To ask the Scottish Executive what access to prisoners the Scottish Prison Service will be required to provide to those canvassing for votes following the UK Government’s announcement on prisoner voting; when it anticipates such access to commence; what discussions it had with the UK Government prior to the announcement; what discussion it has had since the announcement, and how many prisoners it expects to be affected by the proposed change.
On 17 December 2010, the UK Government announced its proposals to enable convicted prisoners sentenced to terms of four years or more to be automatically barred from registering to vote. Initially this will only extend to UK and European Parliament elections and as a result, the first elections at which prisoners will be entitled to vote will be the European elections in 2014.
When giving prior notice of this announcement to the Scottish Government, the UK Government undertook to consult the Scottish Government about how the policy will operate in practice. No discussions have yet been held but detailed arrangements and the numbers of prisoners entitled to vote will become clearer during this consultation.
I have asked John Ewing, Chief Executive of the Scottish Prison Service, to respond. His response is as follows:
The following table illustrates the total number of self-harm incidents recorded as such on the Prisoner Record System broken down by establishment.
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