—that is, committed a crime. Laws mean something and they should be clear. If we are referring to offenders, we should call them “offenders”. Parliament will be interested to know that the key argument that was presented in committee is that labelling people as offenders after they have served their time does not help rehabilitation. I understand that point. However, most of these provisions deal with criminals before they have completed their sentence. The bill talks about how we manage those who are in the system, not so much those who have completed their sentence.