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Report on Management of Offenders Bill 31/01/2019 Proposals to increase the use of electronic tags and reduce the period that people with prior convictions must disclose convictions for, have received the backing of the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee.

Report on Management of Offenders Bill

Proposals to increase the use of electronic tags and reduce the period that people with prior convictions must disclose convictions for, have received the backing of MSPs on the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee.

The measures form part of a wider Management of Offenders Bill, which would allow the Scottish Government to introduce a number of changes to the criminal justice system. These include altering the makeup of the Parole Board for Scotland, and introducing tags that can monitor levels of alcohol or drugs in an individual’s system, as well as their location more accurately than before.

However, the Committee is warning the Scottish Government that robust risk-assessment, proactive monitoring, and effective enforcement measures against breaches must all be in place and properly funded before the new electronic monitoring regime is rolled out.

Equally important is the provision of resources to help a person find employment, accommodation, access the NHS and other public services upon release from prison on a tag.

The report publication comes after the Committee adjourned its scrutiny of the Bill to allow time to consider the failures highlighted by the appalling murder of Craig McClelland in Paisley. Mr McClelland’s case was reviewed by Her Majesty’s Inspectorates of Prisons and Constabulary in Scotland (HMIPS and HMICS), as his killer had breached his home detention curfew at the time of the crime.

The Scottish Government has indicated that it agrees with all recommendations for Police Scotland and the Scottish Prison Service in the HMICS and HMIPS reports. The Committee will continue to press the Government to ensure that these are fully implemented to absolutely minimise the risk of a similar event occurring in the future.

The stage 1 report can be found here.

 

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