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6 October 2004

Prison Report Shows Little Improvement

FINDINGS NO SURPRISE DUE TO SLOPPING OUT AND CUT BUDGETS 

Commenting on the publication of the Chief Inspector of Prisons Annual report today (Wednesday), Shadow Deputy Justice Minister Mr Stewart Stevenson MSP has said that it comes of no surprise that there has been little improvement due to the blight of slopping out and prison governor’s budgets being cut.

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said:

“We have just learned that there are a record number of prisoners in our jails. So it is no surprise that Andrew McLennan is saying that prison officers and prisoners agree that over-crowding is the number one issue in prison.

“But with slopping out still a blight on our prisons and governors’ budgets being cut it is no surprise that we see no improvement.

“One area where we can make a short term improvement for society is in the area of prisoners with drug habits.

“Many users only end up in prison because they cannot get a place on rehab programs.

“And those that come out with their addiction controlled through what the Inspector describes as ‘an impressive range of interventions’ often return to their chaotic lifestyles because no arrangements have been put in place for continuing treatment after release.

“It is time for real progress. The Inspector’s report repeats many of last year’s criticisms. We cannot have another year like this.”

Stewart Stevenson
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