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 McArthur Liam McArthur Liberal Democrat

I share Daniel Johnson’s curiosity about why the Government is seeking to remove section 7A, not least because—as I recall—its insertion was supported unanimously by the committee at stage 2. I would have thought that, if the Government was so concerned about what the committee unanimously agreed to at stage 2, there would have been some engagement between stage 2 and stage 3.

Like John Finnie, I think that, in relation to amendments 2 and 128, Daniel Johnson made some very valid points about the key role that gainful activity and housing play in the process of rehabilitation and reintegration. The concern that I have—which I had at stage 2—is that the proposal is framed such that the implication is that, where such provision is not in place, the individual will remain in prison, which cannot be in their best interests. Therefore, although we accept the principle that underlies amendments 2 and 128, we will, regretfully, not be able to support them.