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2 December 2004

EXEC CRITICISED OVER PRISON OVERCROWDING

TIME MINISTERS STOPPED BURYING THEIR HEADS IN THE SAND

Shadow Deputy Justice Minister Mr Stewart Stevenson MSP has today (Wednesday) accused the Scottish Executive of failing local communities after a report from the HM Inspectorate of Prisons found that overcrowding in Scottish jails means that inmates are not being fully rehabilitated for release.

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said:

“The Executive has been warned time and time again that the conditions in Scotland’s jails are abysmal.

“This is the second report in a matter of weeks that is highly critical of prison conditions and the government needs to start acknowledging that there is a problem.

“Convicted criminals need to be fully rehabilitated before they are released from prison so that the public will not be put at risk from inmates re-offending, but this cannot happen if jails are massively overcrowded.

“The Executive has refused to address the situation and as a result we are finding more and more cases being brought against them by inmates complaining about conditions, all of which is at the taxpayer’s expense.

“It’s time for Ministers to get a grip of the situation instead of burying their heads in the sand otherwise I fail to see how prison conditions will improve.”

Stewart Stevenson
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