The Centre for Youth and Criminal Justice have produced their latest briefing paper and factsheet.
In August 2013, the Scottish Government published a discussion paper on the 1974 Act with the closing date for comments being the end of January 2014 due to requests from some stakeholders who were keen to respond to the discussion paper. The discussion paper did not propose any specific changes to the 1974 Act, but sought views on the operation of the current rehabilitation of offender’s legislation. The purpose of the paper was to explain how the legislation operates and gather the evidence and views necessary to help us consider what changes may be required to modernise and improve the legislation. As such, the discussion paper contained 36 questions relating to potential reform of the legislation. We commissioned “Why? Research to undertake the analysis of the discussion paper comments on behalf of the Scottish Government. The Scottish Government has now published this report on the its web site.
Alongside the written responses to the discussion paper, the Scottish Government also commissioned ‘Recruit With Conviction’ to run 6 oral engagement events across Scotland with stakeholders during November and December 2013. The purpose of these events was to facilitate further dialogue on the discussion paper and to gather evidence particularly from employers and ex-offenders as to what type of reform they thought would be appropriate. The Scottish Government has now published the report by Recruit With Conviction.
In addition, the Scottish Government also asked ‘Positive Prisons’ to undertake engagement events inside prison with prisoners and prison staff in seven Scottish prisons between December 2013 and the end of January 2014. The purpose of these events was to gather the views from those individuals currently in prison and prison staff as to what type of reform they thought would be appropriate for them to the system of disclosure of previous criminal activity. The Scottish Government has now published the report by Positive Prisons.
The Scottish Government are currently considering the findings to come out of these 3 reports and will provide a full response in the summer. These reports will aid the formulation of a policy response that meets Scottish needs and strikes the right balance between supporting the rehabilitation of offenders and ensuring continuing protection for the public, and for vulnerable groups in particular.
On Monday 14th April 2014, Pete White will be talking with 3rd year Social Work students at the University of the West of Scotland in Dumfries, whilst Jim Watson will be doing likewise in Paisley.
Our inputs have been described as: –
“This session will be led by members of Positive Prisons ? Positive Futures who are a community of interest based on the expertise of the lived experience of its members who all have experience of being imprisoned. They work to enable those who have been imprisoned to make a choice to move away from offending and enter into positive citizenship. They work with partners in the Scottish Prison Service, the Scottish Government and academic institutions to create a prison system that promotes positive citizenship.
Come along ready to challenge and to be challenged!”
A temporary job vacancy, for a Partnership Support and Administration Officer, is now available at the Glasgow Community Justice Authority. All the details can be found by clicking here…
The Scottish Government published its response to “Redesigning the Community Justice System – A Consultation on Proposals on 16 December 2013”. In that response, the Scottish Government outlined the shape of the proposed new model for community justice and stated its intention to consult on the detail of it later this year.
A consultation paper is soon to be launched and, in conjunction with that paper, we will be holding nine events around Scotland to raise awareness of the new model and invite comments on the detail of it. Details of those events can be found below:
Date Location Venue Time
15/04/14 Inverness Kingsmills Hotel 12:00-16:00
16/04/14 Aberdeen Copthorne Hotel 09:00-13:00
22/04/14 Paisley Watermill Hotel 09:00-13:00
29/04/14 Dundee Apex Hotel 12:00-16:00
06/05/14 Glasgow Hilton Hotel 09:00-13:00
07/05/14 Hamilton TBC 09:00-13:00
12/05/14 Ayr TBC 09:00-13:00
14/05/14 Stirling TBC 09:00-13:00
16/05/14 Edinburgh TBC 12:00-16:00
If you would like to attend one of the events, you can book free tickets at this webpage: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/future-model-for-community-justice-in-scotland-3009008644. We will also be inviting written responses to the consultation and details of how to respond will be available when the consultation is published.
What makes a prison sentence a turning point for some prisoners? What can be done to make this more common? And what needs to be in place for turning points to lead to a crime-free life after release? This talk addressed these questions, drawing on current research.
By examining prisoners’ views and experiences, it gave new insights into what it will take to unlock prisoners’ potential and change their lives.
Introduction by Fergus McNeill, University of Glasgow
Doing well or just doing time? A qualitative study of psychological adjustment in prison. Dr Esther van Ginneken, Liverpool Hope University
The impact of personal circumstances, the prison environment and obstacles after release on the transformative power of prison. Dr Marguerite Schinkel, University of Glasgow
Response: How effective is research on prison effects? Professor Shadd Maruna, Queen’s University Belfast
Q&A session chaired by Professor Fergus McNeill, University of Glasgow.
Two of us attended this event in the opulent surroundings of the Senate Room at Glasgow University. Both Doctors gave an insight to their PhD research that centred on how people cope with imprisonment and the potential for transformative change in this environment. Both presentations were well received and gave us some food for thought. A particular highlight was when Dr Schinkel made direct reference to Positive Prison ? Positive Futures as a possible solution to the cycle of reoffending that some find themselves in…
PP?PF were happy to have participated in the inaugural conference of the SCCR. The conference was entitled – What’s the Point in Talking? Conversation: the superglue of family life.
The Scottish Centre for Conflict Resolution is a new initiative from the Cyrenians aiming to reduce youth homelessness by reducing family conflict. Through a series of national conferences, local events and conflict resolution training, the SCCR will up-skill those working with families in conflict, and bring people from across Scotland together.
Keynote address was made by our trustee Karyn McCluskey from the Violence Reduction Unit. Karyn outlined many things that need to change at a cultural and social level within Scotland. This was based on her vast experience in addressing the gang culture within Scotland.
The conference was also addressed by Aileen Campbell MSP, the Scottish Government Minister for Children and Young People. The Minister outlined the Government thinking behind the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014. The Minister also outlined her vision of what Scotland should be and praised the work of the SCCR.
There were other presentations and workshops on the day that tied in to the general message that mediation is a workable and productive process. It certainly gave this participant a lot of ideas as to how the SPS could benefit from introducing aspects of mediation into their daily operations. Watch this space…
Our referral form for other agencies and individual prisoners to use can be found on our contact page.
At a secret meeting to be held sometime before noon today, the board of the Scottish Prison Service will confirm an audacious bid to buy Butlins in Skegness.
The original plan was meant to have purchased Butlins in Ayr but the SPS board had not realised that this had been shut since 1998. It is now predominately a caravan site that would be unsuitable for their use.
An SPS spokesperson stated: “This is an ideal and wonderful opportunity for the SPS to embrace the Chris Grayling agenda. It is a privatisation that will help address overcrowding within the SPS estate, it will provide an attractive new dimension to the range of facilities that we operate, and since everyone thinks that a modern day prison is like a holiday camp it will also keep down the dissent.”
“People are sent to prison as a punishment. Even though the facilities include a free fun fair, swimming pool and various eateries, we propose to have compulsory attendance at Karaoke sessions where participation is mandatory. We firmly believe this is the way to instil transformational change in individuals” they added.
A spokesperson for the Prison Officers Association said that the idea was “interesting” but they remained to be convinced if their members would welcome the change in uniform. “We think the change to a red coat could be like a red rag to a bull. We would need to seriously think about balloting for strike action if this was to become a serious option”
The Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Justice was not in a position to confirm or deny the story.