Scottish Prison Service (Auditor General’s Report)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 3rd December 2019.

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Photo of Liam McArthur Liam McArthur Liberal Democrat

I thank the cabinet secretary for early sight of the statement on what is a very grim report from the Auditor General. As others have said, the prison population has soared, self-harm and suicide are increasing and the SPS’s throughcare services have been abolished, yet there do not appear to be any new or radical proposals in the statement to respond to the Auditor General’s report or to what I think everybody has to accept is a mounting crisis in our prison system.

Given the pressure that staff are now under, given that they were promised a share of 800 extra mental health professionals, and given the lack of detail about how those would be distributed, such that we have asked the Scottish Information Commissioner to intervene, can the cabinet secretary tell us today how many extra mental health staff there will ultimately be in our prisons?