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Justice 1 Committee

3rd Report 2003

Inquiry into Alternatives to Custody
Volume 1

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SP Paper 826

Session 1 (2003)

 

Contents

REMIT AND MEMBERSHIP

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

REPORT

Introduction and background
Part 1: Appropriate use of custody
Part 2: Community disposals available in Scotland
Part 3: Level of service provision and resources
Part 4: Effectiveness of community disposals
Part 5: Sentencing
Part 6: Public perception of community disposals
Part 7: Conclusions

ANNEX A: EXTRACTS FROM THE MINUTES

ANNEX B: ORAL EVIDENCE AND ASSOCIATED WRITTEN EVIDENCE

38th Meeting, 2002 (Session 1), 12 November 2002
Written Evidence

Scottish Consortium on Crime and Criminal Justice
Restorative Justice Consortium

Oral Evidence
Scottish Consortium on Crime and Criminal Justice
Restorative Justice Consortium

Supplementary Written Evidence
Scottish Consortium on Crime and Criminal Justice

40th Meeting, 2002 (Session 1), 26 November 2002
Written Evidence

Association of Directors of Social Work

Oral Evidence
Association of Directors of Social Work
Colin Quinn

Supplementary Written Evidence
Association of Directors of Social Work

1st Meeting, 2003 (Session 1), 14 January 2003
Written Evidence

Professor Gill McIvor, University of Stirling
Fergus McNeill, University of Glasgow
Bill Whyte, Criminal Justice Social Work Development Centre for Scotland, University of Edinburgh

Oral Evidence
Professor Gill McIvor, University of Stirling
Fergus McNeill, University of Glasgow
Bill Whyte, Criminal Justice Social Work Development Centre for Scotland, University of Edinburgh

Supplementary Evidence
Professor Gill McIvor, University of Stirling, Fergus McNeill, University of Glasgow and Bill Whyte, Criminal Justice Social Work Development Centre for Scotland, University Of Edinburgh

2nd Meeting, 2003 (Session 1), 27 January 2003

Written Evidence

Highland Council
NCH Scotland
Barnardo's Scotland
Apex Scotland
Venture Trust, Applecross

Oral Evidence
Highland Council
NCH Scotland
Barnardo's Scotland
Apex Scotland
Venture Trust, Applecross
Apex Scotland

Supplementary Evidence
Highland Council
Apex Scotland

VOLUME 2: EVIDENCE

 

Remit and membership

Remit:

To consider and report on matters relating to the administration of civil and criminal justice, the reform of the civil and criminal law and such other matters as fall within the responsibility of the Minister for Justice. (As agreed by resolution of the Parliament on 14 December 2000, with effect from 8 January 2001)

Membership:

Christine Grahame (Convener)

Wendy Alexander

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

Donald Gorrie

Maureen Macmillan (Deputy Convener)

Paul Martin

Mr Michael Matheson

Committee Clerking Team:

Clerk to the Committee

Alison Taylor

Senior Assistant Clerk

Claire Menzies Smith

Assistant Clerk

Jenny Goldsmith

 

Justice 1 Committee

3rd Report 2003

Inquiry into alternatives to custody

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

PART 1: APPROPRIATE USE OF CUSTODY

Short term sentence in prison vs. community disposal

1. Evidence suggests that Scotland should be seeking means to reduce the use of short term prison sentences and replace these with community sanctions. The Committee believes that short term prison sentences offer limited opportunities for rehabilitation. The Committee recommends that community disposals should be actively promoted and resourced as an alternative to short term prison sentences (where a longer term sentence is clearly not appropriate).

Fine default

2. The Committee believes that very few people should be sent to prison for fine default. It would make more sense to sentence such people to a community disposal, especially where the original offence would not in itself have led to a custodial sentence. The Committee recommends that the Executive address the issue of imprisonment of fine defaulters and reports back to the successor Justice Committee with its conclusions. This Committee would support concrete measures and targets to reduce the number of fine defaulters being sent to prison in Scotland.

Remand

3. The Committee believes that people should not be remanded in custody unless they represent a danger to the public or there are concerns that they will breach conditions of bail. It is not acceptable that people are remanded in custody simply because their chaotic lifestyles cast doubt on whether they will appear in court when required. Other facilities, such as residential bail support schemes, should be available for such people.

Women offenders

4. On the basis of widespread evidence, the Committee believes that there are a substantial number of women in Scotland's prisons who do not necessarily require to be there, as they do not represent a danger to the public. The evidence suggests that these women are sent to prison due to a lack of appropriate programmes and facilities in the community. The Committee welcomes the commitment from the Executive that funding is being made available for the development of programmes for women offenders, and reiterates the recommendation made in its recent budget report that the non-residential aspects of the `Time Out' Centre should be made available for women across Scotland. The Committee also believes that there is a requirement for adequate residential places for women offenders across Scotland.

5. The inter-agency forum on women's offending recommended in its report on women offenders, published in February 2001, that a 'Time Out' Centre should be created. It has since been announced that the Centre will open in Glasgow in August 2003.1 There has therefore been a delay of over 2 years in setting up the `Time Out' Centre. The Committee is disappointed by the lack of urgency in establishing a `Time Out' Centre, which will be a vital resource for dealing with women offenders.

PART 2: COMMUNITY DISPOSALS AVAILABLE IN SCOTLAND

6. There are currently five principal community sentences available to courts in Scotland. These are probation orders; community service orders; restriction of liberty orders; drug treatment and testing orders (DTTOs) and supervised attendance orders. All of these disposals are now available across Scotland (with the exception of DTTOs).2 The disposals are supported by programmes which consist of a variety of local interventions. They are most commonly used in the context of probation orders and are designed to focus on offending behaviour. Such programmes are often delivered by voluntary agencies, such as Barnardo's Scotland and SACRO.3

Pre-court measures

7. Community disposals such as diversion from prosecution schemes, reparation and mediation schemes and arrest referral schemes are available before a case goes to court and provide measures for early intervention to address offending behaviour. Diversion from prosecution schemes are a pre-court disposal which is suitable for more minor offending where dealing with the underlying problem is in the public interest.4 In the limited time available to carry out this inquiry, the Committee has not examined diversion from prosecution in any detail. However, it is impossible to separate these measures from the examination of community disposals and the Committee has received some evidence in that regard. The Committee is supportive of pre-court measures, which address offending behaviour as early in the process as possible.

Police warnings

8. One way of diverting a case from prosecution is the issuing of a police warning. Informal warnings should, as a matter of good practice, be recorded in the police officer's notebook. In its recent report on youth justice, Audit Scotland found that there are differences between police forces as to what constitutes informal or formal warnings and how and where these are recorded at force level.5 The Committee recommends that the system for issuing police warnings should be standardised across Scotland.

9. The Committee is supportive of the use of police warnings where appropriate and would welcome an extension of their application to adult offenders for minor and trivial offences as outlined in evidence from Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS).

Restorative justice and mediation

10. The Committee is attracted to the idea of restorative justice as it offers an opportunity for the offender to face up to the impact of his or her offence. It can also demonstrate to the community within which the crime was committed that action is being taken. The Committee recommends that restorative justice methods should be incorporated into community disposal programmes, wherever appropriate.

Offenders with multiple problems

11. The Committee acknowledges that offending behaviour cannot be addressed in a vacuum. The Committee believes that the multimodal approach is appropriate in dealing with offenders, and that programmes delivering community disposals should not only address offending behaviour, but also associated problems such as health (including mental health), addiction (including alcoholism), accommodation and employment.

Community disposals unavailable in Scotland

12. The Committee is aware that Scotland has a wide range of community based sanctions which may be used as an alternative to short custodial sentences, which comprises of more community disposals in many other jurisdictions. The Committee believes that there may be scope for "new" community disposals, but that it would be more effective to focus on more efficient use of existing sanctions.

PART 3: LEVEL OF SERVICE PROVISION AND RESOURCES

Lack of data

13. The Committee was not able to establish a clear picture of the extent of programmes available to deliver community disposals in Scotland. The Committee agrees with SACRO that the Executive should annually map and publish details regarding the extent and costs of existing community disposals and identify any gaps in services.6

Cost of prison vs. cost of community disposals

14. Scottish Executive expenditure on Criminal Justice Social Work in 2000/01 was £48.7 million, as against £199.7 million on the SPS.7 A six month prison sentence costs around £14,000 per prisoner,8 whereas, on average, community service would cost £1,325, probation would cost £1,250, a DTTO, £5,000 - £6,000 and a restriction from liberty order, £4,860.9 According to the Scottish Consortium on Crime and Criminal Justice, "there is no co-ordination to direct which services should be developed. To the best of our knowledge, 3% of expenditure is currently spent on community sentences, whereas vast amounts are spent on imprisonment".10 If, as recommended by the Committee, community disposals are promoted as an alternative to short term prison sentences (where a longer term sentence is clearly inappropriate), there will be a net saving to the public purse, given that prison is so much more expensive than community disposals.

Resources for community disposals

15. The Committee acknowledges and welcomes the significant increase in funding of community disposals since 1991. However, the Committee has received strong evidence which suggests that provision of programmes to deliver community sanctions in Scotland is patchy and that current funding levels are not adequate.

Criminal justice social work resources

16. It is clear that criminal justice social workers play a key role in the delivery of community disposals. That role has developed with the increased use of community disposals, and has many demands. The Committee is extremely concerned about the acute shortage in criminal justice social workers in Scotland. The Committee welcomes the recent measures taken by the Executive to address this shortage. However, it is unfortunate that the matter was not addressed previously.

17. The Executive told the Committee that the 32 local authority criminal justice social work services were restructured into 11 mainland groupings plus the islands in April 2002.11 The Committee believes that it is important to make good use of existing criminal justice social work resources, and recommends that the Executive monitors the effectiveness of this new structure in maximising the benefit of existing resources.

18. The Committee believes that the quality of service offered to offenders depends on the retention of criminal justice social workers. The Committee is concerned that their work is weighted more towards information processing and paperwork than the restorative justice and counselling elements of the job.

Timescale for dealing with breach of community disposals

19. The Committee believes that delays in bringing breach of community disposals to the attention of the court are unacceptable and undermine the credibility of such disposals. These delays are directly linked to the shortage of criminal justice social work resources in Scotland.

Funding arrangements for service providers

20. The Committee is concerned about the issues raised in evidence in relation to funding arrangements, such as the short term nature of funding, and believes that they should be addressed. The Committee recommends that funding arrangements should ensure that service providers receive the funding they require on a long term basis without the requirement to submit a large number of bids every year (subject to regular monitoring of outputs). This will allow service providers to plan strategically and retain valuable staff.

Pilot projects

21. The Committee has some sympathy with the arguments made in evidence about the inequity of pilot studies. Some offenders are benefiting from increased resources, whilst others are not offered similar opportunities. The Committee believes that it is appropriate that new disposals should be tried and tested before being rolled out throughout the country. However, the Committee agrees with the Sheriffs' Association that "if a decision is made to roll out the disposal, it should be rolled out throughout the country", otherwise it leads to "unfairness".12 The Committee supports the desirability of the principle of consistency of provision of community disposals across Scotland. The Committee recommends that once a pilot study of a community disposal has been proved to be successful, that disposal should be rolled out simultaneously across Scotland.

PART 4: EFFECTIVENESS OF COMMUNITY DISPOSALS

Defining and measuring effectiveness

22. The Committee acknowledges that evaluating the effectiveness of community disposals is difficult due to the complexity of the client group. However, the Committee believes that it is essential that the effectiveness of community disposals is measured in a consistent way in order to produce comparative data. The Committee recommends that the Executive produces a list of standard criteria against which the effectiveness of community disposals should be measured. These criteria should be drawn up with reference to practice elsewhere in the world.

Existing evidence

23. The Committee is convinced that on the basis of existing evidence, community disposals are at least as effective in reducing offending behaviour as short term prison sentences. However, there is obviously a requirement for a more comprehensive assessment of community disposals in Scotland, as discussed below.

What data should be available?

24. It is clear that many programme deliverers are evaluating community disposals, but that this information is not being collated in a cohesive way to present the overall picture. There is therefore limited concrete evidence from Scotland on the effectiveness of community sanctions.

Tracking offenders

25. The Committee is surprised that in the year 2003, an integrated IT system does not exist to track offenders. We believe that it is wrong in principle for there not to be a unified system of evaluating community disposals and the experience of those subject to such disposals. That the SPS is developing an IT system to track offenders who have been in custody in isolation is in policy and practical terms unacceptable to this Committee given that this is clearly linked to evaluating community disposals. There should be an overarching tracking system irrespective of whether an offender follows the custody or community disposal route. The Committee recommends that the Executive should develop an IT system, integrated with the SPS project, for tracking offenders. The SPS should work closely with the 11 criminal justice social work groupings to ensure that this is achieved.

Comparative evidence

26. There is clearly scope for further comparative research on the effectiveness of community disposals to be carried out. Scotland could learn valuable lessons from other jurisdictions, such as Finland, which have drastically reduced their prison populations. The Committee recommends that the Executive obtains information on the effectiveness of community disposals in comparative jurisdictions and reports back to the successor Justice Committee on any subsequent proposed action.

PART 5: SENTENCING

Role of the judiciary

27. It is ultimately for the courts to decide whether to sentence offenders to a community sentence. The judiciary therefore plays a key role in whether community disposals are utilised. Accordingly, Professor McIvor, Director of the Social Work Research Centre, University of Stirling, believes that the attitudes of sentencers towards community based alternatives to imprisonment are likely to be the single most important factor influencing their use.13

Information available to sentencers

28. The Committee welcomes the imminent publication of a directory of community disposals as a pilot in Lothian and Borders. The Committee recommends that the directory should be made available nationally, given that the Sheriffs' Association has confirmed that it would be of great use to sentencers. The Committee also recommends that the directory should be electronic to ensure that it can be easily updated. It should contain information on the evaluation of local programmes as well as comprehensive information on the availability of programmes. The directory should also contain information on progressive options for dealing with breach of community disposals, as discussed below.

Social enquiry reports

29. The University of Strathclyde is about to embark on a two year study of the production of social enquiry reports for sentencers and how they use these reports.14 The Committee believes that such information will be vital for future assessments of how to increase the use of community disposals.

Relationship between the judiciary and service providers

30. The Committee believes that regular contact between sentencers and service providers is valuable as it ensures that sentencers have up-to-date information on the services available for offenders in their area.

Sentencing information system

31. The High Court has a sentencing information system which holds data about cases and sentences that have been given out. A judge can feed in criteria from cases similar to the one with which he or she is dealing and review the sentences handed down for comparative cases. The Sheriffs' Association suggested that consideration could be given to extending the sentencing information system to sheriff court sentences, and in particular to appeals against sheriff court sentences, but stressed that for such information to be of value, the system would require to record not only the sentence but also the whole circumstances in which it was imposed.15

32. The Committee believes that the sentencing information system is a valuable tool for sentencers. The Committee recommends that the sentencing information system should be extended to cover sheriff court decisions, particularly in relation to appeal decisions.

Review of short term prison sentences

33. The Committee recommends that the Executive should set up a working group to examine short term sentences in the context of sentencing. The outcomes of its deliberations will be of great assistance to the successor Justice Committee and administration in considering how to promote the use of community disposals as an alternative to short term prison sentences.

Progressive use of community disposals

34. The Committee suggests that the advantages of the progressive use of community disposals should be outlined to sentencers, perhaps as part of judicial studies in addition to existing sentencing information provided to them, or by organisations which deliver community disposals.

PART 6: PUBLIC PERCEPTION OF COMMUNITY DISPOSALS

35. If we are to recommend the increased use of community disposals, it is imperative that there is public confidence in their use, particularly in relation to victims. The civic participation event organised by the Committee demonstrated that once members of the public are aware of the circumstances of the offender, they begin to see that community disposals are much more effective than imprisonment. The outcomes of this event support the view that, with the right information, the public can support greater use of community sentences.16 It is therefore vital that the public is informed about community disposals and their outcome in order to increase public confidence in them. The Committee recommends that the Executive should initiate a public debate to inform the public (especially victims of crime) about all aspects of the criminal justice system, including sentencing, victim support, community disposals and their outcomes.

PART 7: CONCLUSIONS

Recommendations on resources

36. The majority of evidence received by the Committee demonstrated the requirement for more resources to be invested into community disposals in order to promote their greater use. The Committee has therefore grouped its recommendations on resources together as follows:

Community disposals

· Clearly, financial considerations are not relevant to sentencers when deciding on a disposal for an offender. However, as discussed in paragraph 14, the Committee notes that the promotion of community disposals as an alternative to short term prison sentences (where a longer sentence is clearly not appropriate) will lead to significant savings in the public purse, given that they are so much more cost effective than custody;

· The Committee believes that sheriffs should have confidence that community disposals available to the court can be delivered if they chose to impose them on offenders. The Committee therefore recommends that the Executive invests more resources into community disposals to ensure that there is adequate and consistent provision of programmes across Scotland;

· The Committee recommends that the Executive provide increased resources for restorative justice both in the context of diversion from prosecution and as part of programmes which support community disposals;

· The Committee recommends that the Executive should ensure that there is sufficient investment in bail schemes to address the number of people on remand in Scotland's prisons where bail would be appropriate;

· The Committee recommends that sufficient resources be made available for women offenders in order to avoid women being sentenced to prison due to a lack of alternative facilities.

Criminal justice social work

· Criminal justice social workers are key to the delivery of community disposals in terms of the production of social enquiry reports, bringing breach of community disposals to the attention of the courts and delivering and supervising the disposals. The Committee recommends that the Executive invests more resources into criminal justice social work. The Committee also believes that it is vital that existing and new resources are deployed effectively.

Effectiveness

· The Committee recommends that more resources should be deployed to ensure that all community sanctions are adequately evaluated and that the outcomes of these disposals are collated to present an overall picture of the effectiveness of community disposals in Scotland.

Conclusion

37. The Committee has established that Scotland has a wide range of community penalties available, but that the prison population continues to rise. It is also clear that community disposals are at least as effective as short term imprisonment. A range of recommendations has been made by the Committee to promote community disposals as alternatives to custody, including more resources for community disposals to ensure that they are effectively delivered and that breach is dealt with rigorously, more research on the effectiveness of community disposals in order to increase public confidence in them, and effective communication with sentencers about the availability, effectiveness and rigour of community disposals to improve judicial confidence in the sanctions. The Committee believes that it is vital that these recommendations are taken forward in the next Parliament.

38.

The Committee reports to the Parliament as follows-

Introduction and background

1. The Justice 1 Committee agreed to conduct an inquiry into alternatives to custody on 5 February 2002. Before agreeing the remit to the inquiry, the Committee commissioned and published research into public attitudes to sentencing and alternatives to imprisonment which was carried out by NFO System 3 Social Research.17 Following this, the Committee held a civic participation event in Glasgow in March 2002 where members of the public participated in workshops and an open space event to give their views on these issues.18

2. The Committee issued a call for written evidence on alternatives to custody on 24 July 2002. That evidence is reprinted at Annex C. The Committee also took oral evidence from the following witnesses: the Scottish Consortium on Crime and Criminal Justice, Restorative Justice Consortium, Association of Directors of Social Work (ADSW), Colin Quinn, Professor Gill McIvor, Director of the Social Work Research Centre, University of Stirling, Fergus McNeill, Lecturer in Social Work, University of Glasgow and Bill Whyte, Director of the Criminal Justice Social Work Development Centre for Scotland, University of Edinburgh, Highland Council, Barnardo's Scotland, Apex Scotland, the Venture Trust in Applecross, Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS), Scottish Police Federation (SPF), Association of Scottish Police Superintendents (ASPS), Sheriffs' Association and Jim Wallace MSP, Minister for Justice. That evidence is reprinted at Annex B. The Committee took oral evidence on HMP Cornton Vale and women prisoners from Clive Fairweather, former Chief Inspector of Prisons in Scotland and his team, including Dr Nancy Loucks, Independent Criminologist. Professor Neil Hutton of the University of Strathclyde was appointed as adviser to the Committee for the inquiry.

3. Members of the Committee went on a number of fact-finding visits to examine the operation of community disposals in practice. The Committee visited Reliance Monitoring Services in East Kilbride, which operates electronic tagging used for restriction of liberty orders. The Committee also visited Freagarrach Persistent Young Offenders project which is run by Barnardo's Scotland, and the Drug Court in Glasgow. Also of relevance is the Committee's visit to HMP Cornton Vale, Scotland's only women's prison. Notes outlining information gathered on these visits are attached at Annex D. The Committee also held a meeting in Inverness on 27 January 2003 to take evidence from local service providers.

Terms of reference

4. The terms of reference of the inquiry are to investigate the use and effectiveness of community sentencing as an alternative to imprisonment. The Committee specifically wanted to investigate what alternatives to imprisonment are currently available, the level of service provision, how effective the community penalties currently are and how community penalties are allocated.

5. Given the limited time available for this inquiry, and the constraints of the Committee's remit, the Committee agreed not to examine child and youth offending (including secure accommodation). In Scotland, there are 2 systems for dealing with young people who offend. Those under 16 are dealt with in the Children's Hearing System, those over 16 in the Criminal Justice system. Dealing with offenders under the age of 16 is within the remit of the Minister for Education and Young People. We believe that this is a key issue and should be examined in the next Parliament. This could be approached by conducting a cross-cutting inquiry involving the successor Committees with responsibility for justice and young people.

6. The Committee did not take extensive evidence from victims' organisations, but its civic participation event on attitudes to sentencing and alternatives to imprisonment provided useful input from 86 citizens, some of whom had been victims of crime. A future inquiry into alternatives to custody would merit further investigation of the attitudes of victims to community disposals.

Executive response

7. The Committee is aware that the publication date of this report is such that the Executive will not be able to address the recommendations in the report before the end of the Parliamentary session. The Committee views this report as a starting point for a successor Committee and administration to take forward. It is hoped that the points made in the report will be picked up by the incoming administration and pursued by the successor Justice Committee, as we believe that appropriate use of prison and alternatives to custody are key issues in the justice remit.

PART 1: APPROPRIATE USE OF CUSTODY

Rising prisoner numbers

8. The Committee's decision to conduct an inquiry into alternatives to custody followed on from its inquiry into the prison estates review, which was published by the Executive in March 2002. The prison estates review showed that the prisoner population in Scotland is rising and despite some occasional decreases, the overall trend is upward.19 It predicted that the population will reach around 7,200 prisoners in the next ten year period, 1,000 more than are held at present.20 The Committee is also aware that Scotland imprisoned 121 people per 100,000 of population in 2001, the third highest number of prisoners in Western Europe after Portugal (where the numbers are declining) and England.21 In its report on the review, the Committee voiced concern about these rising prisoner numbers.22

9. The prisoner number projections in the prison estates review assumed that current trends in sentencing behaviour would continue. It was acknowledged that government policies may impact on the sentencing practice affecting the prison population, but these effects were not allowed for in the projections.23 Over the last ten years, the use of community disposals has increased, but the prison population has also been increasing at the same time.24

10. A central question for the Committee is whether prison is an effective sanction. The Scottish Consortium on Crime and Criminal Justice (the Consortium) believes that, "prison holds much too central a place in our thinking about criminal justice, when it should be a marginal part of the response".25 In this report, the Committee explores the types of offenders currently being sentenced to imprisonment and the alternatives available.

Short term sentence in prison vs. community disposal

11. It is important to state from the outset that the Committee is aware of public concern about the impact of crime on Scotland's communities. Research carried out for the Committee on public attitudes to sentencing and imprisonment found that much of the crime which concerns people is committed by young people, not "hardened criminals", and is relatively mundane in character. Nevertheless, these incidents of "incivility" contribute to a discourse of social breakdown and to a feeling of generalised insecurity, especially among older people.26 The Committee has considered whether a short term sentence in prison for such offenders addresses these concerns, or whether it contributes to the "revolving door" syndrome whereby people commit a crime, go to prison, get released after a short length of time, and then repeat the cycle again.

12. Recent figures show that 82% of prisoners serve less than 6 months in prison. Many witnesses questioned the effectiveness of such short term prison sentences. It was widely argued in evidence that short sentences do not allow for the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) to offer prisoners programmes to address offending behaviour and rehabilitation. A recent report on short term prison sentences prepared for the Criminal Justice Forum recognised that the SPS can do little in such a short time other than to stabilise short term prisoners' health needs.27 Bill Whyte, Director of the Social Development Centre for Scotland, University of Edinburgh, argued that short periods in custody, particularly under 6 months, bring limited relief to the community and even less opportunity for prison staff to do meaningful work with the offender.28 The Sheriffs' Association agreed that short term sentences do not offer an opportunity to reform an offender's behaviour, but pointed out that "the reconviction figures of those who receive a custodial sentence are bound to be bad. We are talking about people who are in no mood to co-operate with society".29

13. The lack of opportunity for rehabilitation during a short term prison sentence is, of course, linked to the shortcomings in rehabilitation programmes and throughcare currently offered by the SPS. During its inquiry into the prison estates review, the Committee learned that short term prisoners are particularly disadvantaged in lack of access to rehabilitative and educational programmes. These problems are often associated with overcrowding when there are not sufficient facilities in a prison to offer services to all prisoners. Shortfalls in throughcare were also identified and acknowledged by the Minister for Justice.30

14. It was pointed out to the Committee that a short term prison sentence can adversely affect many key aspects of an offender's life such as accommodation, employment and relationships. Fergus McNeill, Lecturer in Social Work at the University of Glasgow, told the Committee that short prison sentences promote social exclusion and instability, by damaging family relationships and exacerbating problems around employability and accommodation, "in these circumstances it is hard to see how short prison sentences, as opposed to potentially more effective (and certainly much cheaper) community disposals, can be construed as serving the public interest".31

15. It was argued by many witnesses that community sentences are more beneficial to both the offender and the public than short term prison sentences. A recent report on short term prison sentences prepared for the Criminal Justice Forum concluded that the objective should be to promote community disposals as an alternative to these short term prison sentences.32 Fergus McNeill gave the example of an offender who was sentenced to a 3 year community disposal as opposed to a 6 month custody sentence (of which he would only be likely to serve 3 months), "I worked with him for 3 years and I am entirely satisfied that the public were better protected by what I did as a practitioner than by him spending 6 weeks in Barlinnie".33

16. Evidence suggests that Scotland should be seeking means to reduce the use of short term prison sentences and replace these with community sanctions. The Committee believes that short term prison sentences offer limited opportunities for rehabilitation. The Committee recommends that community disposals should be actively promoted and resourced as an alternative to short term prison sentences (where a longer term sentence is clearly not appropriate).

Fine default

17. A number of witnesses expressed concern to the Committee about the number of people being sent to prison for fine default. Around 38% of custodies in 2001 (average length 10 days) were for fine default for an average outstanding fine of £259.34 According to the Consortium, "very few of the crimes for which those people were paying fines would have merited a custodial sentence in the first instance, so we feel that the majority of such prisoners need not be in prison".35 SACRO believes that it is important that the Executive tackle the issue of dealing with fine defaulters as a matter of urgency.36 The Committee believes that more research and data is required in relation to fines and fine default in order to establish patterns and reasons for non-payment. One way of addressing the fine issue could be to deduct payment of fines from benefits. However, the Committee did not have time to go into the subject in depth in the course of this inquiry.

18. The Committee agrees that very few people should be sent to prison for fine default. It would make more sense to sentence such people to a community disposal, especially where the original offence would not in itself have led to a custodial sentence. The Committee recommends that the Executive address the issue of imprisonment of fine defaulters and reports back to the successor Justice Committee with its conclusions. This Committee would support concrete measures and targets to reduce the number of fine defaulters being sent to prison in Scotland.

Remand

19. In 2001, approximately 1,300 people were held on remand in Scotland.37 The Executive announced in September 2002 that it intends to build a new prison dedicated to remand prisoners.38 The Consortium stated that a large proportion of remand prisoners do not get a custodial sentence, "so at least half of them could be in the community on bail supervision".39 NCH Scotland suggested that in many cases the decision to remand a person into custody does not reflect the seriousness of the charge facing them, but rather the unreliability of the people and their unstable social circumstances. They recommended more widespread provision of specialist residential and non-residential bail support schemes which would provide the courts with the assurance that the accused will be supervised and will be brought to court on the right day to face trial.40

20. Similarly, SACRO believes that the roll out of bail schemes across Scotland would "significantly reduce" the volume of unnecessary custodial remands (potentially by up to 50%).41 The Consortium argued that there would have to be "huge investment to make the throughput big enough to cut down even by half the number of remand receptions". They believe that such investment would result in "enormous savings, which would be immediate, because a remand prison would not need to be built and the remand wings could be used differently".42 The Sheriffs' Association would also like resources for bail supervision schemes to be increased, and agreed that some people on remand could benefit from bail supervision.43

21. The Committee believes that people should not be remanded in custody unless they represent a danger to the public or there are concerns that they will breach conditions of bail. It is not acceptable that people are remanded in custody simply because their chaotic lifestyles cast doubt on whether they will appear in court when required. Other facilities, such as residential bail support schemes, should be available for such people.

Women offenders

22. The Committee received evidence that a large number of women sentenced to custody are fine defaulters or on remand, and that the number of females in custody continues to rise.44 Dr Nancy Loucks, independent criminologist, told the Committee that more than half the women who go into custody in HMP Cornton Vale, Scotland's only women's prison, in a given year are there on remand, and that most of these women do not end up with a custodial sentence. In addition, at any one time, the highest proportion of the prison population in Cornton Vale is composed of women serving very short sentences, most of which are less than two years, and almost half of the women in Cornton Vale are in custody for fine default. Their average sentence is nine days and their average outstanding fine is £214 for adults and £183 for young offenders.45 The Scottish Women's Aid highlighted the minor nature of many of these women's offences by outlining that a high percentage of female fine defaulters in prison relates to non-possession of a television licence.46

23. The Committee has received evidence throughout this parliamentary session in relation to dealing with women offenders. Clive Fairweather, former Chief Inspector of Prisons in Scotland, questioned why some groups of women are in prison, "obviously these women have committed a range of minor offences-they are nuisances-but I do not think that they are a threat to public safety. In many cases, they are a bigger threat to themselves while they are in prison".47 He also explained that many of these women have a long history of physical and mental abuse, and problems which are rooted in poverty. He recently wrote that "it is now recognised that many of the problems which some women prisoners face are unlikely to be resolved by imprisonment. The provision of credible and reliable alternatives to custody in communities across Scotland for petty offenders is, therefore what (Cornton Vale) prison needs most".48 In its recent report, the Ministerial group on women's offending reached a similar conclusion. The Group was concerned that the number of female prisoners in Scotland continues to rise, even when many of these women pose very little risk to the communities in which they live, "given the problems of many of these women and the nature of their offences - shoplifting and other petty offences - a very early message to emerge from our work was the need not only to provide alternatives to custody but also to build the confidence of the courts in these alternatives so that they are willing to use them more frequently instead of sending so many women to prison".49

24. The Consortium informed the Committee that sentencers often send women to Cornton Vale for rehabilitative purposes rather than for punishment in the belief that women will receive treatment in prison, "rather than being put back on the streets".50 Similarly, during a recent Committee visit to Cornton Vale, prison staff told members that a substantial number of prisoners had serious mental health problems. Prison staff said that these women would receive better care outside the prison, but they often had problems in finding sufficient or appropriate facilities for them.51

25. The inter-agency forum on women's offending recommended alternative measures to deal with female fine defaulters, such as a `Time Out' Centre which was designed specifically to deal with women who need a supportive environment but not necessarily the secure custody of prison. This would allow access to outside resources, such as drug treatment and contact with drug counsellors.52 The forum recommended in its report on women offenders, published in February 2001, that a 'Time Out' Centre should be created. It has since been announced that the Centre will open in Glasgow in August 2003.53 There has therefore been a delay of over 2 years in setting up the `Time Out' Centre. The Committee is disappointed by the lack of urgency in establishing a `Time Out' Centre, which will be a vital resource for dealing with women offenders.

26. Whilst scrutinising the budget for 2003/04, the Justice Committees formed the view that the needs of women outwith the Glasgow area will also require to be addressed. It has since been announced that the Time Out Centre in Glasgow will provide places for 8 women in "detox", 8 in supported accommodation and 400 in day programmes.54 In their stage 1 report on the Executive's budget for 2003/04, the Committees requested that the budget for `Time Out' centres be increased to provide non-residential aspects of this service widely throughout Scotland and not simply in Glasgow as currently planned. Further, the Committees sought an assurance that there would be a review of the effective implementation of this national policy.55 In its response, the Executive indicated that funding is being made available to assist the development of offender programmes geared specifically to women in other parts of the country, with the intention of making use of community sentences more attractive to sentencers for this client group.56

27. On the basis of widespread evidence, the Committee believes that there are a substantial number of women in Scotland's prisons who do not necessarily require to be there, as they do not represent a danger to the public. The evidence suggests that these women are sent to prison due to a lack of appropriate programmes and facilities in the community. The Committee welcomes the commitment from the Executive that funding is being made available for the development of programmes for women offenders, and reiterates the recommendation that the non-residential aspects of the `Time Out' Centre should be made available for women across Scotland. The Committee also believes that there is a requirement for adequate residential places for women offenders across Scotland.

PART 2: COMMUNITY DISPOSALS AVAILABLE IN SCOTLAND

28. There are currently five principal community sentences available to courts in Scotland. These are probation orders; community service orders; restriction of liberty orders; drug treatment and testing orders (DTTOs) and supervised attendance orders. All of these disposals are now available across Scotland (with the exception of DTTOs).57 The disposals are supported by programmes which consist of a variety of local interventions. They are most commonly used in the context of probation orders and are designed to focus on offending behaviour. Such programmes are often delivered by voluntary agencies, such as Barnardo's Scotland and SACRO.58

Probation orders

29. Probation orders offer supervision and support, with work on offending behaviour and measures to address personal and social needs. Probation orders are flexible, with the option of adding specific conditions such as undertakng unpaid work, or attending a programme such as a specialised drug or alcohol programme. Target offenders for this disposal are those who are likely to be given a custodial sentence. Probation orders are available to all courts in Scotland.59 Professor McIvor, Director of the Social Work Research Centre at the University of Stirling, told the Committee that the explicit objective of supervision in probation is to bring about changes in the offender's attitude, behaviour and social circumstances in order to address their offending behaviour. She also explained that probation orders are generally used with offenders who have a number of personal and social problems. Probation provides a vehicle to enable offenders to access a range of services in the community, such as housing or employment services.60

Community service orders

30. Offenders subject to community service orders undertake unpaid work to the benefit of the community. Community service orders are a direct alternative to custody for those who are in immediate danger of a custodial sentence and are available in all sheriff courts and in the high court.61 Work carried out under community service orders can involve tasks such as building footpaths and bridle-ways and public amenities in forests. Where appropriate, work is also done with individuals who are in need, such as the elderly or those who have special needs.62

Restriction of liberty orders

31. A restriction of liberty order requires an offender to be restricted to a specific place and/or from a specified place or places, by wearing a transmitter (tag) on their ankle or wrist, which emits a signal that is picked up by a monitoring unit when the offender is within range. This is intended to be a punitive measure but the Executive explained that it also allows offenders to bring structure to their lives which can help to break the cycle of offending behaviour. The disposal has been available in all sheriff courts since May 2002.63 The Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS) was supportive of tagging as it "provides a form of control that may be lacking in traditional community service".64

Drug treatment and testing orders (DTTOs)

32. DTTOs involve social work supervision, mandatory random drug tests, monthly court reviews or assessments and participation in individual counselling programmes. The Executive told the Committee that a phased roll out of DTTOs is currently underway. DTTOs are currently available to 3 sheriff courts and will shortly be made available in a further 7 sheriff courts. The Executive has reported that DTTOs have received positive evaluation with significant impact on levels of drug misuse and related crime.65 On a visit to the Drug Court in Glasgow, a pilot court set up by the Executive which deals with offenders in respect of whom there is an established relationship between a pattern of serious drug misuse and offending, members of the Committee learned that a key factor to the success of DTTOs is the relationship between the offender and the sheriff and the monitoring role played by the court. The Consortium believes that "it is quite a novel way of thinking for the sheriff court to have someone returning and for the sheriff to meet that person along with the other people who are involved. That works quite well".66 Similarly, ACPOS described DTTOs as "excellent examples of community based disposals aimed at targeting the root cause of offending behaviour".67

Supervised attendance orders

33. Supervised attendance orders impose a time penalty on offenders (in place of a fine). During that time penalty, the offender takes part in educational activities aimed at improving offending behaviour. These orders are intended as an alternative to prison for people who fail to pay a fine and for offenders aged 16 or 17 whom the courts consider are unable to pay an appropriate fine. The Executive stated that supervised attendance orders provide constructive activities for offenders to undertake such as debt management and childcare skills with the aim of encouraging personal and social responsibility. They are available in all sheriff courts. According to the Executive, supervised attendance orders have been subject to "positive evaluation as a credible alternative to custody for fine defaulters".68

Pre-court measures

34. Community disposals such as diversion from prosecution schemes, reparation and mediation schemes and arrest referral schemes are available before a case goes to court and provide measures for early intervention to address offending behaviour. Diversion from prosecution schemes are a pre-court disposal which is suitable for more minor offending where dealing with the underlying problem is in the public interest.69 In the limited time available to carry out this inquiry, the Committee has not examined diversion from prosecution in any detail. However, it is impossible to separate these measures from the examination of community disposals and the Committee has received some evidence in that regard. The Committee is supportive of pre-court measures, which address offending behaviour as early in the process as possible.

Police warnings

35. One way of diverting a case from prosecution is the issuing of a police warning. The Association of Scottish Police Superintendents (ASPS) explained that police officers can choose to use their discretion and issue a warning at the time of an offence or later. Warning letters can currently be issued by the police to juveniles and one force is working on a project which may include warning letters being issued to adults for certain "minor and trivial" offences.70

36. Informal warnings should, as a matter of good practice, be recorded in the police officer's notebook. In its recent report on youth justice, Audit Scotland found that there are differences between police forces as to what constitutes informal or formal warnings and how and where these are recorded at force level.71 Highland Council told the Committee that it has been shown that warnings are "incredibly effective" if they are delivered speedily. The difficulty is that the use of warnings has fallen out of use throughout Scotland in the past 10 to 15 years, "it could be used much more effectively to prevent some cases from getting into the system and costing money".72 ACPOS confirmed that there is no national recording system of written warnings because practice varies from area to area.73 The Committee believes that there should be consistency in the use of police warnings. The Committee recommends that the system for issuing police warnings should be standardised across Scotland.

37. The Committee is supportive of the use of police warnings where appropriate and would welcome an extension of their application to adult offenders for minor and trivial offences as outlined in evidence from ACPOS.

Restorative justice and mediation

38. Restorative justice and mediation can be carried out before involving the offender in the court process. The restorative justice process entails the reporter or the procurator fiscal diverting the offender to a mediation project where the offender will be invited to make amends to the victim of the crime. The Restorative Justice Consortium explained that the key differentiating feature of restorative programmes from other programmes is the focus on attempting to repair the harm that the offender has done to the victim. There are a number of different models of restorative justice, including mediation reparation schemes and family group conferencing which involves a meeting between the victim, offender and their supporters (which could be a relative or a teacher).74

39. The Consortium recommended a fundamental shift in approach so that restorative justice is tried at a very early stage, "only if restorative justice has failed should we go on to a court process and sentencing".75 Similarly, ASPS believes that much greater use could be made of restorative justice schemes. They were supportive of such schemes because of the involvement of the victim and the community. They told the Committee of experiments in which offenders are involved in face to face meetings with their victims or in which they make some reparation towards vandalism or criminal damage, "such measures make the community aware that some form of public restorative justice is taking place". They also believe that, "the power of restorative justice is in its impact on both the victim and the offender; it makes the offender realise what they have done to the victim".76 At its civic participation event, the Committee took evidence from 86 citizens, some of whom had been victims of crime. At that event, there were calls for a Scottish version of restorative justice approaches, which would include recognition of society and not simply the individual as the victim. This recognition of a wider sense of victim was echoed in one of the workshops where victim support issues were discussed, and a call made for much greater priority to this aspect of criminal justice.77 Victim Support agrees that there are benefits available for both offenders and victims from restorative justice schemes, but stressed that care must be taken to ensure their appropriate application.78

40. The Committee is attracted to the idea of restorative justice as it offers an opportunity for the offender to face up to the impact of his or her offence. It can also demonstrate to the community within which the crime was committed that action is being taken. The Committee recommends that restorative justice methods should be incorporated into community disposal programmes, wherever appropriate.

Offenders with multiple problems

41. Evidence received by the Committee indicated that many offenders have multiple problems which require to be addressed in order to reduce or eradicate their offending behaviour. According to the Consortium, offenders frequently have a range of problems, such as addiction, psychological distress, homelessness and generally chaotic lifestyles. They recommended the development of "a holistic approach", and explained that there is an increasing trend is to consider addiction, accommodation, employment, education, training and offending together.79 BASW concurred with this approach.80

42. Citing the examples of DTTOs and probation orders with drug treatment requirements, Professor McIvor stated that an increasingly wide range of community based disposals that can be tailored to particular offenders' needs is becoming available.81 She told the Committee that a multimodal approach simply involves focusing on a range of issues, rather than just one issue, in relation to why young people offend and providing a range of inputs to try to change their circumstances or behaviour.82 Bill Whyte confirmed that combinations of approaches show the most positive impact on reducing offending.83

43. The Freagarrach project, which the Committee visited, is one example of such an approach.84 NCH Scotland also runs projects dealing not only with offending, but "to work constructively to improve the employability of the young person and help them move into education, training or employment". It runs projects throughout Scotland which are developing links with associated accommodation, mentoring and drug and alcohol services so that the rehabilitation of the offender is properly supported by a holistic approach.85

44. The Committee acknowledges that offending behaviour cannot be addressed in a vacuum. The Committee believes that the multimodal approach is appropriate in dealing with offenders, and that programmes delivering community disposals should not only address offending behaviour, but also associated problems such as health (including mental health), addiction (including alcoholism), accommodation and employment.

Community disposals unavailable in Scotland

45. The purpose of this inquiry is to assess existing alternatives to custody and the Committee has not had sufficient time to examine the feasibility of introducing new community disposals in Scotland. However, ADSW informed the Committee that other jurisdictions use a number of community sentences not available in Scotland. These include the suspended sentence (with or without supervision) also known as deferred custody and weekend imprisonment, which, although not technically a community disposal, allows offenders to maintain employment and family income. Other jurisdictions have also shown that probation orders with a requirement of electronic monitoring are more effective in obtaining positive results than electronic monitoring alone.86

46. The Minister confirmed that the Executive is considering the introduction of structured deferred sentences, and that the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill provides for supervised attendance orders to become "first instance" disposals (they are currently only used as an alternative to prison for fine default). However, the Executive warns that "there is a risk of confusion should further disposals be contemplated".87 SACRO concurs, "there is nothing to be gained from a proliferation of new community penalties. Evidence suggests that the introduction of new community penalties does not in itself guarantee that the custody rate will fall. There is good reason to believe that new disposals may simply displace existing community disposals". They recommended that the best way forward is to ensure that existing community sentencing options are properly targeted, resourced and administered.88

47. The Committee is aware that Scotland has a wide range of community based sanctions which may be used as an alternative to short custodial sentences, which comprises of more community disposals in many other jurisdictions. The Committee believes that there may be scope for "new" community disposals, but that it would be more effective to focus on more efficient use of existing sanctions.

PART 3: LEVEL OF SERVICE PROVISION AND RESOURCES

Lack of data

48. Despite the Executive's assurance that a full range of community disposals is available in courts throughout Scotland (with the exception of DTTOs which are currently being rolled out), the Committee found it difficult to establish the exact level provision of programmes to support community disposals across Scotland. The Consortium, which comprises the main service providers in the voluntary sector, was also unable to provide this information, "we do not know what the provision is, we know from experience that it is patchy, but we have been trying to get proper information".89 SACRO recommended that the Executive should address this lack of data by annually mapping and publishing details regarding the extent and costs of existing community disposals and identify any gaps in services.90

49. The Committee was not able to establish a clear picture of the extent of programmes available to deliver community disposals in Scotland. The Committee agrees with SACRO that the Executive should annually map and publish details regarding the extent and costs of existing community disposals and identify any gaps in services.

Cost of prison vs. cost of community disposals

50. Scottish Executive expenditure on Criminal Justice Social Work in 2000/01 was £48.7 million, as against £199.7 million on the SPS.91 A six month prison sentence costs around £14,000 per prisoner,92 whereas, on average, community service would cost £1,325, probation would cost £1,250, a DTTO, £5,000 - £6,000 and a restriction from liberty order, £4,860.93 According to the Consortium, "there is no co-ordination to direct which services should be developed. To the best of our knowledge, 3% of expenditure is currently spent on community sentences, whereas vast amounts are spent on imprisonment".94 If, as recommended by the Committee, community disposals are promoted as an alternative to short term prison sentences (where a longer term sentence is clearly inappropriate), there will be a net saving to the public purse, given that prison is so much more expensive than community disposals.

Resources for community disposals

51. Scotland has a wider range of alternatives to custody than in almost any other country in Europe. However, it also has the third highest prison population in Western Europe. The Executive told the Committee that before 1991, criminal justice social work services was regarded as a marginalised service. These concerns led to the introduction of 100% funding.95 However, according to ADSW, many local authorities have found the funding allocation since 1991 inadequate to provide the necessary services, "the level of financial resource available to the criminal justice social work service is currently insufficient to provide an enhanced service to significantly increase the use of alternatives to custody". They appealed for a new funding mechanism that accurately reflects the high number of offenders kept out of custody through the provision of community based supervision and management. They recommended that such an increase in funding could be accompanied by targets to increase the number of offenders who are to be directly diverted from prison into community supervision.96

52. Such claims of inadequate funding were echoed by other witnesses. The Consortium stated that "only a small proportion of the money that is spent on the criminal justice system is spent on programmes to back up community sentences, and provision across the country is patchy". They advocated that there is a requirement for huge investment in rolling out programmes even more thoroughly than has been the case to date.97

53. There appears to be an inconsistency of provision of services and programmes to deliver community disposals across Scotland, which could be linked to the shortage of resources. The Association of Visiting Committees for Scottish Penal Establishments reported that the level of service provision varies, with acute shortages in some areas.98 Professor McIvor concurred that, "it is undoubtedly the case that provision varies from area to area".99 BASW confirmed that the local nature of these projects means that community disposals available to one court may not be available to another court.100

54. The Executive stated that its policy intention has been "to make available a good range of different community disposals for the courts to use".101 The Minister for Justice pointed out that that there have been "substantial additional resources that have gone into funding community disposals" (from £6 million in 1991 to £62 million in 2002-03), and that there has been a 52% increase in resources over the last 3 years.102 The Executive acknowledges that there is further scope to develop the support programmes used principally with probation and believes that "this will promote a greater consistency with provision", 103 but in response to evidence of shortage of resources the Minister claimed that there has not been a consistent pattern in one specific area over any length of time". He also claimed that through the restructuring of the 32 local authority criminal justice social work services into 11 mainland groupings plus the islands, the Executive is trying to ensure "better development and greater consistency of programmes over a wider area".104

55. The Committee acknowledges and welcomes the significant increase in funding of community disposals since 1991. However, the Committee has received strong evidence which suggests that provision of programmes to deliver community sanctions in Scotland is patchy and that current funding levels are not adequate.

Criminal justice social work resources

56. All programmes which deliver community disposals involve the use of social workers, who carry out assessments and deliver and supervise the programmes.105 Evidence received by the Committee suggested that criminal justice social work services are not adequately resourced. The Sheriffs' Association told the Committee that in some areas there is a shortage in social work resources which results in delays in the production of social enquiry reports and in bringing breach of community disposals to the attention of sheriffs. They told the Committee that often because social enquiry reports are not available, cases require to be continued.106 They concurred with evidence from ADSW that there has been a significant increase in workload from many courts, without an increase in the funding available to meet this demand.107

57. Some witnesses suggested that the need to supply information to the court affects the amount of time which social workers are able to spend with their clients. Fergus McNeill told the Committee that, "it is a major issue for main grade workers when demands for court reports mean that contact time with people on probation or other orders suffers".108 Tayside Criminal Justice Grouping concurred, "we have seen a consistent rise in the number of requests for social enquiry reports which, while positive, creates additional pressures on scarce resources".109 The Committee was also told that offenders require to be linked into a range of resources in the community that help promote their social inclusion. This means that the social worker additionally adopts a service brokerage or case management role.110

58. BASW spoke of a crisis in social work recruitment which is affecting the quality and quantity of the services being offered.111 ADSW agreed that some local authorities are experiencing "acute difficulty" in recruiting qualified social workers, whereas other local authorities are in receipt of insufficient financial allocation to recruit sufficient staff to meet demand.112 The Minister for Justice acknowledged that there is a shortage of social workers in Scotland, and referred to a recent announcement by Cathy Jamieson, Minister for Education and Young People, which outlined new measures designed to increase the number of social workers, such as return to practice programmes to encourage trained staff back into the social work profession.113 The Executive also launched a social work recruitment and awareness campaign in October 2002.114

59. It is clear that criminal justice social workers play a key role in the delivery of community disposals. That role has developed with the increased use of community disposals, and has many demands. The Committee is extremely concerned about the acute shortage in criminal justice social workers in Scotland. The Committee welcomes the recent measures taken by the Executive to address this shortage. However, it is unfortunate that the matter was not addressed previously.

60. The Executive told the Committee that the 32 local authority criminal justice social work services were restructured into 11 mainland groupings plus the islands in April 2002.115 The Committee believes that it is important to make good use of existing criminal justice social work resources, and recommends that the Executive monitors the effectiveness of this new structure in maximising the benefit of existing resources.

61. The Committee believes that the quality of service offered to offenders depends on the retention of criminal justice social workers. The Committee is concerned that their work is weighted more towards information processing and paperwork than the restorative justice and counselling elements of the job.

Timescale for dealing with breach of community disposals

62. The credibility of community disposals depends to a considerable degree on the degree of rigour in the breach process. The Sheriffs' Association explained that sheriffs are discouraged from selecting community disposals if it appears that non-compliance by the offender will not be "rigorously and speedily" dealt with.116 The Association gave an example of situations where a lack of social work resources has resulted in a breach of a community disposals not being intimated to the court before the end of the period for which the disposal lasted.117 NCH Scotland confirmed that there can be long delays, sometimes as long as six months, between breach of an order and the offender being returned to court. By the time the young person reaches court, he or she may have gone without supervision for many months and been at liberty to commit further offences, "these delays seriously undermine community disposals".118 SACRO explained that there is a need for a fast-tracking process to ensure that where there are breaches of community disposals, the case is immediately returned to court for review and an appropriate decision.119

63. The Committee believes that delays in bringing breach of community disposals to the attention of the court are unacceptable and undermine the credibility of such disposals. These delays are directly linked to the shortage of criminal justice social work resources in Scotland.

Impact of resources on sentencing

64. The Executive informed the Committee that Ministers have not received any representations in recent years from members of the judiciary that they are being constrained from imposing an order, because of a real or perceived lack of capacity on the part of the local authority to service the order.120 However, some witnesses informed us that judicial use of community disposals is dependent on whether resources are available to deliver the disposals. The Consortium believes that a lack of judicial confidence in the provision of alternatives to custody, increases the use of custody, as opposed to community disposals, "if there is no provision, sheriffs will impose imprisonment".121 Whilst stating that there was not an "overall problem",122 the Sheriffs' Association confirmed that sheriffs are discouraged from selecting alternatives if there is a problem with the way they are being run, for example, if there is likely to be a delay in the commencement of community service. The Sheriffs' Association acknowledged that these problems do cause difficulties from time to time in different parts of the country, "the court has to have some confidence that the community service order will commence, that the probationer will be supervised, that the offender will attend the rehabilitation course".123

Funding arrangements for service providers

65. Programmes which deliver community disposals are provided by local authorities and voluntary organisations such as SACRO and NCH Scotland. Evidence received by the Committee demonstrated that the way in which funding is distributed for such programmes is a cause for concern for service providers. Highland Council explained that local authorities receive core funding for front-line services such as probation and community service and non-core funding for the provision of other programmes (primarily by the voluntary sector). It is often necessary to bid for non-core funding and such funding is awarded on a short term basis, which can lead to problems with recruitment and retention of staff. In addition, as funding is awarded in "successive waves", that does not lend itself well to strategic planning.124 Voluntary organisations experience similar problems.125

66. A further issue for service providers is the multifarious funding sources to which they are required to apply. Highland Council explained that it has eight main funding streams for youth justice provision. These funding streams last for different lengths of time and have different timescales, "that is all very complicated at our level and destabilises partner agencies".126 They suggested bringing some of the funding streams together, "life for both sides would then be much more straightforward". Voluntary organisations reported similar difficulties.127 Highland Council told the Committee that some of the voluntary agencies are small and diverting time to submitting bids, drawing up plans and writing reports, results in staff being taken away from providing direct services.128 APEX Scotland confirmed that applying for funding is time intensive for staff.129 It was also stressed by Highland Council that a lot of time can be wasted on unsuccessful bids, "I do not like spending most of my time working up bids with partner agencies when 80% of those bids go nowhere".130

67. The Minister claimed that this evidence was only in connection with youth justice funding, and that funding for core work on non-custodial sentences is provided on the basis of a three year strategic plan, which is drawn up by each criminal justice social work grouping and is required to reflect national priorities. He did acknowledge that a grouping "may not get everything it wants with respect to those plans", but he was not aware of the problems presented to the Committee in evidence.131

68. The Committee is concerned about the issues raised in evidence in relation to funding arrangements and believes that they should be addressed. The Committee recommends that funding arrangements should ensure that service providers receive the funding they require on a long term basis without the requirement to submit a large number of bids every year (subject to regular monitoring of outputs). This will allow service providers to plan strategically and retain valuable staff.

Pilot projects

69. The approach adopted by the Executive to the introduction of new community disposals has been to examine their operation initially on a pilot basis in a limited number of locations to establish their feasibility prior to their being made more widely available. Once a disposal has been piloted, a decision is made regarding whether to roll it out in other areas.132

70. Some witnesses were critical of this approach. The Sheriffs' Association believes that "over-enthusiastic use of pilot schemes" might lead to "post code" justice, which means that offenders who are not in the pilot scheme area are disadvantaged in that a possible alternative to custody is not available to them. If they lived in an area in which a pilot was taking place, they might escape custody. They believed that policy makers must decide whether the "suck-it-and-see approach is the correct approach to criminal justice", as currently "there is a tendency to use human guinea pigs".133 The Minister argued that simply to roll out every programme and sentence without evaluation would be to take a hit-and-miss approach and would not command the necessary confidence of sheriffs and the public", stressing that additional resources are allocated to pilot projects which means that they do not detract from funding of other community disposals.134 However, the Sheriffs' Association disputed that, citing the example of the forthcoming youth court pilot scheme in Hamilton, "it is likely that a significant shift in resources to youth court social worker and other staff would result in a diminution of resources for those dealing with non-youth court cases".135

71. Other witnesses claimed that once a pilot study has been evaluated, and the decision has been made to roll out the disposal, this can be a slow process. The Consortium cited the example of drugs courts which are only being introduced incrementally in Scotland.136 ACPOS agrees that when there is evidence that alternatives work, they should be made available equally throughout the country, "there are good schemes, but they are not available universally".137 In response to these concerns, the Minister for Justice explained that disposals such as DTTOs take time to roll out because they involve a "multi-agency" approach which requires to be in place before the disposal is implemented locally.138

72. The Committee has some sympathy with the arguments made in evidence about the inequity of pilot studies. Some offenders are benefiting from increased resources, whilst others are not offered similar opportunities. The Committee believes that it is appropriate that new disposals should be tried and tested before being rolled out throughout the country. However, the Committee agrees with the Sheriffs' Association that "if a decision is made to roll out the disposal, it should be rolled out throughout the country", otherwise it leads to "unfairness".139 The Committee supports the desirability of the principle of consistency of provision of community disposals across Scotland. The Committee recommends that once a pilot study of a community disposal has been proved to be successful, that disposal should be rolled out simultaneously across Scotland.

PART 4: EFFECTIVENESS OF COMMUNITY DISPOSALS

Defining and measuring effectiveness

73. There appears to be no existing set of criteria for measuring the effectiveness of community disposals. Some people believe that a simple measure of effectiveness is a reduction in recidivism. However, the Executive explained that reconviction data alone does not indicate the effectiveness of specific programmes.140 Professor McIvor concurred and pointed out that reconviction does not equate with reoffending as some offenders reoffend but are not subsequently reconvicted.141 It was suggested by some witnesses that the effectiveness of community disposals should be measured by reduction in offending, rather than eradication.142 ADSW confirmed that many social workers assess effectiveness in terms of reduced offending in both severity and frequency together with reduced drug misuse, particularly when the offender has a chaotic lifestyle with few, if any, perceived reasons to behave differently.143

74. Some witnesses described difficulties in measuring the effectiveness of community disposals. Professor McIvor told the Committee that when new initiatives are introduced on a pilot basis, the small numbers made subject to the disposal makes an assessment of outcomes difficult. She believes that addressing this problem will require a commitment to evaluating initiatives over timescales that permit the generation of longer-term outcome data for a sufficiently large sample of offenders to render such analysis meaningful. In addition, she described difficulties in identifying appropriate comparison groups of offenders.144 The Minister for Justice concurred that there are many factors and variables in community disposals, and that this makes it difficult to measure effectiveness.145

75. The Committee acknowledges that evaluating the effectiveness of community disposals is difficult due to the complexity of the client group. However, the Committee believes that it is essential that the effectiveness of community disposals is measured in a consistent way in order to produce comparative data. The Committee recommends that the Executive produces a list of standard criteria against which the effectiveness of community disposals should be measured. These criteria should be drawn up with reference to practice elsewhere in the world.

Existing evidence

76. Community disposals are widely recognised as being more effective than prison at working with offenders to reduce reoffending because they do so in the offender's own environment and deal with their personal circumstances, without the disruptive effect of a period in a prison.146 According to Professor McIvor, there is evidence that community disposals are more effective than short term prison sentences. Recent data published by the SPS demonstrate higher return to prison rates for prisoners serving less than six months in prison. Restricting the analysis of reconviction to short prison sentences would, therefore, most likely result in higher reconviction rates for these offenders in comparison with those given community based disposals. This evidence reinforces the Committee's view that community disposals should be promoted as an alternative to short term prison sentences. Professor McIvor also referred to specific community disposals which have had positive evaluations, such as supervised attendance orders and DTTOs. In addition, an evaluation of probation supervision in Scotland found that the majority of offenders believed that supervision had helped reduce their risk of recidivism.147

77. The Committee is convinced that on the basis of existing evidence, community disposals are at least as effective in reducing offending behaviour as short term prison sentences. However, there is obviously a requirement for a more comprehensive assessment of community disposals in Scotland, as discussed below.

What data should be available?

78. The Committee has learned from evidence that many individual programmes which deliver community disposals have been evaluated, but it is difficult to establish an overview of the effectiveness of community disposals in Scotland. Professor McIvor confirmed that a single volume which pulls material on research carried out on community disposals does not exist.148 The Consortium argued that there is a need for more data about effectiveness.149 Similarly, Bill Whyte believes that evaluation should be a routine activity, "we have not had a tradition in Scotland of setting up very good control groups or match groups to compare one initiative with another. Such data remains somewhat limited". He told the Committee that the Executive commissions individual pieces of research, but it is not done as a routine activity in initiatives.150

79. It is clear that many programme deliverers are evaluating community disposals, but that this information is not being collated in a cohesive way to present the overall picture. There is therefore limited concrete evidence from Scotland on the effectiveness of community sanctions.

Tracking offenders

80. Evidence received by the Committee suggests that there are difficulties in tracking the progress of offenders who have been subject to community disposals. SACRO stated that evaluations of community penalties have tended to focus on their effectiveness in terms of achieving immediate objectives rather than on long term follow up studies of recidivism.151 Similarly, Bill Whyte explained that data are not configured in a way that would allow agencies to follow up on the progress of their clients in the long term. He stated that a project is under way in Scotland to establish such data systems, but described this area as "a real weakness in our system".152

81. ADSW told the Committee that there is no established mechanism for accessing the criminal records organisation in order to track cohorts of offenders who undertake programmes and suggested that it should be possible to access the criminal records of those offenders in Scotland who undertake intensive programmes of intervention. It would then be possible to consider the period of the intervention, and assess whether the offenders reappear in either the Scottish courts or other courts within the wider jurisdiction.153 According to ASPS, an option is currently being explored under the integration of Scottish criminal justice information systems project which will link all computer systems to the Scottish Criminal Record Office computer system, which records the disposal of cases. They suggested that this could form the basis of long-term analysis and qualitative data that would allow examination of recidivist criminals, their histories and the success or otherwise of different sentences.154

82. The Executive acknowledges that research access to reconviction data has been historically quite difficult. At present, the Executive is looking at ways in which this information can be made available for the purposes of evaluation and accreditation of programmes for offenders.155 In evidence to the Committee on the prison estates review, Alec Spencer, Director of Rehabilitation and Care at the Scottish Prison Service (SPS), outlined plans to develop software to track offenders whilst they are in the prison system, and after they have been released.156 The Committee believes that any system for tracking offenders who have been subject to community disposals should be linked to the SPS system.

83. The Committee is surprised that in the year 2003, an integrated IT system does not exist to track offenders. We believe that it is wrong in principle for there not to be a unified system of evaluating community disposals and the experience of those subject to such disposals. That the SPS is developing an IT system to track offenders who have been in custody in isolation is in policy and practical terms unacceptable to this Committee given that this is clearly linked to evaluating community disposals. There should be an overarching tracking system irrespective of whether an offender follows the custody or community disposal route. The Committee recommends that the Executive should develop an IT system, integrated with the SPS project, for tracking offenders. The SPS should work closely with the 11 criminal justice social work groupings to ensure that this is achieved.

Comparative evidence

84. Given the limited time available to carry out this inquiry, the Committee has not widely examined comparative evidence on the effectiveness of community disposals. However, the Consortium informed us that there is a "massive amount of evidence from other jurisdictions which suggests that alternatives to custody work".157 BASW believes that much more investment has to be done not only in terms of comparisons in the UK but across Europe and the rest of the world.158

85. The Executive warned that comparisons between Scotland and the rest of the UK must be treated with caution and can be misleading owing to differences in legal systems, procedures and crime classifications. Nevertheless, they indicated broadly similar trends in England and Wales as compared to Scotland in that community disposals are at least as effective as prison.159

86. Some witnesses described approaches in other jurisdictions. Bill Whyte said that Finland's prison population was 200:100,000 in the 1950s, compared to its Scandinavian neighbours which had prison populations of around 50:100,000. Finland responded to the problem of overuse of custody by creating statutory limits, combined with several other community safety approaches aimed at reducing the prison population. It created forms of conditional sentences whereby custodial disposals for up to two years could be imposed conditionally which, particularly for young people, are suspended while the offender is placed on probation. Today Finland has a prison population of 56:100,000, which is comparable with European countries of similar size, whereas Scotland's prison population is around 120:100,000 and rising.160

87. There is clearly scope for further comparative research on the effectiveness of community disposals to be carried out. Scotland could learn valuable lessons from other jurisdictions, such as Finland, which have drastically reduced their prison populations. The Committee recommends that the Executive obtains information on the effectiveness of community disposals in comparative jurisdictions and reports back to the successor Justice Committee on any subsequent proposed action.

PART 5: SENTENCING

Role of the judiciary

88. It is ultimately for the courts to decide whether to sentence offenders to a community sentence. The judiciary therefore plays a key role in whether community disposals are utilised. Accordingly, Professor McIvor believes that the attitudes of sentencers towards community based alternatives to imprisonment are likely to be the single most important factor influencing their use.161

Information available to sentencers

89. It has been suggested that sheriffs do not make greater use of alternatives to custody as they are not aware of what community disposals are available. The Consortium told the Committee that sheriffs would often like to use community sentences, but they may not be aware of what is available locally. They suggested that any sentencer should have available a list of all the options, including new sentences that they may not be aware of, and a list of programmes that are available locally.162

90. Some witnesses suggested sentencers should also have information on the effectiveness of community disposals. SACRO believes that sentencers should be given more information about the cost implications of their decision as well as the outcomes in terms of reoffending.163 Similarly, Professor McIvor believes that sentencers might be more positively disposed towards community disposals if they had access to such data.164

91. The Sheriffs' Association said that there was a feeling that certain initiatives, such as courses designed to address offending behaviour and addiction problems, are not brought to the attention of the court. They told the Committee that some years ago the Scottish Executive Justice Department considered producing a directory for each sheriff court area giving full specification of rehabilitation schemes, courses designed to address offending behaviour and addiction counselling available in that area. The Sheriffs indicated that such a directory would be of assistance, provided that it was kept up to date and had information relating to the evaluation and assessment of programmes and courses.165 The Minister for Justice confirmed that the directory will be published in June 2003, and will be piloted in Lothian and Borders.166

92. The Committee welcomes the imminent publication of a directory of community disposals as a pilot in Lothian and Borders. The Committee recommends that the directory should be made available nationally, given that the Sheriffs' Association has confirmed that it would be of great use to sentencers. The Committee also recommends that the directory should be electronic to ensure that it can be easily updated. It should contain information on the evaluation of local programmes as well as comprehensive information on the availability of programmes. The directory should also contain information on progressive options for dealing with breach of community disposals, as discussed below.

Social enquiry reports

93. Criminal justice social work services have an important role to play in offering information and advice to sentencers on the availability and suitability of community penalties. The Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 provides for the preparation of social enquiry reports by local authority social workers in order to assist sentencers in determining the most suitable method of dealing with a case. The social enquiry report will set out relevant details of the offender's background and include an assessment of the risks of further offending. The report will also set out the range of sentencing options and the likely impact on the individual. The Executive explained that the report is "purely advisory and sentencing remains a matter for the judge".167 ADSW confirmed that sheriffs prefer social workers "to use the language of options rather than that of recommendations".168

94. Research commissioned by the Scottish Executive found that sheriffs did look to social enquiry reports to provide information and assessments about offenders and that these influenced their decisions.169 Some other studies have suggested a link between good quality court reports, higher use of community disposals and slight reductions in the use of custody.170 It follows therefore that, as suggested in evidence, a social enquiry report that contains specific suggestions as to which resources can be made available, to what likely effect, to address the issues presented by a particular offender is more likely to be persuasive than one in which the discussion of sentencing options is unspecific and vague.171

95. Sentencers do not receive social enquiry reports for every offender which appears before them. The inter-agency forum on women's offending found that only "a minority of sentenced women have the benefit of a social enquiry report being made on them before they are sentenced to custody".172 Professor McIvor pointed out that a social enquiry report is not required prior to the imposition of an supervised attendance order, which may render this option less prominent in the eyes of sentencers and may account for its relatively low level of use in recent years.173

96. The University of Strathclyde is about to embark on a two year study of the production of social enquiry reports for sentencers and how they use these reports.174 The Committee believes that such information will be vital for future assessments of how to increase the use of community disposals.

Relationship between the judiciary and service providers

97. Another source of information for sentencers can be through direct communication with the service providers. ADSW told the Committee that local authority social workers hold regular meetings with sheriffs. They view such meetings as an avenue where there is "open and honest dialogue" with members of the judiciary, "sheriffs have an input into what services are developed and what shortfalls there are".175 The Sheriffs' Association agreed that such meetings with service providers are a good opportunity to "exchange views and keep one another informed".176

98. The Committee believes that regular contact between sentencers and service providers is valuable as it ensures that sentencers have up-to-date information on the services available for offenders in their area.

Sentencing information system

99. The High Court has a sentencing information system which holds data about cases and sentences that have been given out. A judge can feed in criteria from cases similar to the one with which he or she is dealing and review the sentences handed down for comparative cases. The Sheriffs' Association suggested that consideration could be given to extending the sentencing information system to sheriff court sentences, and in particular to appeals against sheriff court sentences, but stressed that for such information to be of value, the system would require to record not only the sentence but also the whole circumstances in which it was imposed.177

100. The Committee believes that the sentencing information system is a valuable tool for sentencers. The Committee recommends that the sentencing information system should be extended to cover sheriff court decisions, particularly in relation to appeal decisions.

Judicial studies committee

101. The judicial studies committee is responsible for providing training for new sentencers and refresher training for more experienced sentencers. Sentencing is one of the areas covered by training. Sentencers are not required to attend training sessions but they are encouraged to do so. The Consortium suggested that the judicial studies committee could develop more judicial training in the field of alternatives to custody to increase judicial knowledge of existing provision. They told the Committee that sheriffs receive some induction training through the judicial studies committee, but that sentencing exercises are only a small part of that.178 However, the Sheriffs' Association assured the Committee that sheriffs undergo regular training which covers sentencing.179

Sentencing guidelines

102. Evidence suggests that some courts are less likely to use community disposals than others. Professor McIvor suggested that options are not being taken up in areas in which they are available, "we know that sentencers in certain courts in certain sheriffdoms appear to be much more reluctant to make use of community based disposals".180 SACRO suggested that this inconsistency could be addressed by providing guidance and information to sentencers. They asserted that "there is little doubt that sentencing guidelines can make a real difference...by reviewing the maximum sentences for specific types of offences" and recommended that the high court of the justiciary be encouraged to use its power to provide guidelines in terms of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995.181

Limiting sentencing powers

103. Some witnesses argued that there should be statutory limitations placed on imprisonment. Legislation already places limits and restrictions on judicial discretion in sentencing in the form of maximum penalties, mandatory minimum penalties as well as many procedural regulations. The Consortium suggested that one such limitation could be the removal of the power to imprison people from summary sheriff courts.182 Fergus McNeill concurred that the most obvious way to change the excessive use of custody would be to limit the sentencing powers of the district and sheriff summary courts, so that in such courts custodial sentences could not be passed at first instance but only where offenders failed to comply with other penalties.183 Bill Whyte agrees that prison places available for remand and short sentences should be capped and reduced over a targeted period of time to bring Scotland's prison numbers in line with European countries of similar population size such as Finland, Norway and Denmark.184 Similarly, SACRO recommended the introduction of provisions to abolish imprisonment for fine default.185

104. The Committee recommends that the Executive should set up a working group to examine short term sentences in the context of sentencing. The outcomes of its deliberations will be of great assistance to the successor Justice Committee and administration in considering how to promote the use of community disposals as an alternative to short term prison sentences.

Progressive use of community disposals

105. In the course of its inquiry, the Committee has explored the issue of progressive use of community disposals which allows an offender to have another community disposal imposed when they are in breach of a disposal. The Consortium told the Committee that sentencers are more likely to impose prison sentences several times on the same offender, than to repeatedly impose community disposals.186 Fergus McNeill confirmed that when social workers write a social enquiry report, and they are aware that the offender has already been subject to probation and community service, they know that they are on a "sticky wicket and that they will have a difficult job persuading the sentencer that such disposals can work the next time".187 However, the Sheriffs' Association disputed these assertions, "I would not like you to get the impression.... that we spend our time sending those who might be turned around by social workers off to jail, telling them they have had enough chances. Frankly, that is not what happens". 188

106. One of the Executive's policy objectives is to secure acceptability of repeating the use of community sentences.189 Similarly, one of the aims of the Consortium is to shift the judiciary's thinking about community sentences away from the idea that "because everything else has been tried, the offender must be sent back to prison repeatedly".190 SACRO concurs, "repeat community penalties should be the norm and reconviction after one community penalty should not automatically lead to a custodial sentence".191 However, the Sheriffs' Association confirmed that "if all available alternatives have been tried and the offender has not co-operated and has continued to offend, then a prison sentence becomes inevitable".192

107. Bill Whyte pointed out for those offenders subject to a community disposal, particularly young people under 21, changes in patterns of chronic offending are unlikely to occur quickly. Persistent young offenders are likely to require a number of years to "sort their lives out and finally stop offending". It is therefore a likelihood that community disposals will be breached by such offenders.193 The Sheriffs' Association confirmed that "we do not want to be over-punitive with people who are at a formative stage of their lives, when time can be a healer and they might grow out of their criminal activity after a while". However, they did acknowledge that they must balance this with public concern about the damage caused by such offenders.194

108. There is a suggestion that there should be an upward progression of community disposals for offenders who are in breach. Bill Whyte told the Committee that there is a distinction between standard probation, probation with conditions and intensive supervision, but that these disposals are not set in any tariff order. If an offender breaches probation, the intensity of the supervision could be graduated through standard probation. He recommended that tariff points should be created to distinguish disposals such as standard probation, from probation with conditions, including unpaid work, and intensive supervision, allowing for at least a three stage "upgrade" in community disposal before custody is required.195

109. The Committee suggests that the advantages of the progressive use of community disposals should be outlined to sentencers, perhaps as part of judicial studies in addition to existing sentencing information provided to them, or by organisations which deliver community disposals.

PART 6: PUBLIC PERCEPTION OF COMMUNITY DISPOSALS

110. If we are to recommend the increased use of community disposals, it is imperative that there is public confidence in their use, particularly in relation to victims. The Commission for Racial Equality is concerned that community sentencing may be perceived by victims as a "soft punishment".196 Similarly, the SPF believes that "at a time when the fear of crime and criminals is now recognised as being at least as important as the reality, the public need to be reassured that we are not living in an environment which is soft on crime".197 Victim Support pointed out that victims' experiences are very close to public perceptions of the effectiveness of the rule of law.198

111. The Executive believes that "there is a key role for the media" and that "the punitive approach" taken by much of the media influences public opinion and supports a culture frequently opposed to the greater use of community sentences.199 The Consortium made the point that "what the public want is often not what is portrayed in the tabloid press".200

112. The research carried out for the Committee found that the general public know little about sentencing options available to the courts in Scotland.201 According to the SPF, even police officers are often ignorant of community disposals and the outcomes which they achieve.202 Similarly, ADSW believes that we need to ensure that the disposals are tough and that people are required to comply with them, "people will see and accept that". They believe that ultimately, people will be satisfied with the disposals that courts have available only when they see a reduction in offending in their community.203

113. There was support in evidence for the provision of information to the public on community disposals and their outcomes. ADSW suggested that "we do not advertise sufficiently the work that is done under community service" and that "people should be made aware of that work."204 They believe that there is a need for a high profile person to support community disposals and recognise that they are not a soft option.205 ASPS concurred that there is a requirement for a "sales exercise to publicise how effective the alternatives to custody are".206 Similarly, Bill Whyte recommended that there should be campaigns to help the public, victims and others understand the cost and harm of custody when compared to effective community responses.207

114. The civic participation event organised by the Committee demonstrated that once members of the public are aware of the circumstances of the offender, they begin to see that community disposals are much more effective than imprisonment. The outcomes of this event support the view that, with the right information, the public can support greater use of community sentences.208 It is therefore vital that the public is informed about community disposals and their outcome in order to increase public confidence in them. The Committee recommends that the Executive should initiate a public debate to inform the public (especially victims of crime) about all aspects of the criminal justice system, including sentencing, victim support, community disposals and their outcomes.

PART 7: CONCLUSIONS

Recommendations on resources

115. The majority of evidence received by the Committee demonstrated the requirement for more resources to be invested into community disposals in order to promote their greater use. The Committee has therefore grouped its recommendations on resources together as follows:

Community disposals

· Clearly, financial considerations are not relevant to sentencers when deciding on a disposal for an offender. However, as discussed in paragraph 50, the Committee notes that the promotion of community disposals as an alternative to short term prison sentences (where a longer sentence is clearly not appropriate) will lead to significant savings in the public purse, given that they are so much more cost effective than custody;

· The Committee believes that sheriffs should have confidence that community disposals available to the court can be delivered if they chose to impose them on offenders. The Committee therefore recommends that the Executive invests more resources into community disposals to ensure that there is adequate and consistent provision of programmes across Scotland;

· The Committee recommends that the Executive provide increased resources for restorative justice both in the context of diversion from prosecution and as part of programmes which support community disposals;

· The Committee recommends that the Executive should ensure that there is sufficient investment in bail schemes to address the number of people on remand in Scotland's prisons where bail would be appropriate;

· The Committee recommends that sufficient resources be made available for women offenders in order to avoid women being sentenced to prison due to a lack of alternative facilities.

Criminal justice social work

· Criminal justice social workers are key to the delivery of community disposals in terms of the production of social enquiry reports, bringing breach of community disposals to the attention of the courts and delivering and supervising the disposals. The Committee recommends that the Executive invests more resources into criminal justice social work. The Committee also believes that it is vital that existing and new resources are deployed effectively.

Effectiveness

· The Committee recommends that more resources should be deployed to ensure that all community sanctions are adequately evaluated and that the outcomes of these disposals are collated to present an overall picture of the effectiveness of community disposals in Scotland.

Conclusion

116. The Committee has established that Scotland has a wide range of community penalties available, but that the prison population continues to rise. It is also clear that community disposals are at least as effective as short term imprisonment. A range of recommendations has been made by the Committee to promote community disposals as alternatives to custody, including more resources for community disposals to ensure that they are effectively delivered and that breach is dealt with rigorously, more research on the effectiveness of community disposals in order to increase public confidence in them, and effective communication with sentencers about the availability, effectiveness and rigour of community disposals to improve judicial confidence in the sanctions. The Committee believes that it is vital that these recommendations are taken forward in the next Parliament.

JUSTICE 1 COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM MINUTES

4th Meeting, 2002 (Session 1)

Tuesday 5 February 2002

Present:

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

Donald Gorrie

Christine Grahame (Convener)

Gordon Jackson (Deputy Convener)

Maureen Macmillan

Paul Martin

Michael Matheson

 

Also present: Jim Wallace (Minister for Justice).

The meeting opened at 1.51pm.

Work programme (in private): The Committee considered its forward work programme. The Committee agreed not to consider the judiciary as part of its inquiry into the regulation of the legal profession but agreed that it may return to this issue in the future. The Committee agreed to hold an inquiry into alternatives to custody following the research commissioned by the Committee and the Committee's forthcoming civic participation event. The Committee agreed to consider the Prisons Estates Review and to write to the Minister for Justice to establish the timescale for the review. The Committee also agreed that it would like to visit HM Prisons Peterhead, Kilmarnock, Polmont and Cornton Vale and one other prison to be decided at a later date.

ANNEX A

JUSTICE 1 COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM MINUTES

8th Meeting, 2002 (Session 1)

Tuesday 5 March 2002

Present:

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

Donald Gorrie

Christine Grahame (Convener)

Gordon Jackson (Deputy Convener)

Maureen Macmillan

Paul Martin

Michael Matheson

 

Also present: Robin Harper and Jim Wallace (Minister for Justice).

The meeting opened at 1.45pm.

Appointment of an adviser: The Committee agreed to the appointment of an adviser for its inquiry into alternatives to custody.

JUSTICE 1 COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM MINUTES

9th Meeting, 2002 (Session 1)

Tuesday 12 March 2002

Present:

Donald Gorrie

Christine Grahame (Convener)

Gordon Jackson (Deputy Convener)

Maureen Macmillan

Michael Matheson

 

Apologies were received from Lord James Douglas-Hamilton and Paul Martin.

The meeting opened at 1.51pm.

Item in private: The Committee agreed to consider item 2 in private.

Alternatives to custody inquiry (in private): The Committee agreed to a specification and a choice of candidates for the post of adviser for the inquiry.

JUSTICE 1 COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM MINUTES

25th Meeting, 2002 (Session 1)

Tuesday 11 June 2002

Present:

Wendy Alexander

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

Donald Gorrie

Christine Grahame (Convener)

Paul Martin

Michael Matheson

Apologies were received from Maureen Macmillan (Deputy convener).

Also present: Brian Fitzpatrick and Stewart Stevenson.

The meeting opened at 1.49pm.

Items in private: The Committee agreed to discuss the remit of its inquiry into alternatives to custody in public and to discuss forward planning for the Title Conditions (Scotland) Bill and its draft report for the Prison Estates Review in private at future meetings.

JUSTICE 1 COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM MINUTES

27th Meeting, 2002 (Session 1)

Tuesday 25 June 2002

Present:

Wendy Alexander

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

Donald Gorrie

Christine Grahame (Convener)

Maureen Macmillan (Deputy convener)

Paul Martin

Michael Matheson

Also present: Professor Neil Hutton, Committee adviser on the alternatives to custody inquiry and Scott Wortley, Committee adviser on the Title Conditions (Scotland) Bill.

The meeting opened at 1.19pm.

Alternatives to Custody Inquiry: The Committee considered and agreed to its remit for the inquiry.

JUSTICE 1 COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM MINUTES

32nd Meeting, 2002 (Session 1)

Tuesday 1 October 2002

Present:

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

Donald Gorrie

Christine Grahame (Convener)

Maureen Macmillan (Deputy convener)

Paul Martin

Michael Matheson

Also present: Scott Wortley, Committee adviser on the Title Conditions (Scotland) Bill.

The meeting opened at 1:32pm.

Work programme: The Committee considered its forward work programme. The Committee agreed that it would not require a response from the Executive on its report on its inquiry into alternatives to custody. The Committee agreed that it would consider both the timescales for outstanding issues and any proposed changes by the Scottish Executive before it considered how to conclude its inquiry into legal aid.

JUSTICE 1 COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM MINUTES

34th Meeting, 2002 (Session 1)

Tuesday 8 October 2002

Present:

Wendy Alexander

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

Donald Gorrie

Christine Grahame (Convener)

Maureen Macmillan (Deputy convener)

Michael Matheson

Apologies were received from Paul Martin.

Also present: Professor Neil Hutton, Committee adviser for the alternatives to custody inquiry and Professor Mary Seneviratne, Committee adviser for the regulation of the legal profession inquiry.

The meeting opened at 1:35pm.

Items in private: The Committee agreed to discuss items 2, 5, 6, 7 and 8 in private. The Committee also agreed to discuss its draft reports for its regulation of the legal profession inquiry, the Protection of Children (Scotland) Bill and the Title Conditions (Scotland) Bill in private at future meetings.

Alternatives to custody inquiry (in private): The Committee considered its approach to the inquiry. The Committee agreed the remit for the inquiry, to a list of witnesses for oral evidence, to fact-finding visits and to an external formal meeting.

JUSTICE 1 COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM MINUTES

38th Meeting, 2002 (Session 1)

Tuesday 12 November 2002

Present:

Wendy Alexander

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

Donald Gorrie

Christine Grahame (Convener)

Maureen Macmillan (Deputy convener)

Paul Martin

Apologies were received from Michael Matheson.

The meeting opened at 1:38pm.

Items in private: The Committee agreed to discuss agenda items 4 and 5 in private. The Committee also agreed to discuss questions for witnesses for the Council of the Law Society of Scotland Bill in private at its next meeting.

Inquiry into alternatives to custody (in private): The Committee discussed lines of questioning for the witnesses.

Inquiry into alternatives to custody: The Committee took evidence from-

Jackie Tombs, Director, Scottish Consortium on Crime and Criminal Justice, Dr Bruce Ritson, President, Howard League for Penal Reform in Scotland, Sue Matheson, Chief Executive, Safeguarding Communities and Reducing Offending in Scotland (SACRO) and Maggie Mellon, Head of Policy, NCH Scotland, Scottish Consortium on Crime and Criminal Justice and

Robert MacKay, Representative of the Executive Board, Restorative Justice Consortium.

JUSTICE 1 COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM MINUTES

39th Meeting, 2002 (Session 1)

Tuesday 19 November 2002

Present:

Wendy Alexander

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

Donald Gorrie

Christine Grahame (Convener)

Maureen Macmillan (Deputy convener)

Paul Martin

Michael Matheson

 

The meeting opened at 2.04pm.

Items in private: The Committee agreed to discuss agenda item 5 in private. The Committee also agreed to discuss questions for witnesses for its inquiry into alternatives to custody and the Prostitution Tolerance Zones (Scotland) Bill in private at its next meeting.

JUSTICE 1 COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM MINUTES

40th Meeting, 2002 (Session 1)

Tuesday 26 November 2002

Present:

Wendy Alexander

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

Donald Gorrie

Christine Grahame (Convener)

Maureen Macmillan (Deputy convener)

Paul Martin

Michael Matheson

 

Also present: Professor Neil Hutton, Committee adviser on inquiry into alternatives to custody and Margo MacDonald MSP.

The meeting opened at 1.35pm.

Inquiry into alternatives to custody (in private): The Committee discussed lines of questioning for the witnesses.

Inquiry into alternatives to custody: The Committee considered a paper from the adviser on community sanctions in Europe. The Committee agreed to obtain more detailed evidence on alternatives to custody in Europe and in principle to an overseas visit based on the evidence received.

Inquiry into alternatives to custody: The Committee took evidence from-

Colin Mackenzie, Convener and Chris Hawkes, Member, Criminal Justice Standing Committee, Association of Directors of Social Work (ADSW), and

Colin Quinn.

JUSTICE 1 COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM MINUTES

1st Meeting, 2003 (Session 1)

Tuesday 14 January 2003

Present:

Wendy Alexander

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

Donald Gorrie

Christine Grahame (Convener)

Maureen Macmillan (Deputy convener)

Paul Martin

Michael Matheson

 

Also present: Kenneth Macintosh and Jim Wallace, Minister for Justice.

The meeting opened at 1.32pm.

Items in private: The Committee agreed to discuss agenda items 2, 7 and 8 in private. The Committee also agreed to discuss questions for witnesses for its inquiry into alternatives to custody in private at future meetings.

Inquiry into alternatives to custody (in private): The Committee discussed lines of questioning for witnesses.

Inquiry into alternatives to custody: The Committee took evidence from-

Professor Gill McIvor, Director, Social Work Research Centre, University of Stirling, Fergus McNeill, Lecturer in Social Work, University of Glasgow and Bill Whyte, Director, Criminal Justice Social Work Development Centre for Scotland, University of Edinburgh.

JUSTICE 1 COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM MINUTES

2nd Meeting, 2003 (Session 1)

Monday 27 January 2003

Present:

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

Donald Gorrie

Christine Grahame (Convener)

Maureen Macmillan (Deputy convener)

Apologies were received from Wendy Alexander, Paul Martin and Michael Matheson.

The meeting opened at 1.33pm.

Inquiry into alternatives to custody (in private): The Committee discussed lines of questioning for the witnesses.

Inquiry into alternatives to custody: The Committee took evidence from-

Harriet Dempster, Director of Social Work, Bill Alexander, Deputy Director of Social Work, Highland Council and James Maybee, Principal Officer, Criminal Justice Services,

Mark Cambridge, Project Worker, NCH Scotland and Peter Flanagan, Project Leader of New Directions, Barnardo's Scotland,

Gerard McEneany, Service Manager, Apex Scotland and

Greg Barton, Manager, Venture Trust, Applecross.

JUSTICE 1 COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM MINUTES

3rd Meeting, 2003 (Session 1)

Tuesday 4 February 2003

Present:

Wendy Alexander

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

Christine Grahame (Convener)

Maureen Macmillan (Deputy convener)

Paul Martin

Michael Matheson

The meeting opened at 1.32pm.

Inquiry into alternatives to custody (in private): The Committee agreed lines of questioning for the witnesses.

Inquiry into alternatives to custody: The Committee took evidence from-

David Strang, Chair, ACPOS General Policing Standing Committee, ACPOS (Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland), Douglas Keil, General Secretary, SPF (Scottish Police Federation), and Allan Shanks, President, ASPS (Association of Scottish Police Superintendents).

Convener's report: The Committee considered the Convener's report. Committee members reported on fact-finding visits undertaken in the context of the Committee's inquiry into alternatives to custody to Reliance Monitoring Services in East Kilbride, HMP and YOI Cornton Vale, Glasgow Drug Court and Freagarrach Persistent Young Offenders Project in Polmont.

JUSTICE 1 COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM MINUTES

4th Meeting, 2003 (Session 1)

Tuesday 18 February 2003

Present:

Wendy Alexander

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

Donald Gorrie

Christine Grahame (Convener)

Maureen Macmillan (Deputy convener)

Paul Martin

Michael Matheson

 

Also present: Hugh Henry MSP, Deputy Minister for Justice, Professor Neil Hutton, adviser for the Committee's inquiry into alternatives to custody and David McLetchie MSP.

The meeting opened at 1.50pm.

Inquiry into alternatives to custody (in private): The Committee agreed on lines of questioning for the witnesses.

Inquiry into alternatives to custody: The Committee took evidence from-

Sheriff Richard Scott, President, Sheriff Brian A Lockhart, Vice President and Sheriff Hugh Matthews QC, Honorary Secretary, Sheriffs' Association.

JUSTICE 1 COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM MINUTES

5th Meeting, 2003 (Session 1)

Tuesday 25 February 2003

Present:

Wendy Alexander

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

Donald Gorrie

Christine Grahame (Convener)

Maureen Macmillan (Deputy convener)

Paul Martin

Michael Matheson

 

Also present: Gil Paterson MSP.

The meeting opened at 1.46pm.

Inquiry into alternatives to custody (in private): The Committee agreed lines of questioning for the witness.

Inquiry into alternatives to custody: The Committee took evidence from-

Jim Wallace MSP, Minister for Justice.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton declared an interest.

JUSTICE 1 COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM MINUTES

6th Meeting, 2003 (Session 1)

Tuesday 4 March 2003

Present:

Wendy Alexander

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

Donald Gorrie

Christine Grahame (Convener)

Maureen Macmillan (Deputy convener)

Paul Martin

Apologies were received from Michael Matheson.

Also present: Profesor Neil Hutton, adviser for the Committee's inquiry into alternatives to custody.

The meeting opened at 2.03pm.

Inquiry into alternatives to custody (in private): The Committee considered a draft report. The Committee agreed to consider a second draft of the report at its next meeting.

JUSTICE 1 COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM MINUTES

7th Meeting, 2003 (Session 1)

Tuesday 18 March 2003

Present:

Wendy Alexander

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

Donald Gorrie

Christine Grahame (Convener)

Maureen Macmillan (Deputy convener)

Paul Martin

Michael Matheson

 

The meeting opened at 1.33pm.

Inquiry into alternatives to custody (in private): The Committee agreed to a draft report with amendments.


FOOTNOTES

1 Minister for Justice, oral evidence, col 4651

2 Scottish Executive, written evidence, Annex B

3 Scottish Executive, written evidence, Annex B

4 Scottish Executive, written evidence, Annex B

5 Dealing with offending by young people, Audit Scotland, p15, para 31

6 SACRO, written evidence, Annex C

7 SACRO, written evidence, Annex C

8 Bill Whyte, written evidence, Annex B

9 Scottish Executive, written evidence, Annex B

10 The Consortium, oral evidence, col 4191

11 Scottish Executive, written evidence, Annex B

12 Sheriffs' Association, oral evidence, col 4618

13 Professor McIvor, written evidence, Annex B

14 Fergus McNeill, oral evidence, col 4434

15 Sheriffs' Association, oral evidence, cols 4206/7

16 Civic Participation event on issues of sentencing and alternatives to imprisonment, Inter-ed Ltd., Commissioned by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre for the Justice 1 Committee.

17 Public Attitudes Towards Sentencing and Attitudes To Imprisonment, NFO System 3 Social Research, published by Justice 1 Committee on 11 March 2002

18 Civic Participation Event On Issues Of Sentencing And Alternatives To Imprisonment, Inter-Ed Ltd., commissioned by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre for the Justice 1 Committee, published by Justice 1 Committee on 23 July 2002

19 Prison Estates Review Consultation, p10, para 13

20 Prison Estates Review Consultation, p16, para 29

21 Scottish Executive, written evidence, p13

22 Prison Estates Review Report, paras 13-21

23 Prison Estates Review, App F, para 30

24 Scottish Executive, written evidence, Annex B

25 The Consortium, oral evidence, col 4193

26 Public Attitudes Towards Sentencing and Attitudes To Imprisonment, NFO System 3 Social Research, Executive Summary, para 2

27 Scottish Executive, written evidence, Annex B

28 Bill Whyte, written evidence, Annex B

29 Sheriffs' Association, oral evidence, col 4626

30 Justice 1 Committee report on the Prison Estates Review, p17, paras 22-23

31 Fergus McNeill, written evidence, Annex B

32 Scottish Executive, written evidence, Annex B

33 Fergus McNeill, oral evidence, col 4445

34 Bill Whyte, written evidence, Annex B

35 The Consortium, oral evidence, cols 4210

36 SACRO, written evidence, Annex B

37 Bill Whyte, written evidence, Annex B

38 Minister for Justice, Prisons Statement, 5 September 2002, col 13374

39 The Consortium, oral evidence, cols 4210/11

40 NCH Scotland, written evidence, Annex C

41 SACRO, written evidence, Annex C

42 The Consortium, oral evidence, col 4211

43 Sheriffs' Association, oral evidence, col 4619

44 Bill Whyte, written evidence, Annex B

45 Dr Loucks, oral evidence, col 4330/1

46 Scottish Women's Aid, written evidence, Annex C

47 Clive Fairweather, oral evidence to the Justice and Home Affairs Committee, 14 September 1999, col 115

48 HMCIP Annual Report for 2001/02, p15

49 A Better Way: The Report of the Ministerial Group on Women's Offending

50 The Consortium, oral evidence, col 4202

51 Visit by Justice 1 Committee members to HMP and YOI Cornton Vale, Note by the Clerk, para 5, Annex D

52 Dr Loucks, oral evidence, cols 4331/2

53 Minister for Justice, oral evidence, col 4651

54 Minister for Justice, oral evidence, col 4651

55 Justice Committees report to the Finance Committee on Stage 1 on the budget process 2003/04, para 11

56 Scottish Executive, response to the Justice Committees' Stage 1 report on the budget process, August 2002

57 Scottish Executive, written evidence, Annex B

58 Scottish Executive, written evidence, Annex B

59 Scottish Executive, written evidence, Annex B

60 Prof McIvor, oral evidence, cols 4429 and 4432

61 Scottish Executive, written evidence, Annex B

62 ADSW, oral evidence, cols 4280

63 Scottish Executive, written evidence, Annex B

64 ACPOS, written evidence, Annex B

65 Scottish Executive, written evidence, Annex B

66 The Consortium, oral evidence, col 4207

67 ACPOS, written evidence, Annex B

68 Scottish Executive, written evidence, Annex B

69 Scottish Executive, written evidence, Annex B

70 ASPS, written evidence, Annex B

71 Dealing with offending by young people, Audit Scotland, p15, para 31

72 Highland Council, oral evidence, col 4492

73 ACPOS, oral evidence, col 4573

74 Restorative Justice Consortium, oral evidence, cols 4217/8

75 The Consortium, oral evidence, col 4205

76 ASPS, oral evidence, cols 4550/1

77 Civic participation event on issues of sentencing and alternatives to imprisonment, Inter-ed Ltd, Commissioned by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre for the Justice 1 Committee, p2, para 13

78 Victim Support, written evidence, Annex C

79 The Consortium, oral evidence, col 4216

80 BASW, written evidence, Annex C

81 Professor McIvor, oral evidence, col 4432

82 Professor McIvor, oral evidence, col 4441

83 Bill Whyte, written evidence, Annex B

84 Justice 1 Committee visit to Freagarrach, note by the Clerk, Annex D

85 NCH Scotland, written evidence, Annex C

86 ADSW, written evidence, Annex B

87 Scottish Executive, written evidence, Annex B, Minister for Justice, oral evidence, col 4643

88 SACRO, written evidence, Annex B

89 The Consortium, oral evidence, col 4190

90 SACRO, written evidence, Annex C

91 SACRO, written evidence, Annex C

92 Bill Whyte, written evidence, Annex B

93 Scottish Executive, written evidence, Annex B

94 The Consortium, oral evidence, col 4191

95 Scottish Executive, written evidence, Annex B

96 ADSW, written evidence, Annex B

97 The Consortium, oral evidence, col 4190

98 Association of Visiting Committees for Scottish Penal Establishments, written evidence, p1

99 Professor McIvor, oral evidence, col 4438

100 BASW, written evidence, Annex C

101 Scottish Executive, written evidence, Annex B

102 Minister for Justice, oral evidence, col 4634

103 Scottish Executive, written evidence, Annex B

104 Minister for Justice, oral evidence, col 4634-5

105 ADSW, oral evidence, col 4269/70

106 Sheriffs' Association, oral evidence, col 4602

107 ADSW, supplementary written evidence, Annex B

108 Fergus McNeill, oral evidence, col 4445

109 Tayside Criminal Justice Grouping, written evidence, Annex C

110 Prof McIvor, Fergus McNeill, Bill Whyte, supplementary written evidence, Annex B

111 BASW, written evidence, Annex C

112 ADSW, supplementary written evidence, Annex B

113 Minister for Justice, oral evidence, col 4642; Scottish Executive news release, SEED178/2003

114 Scottish Executive news release, SEED118/2002

115 Scottish Executive, written evidence, Annex B

116 Sheriffs' Association, written evidence, Annex B

117 Sheriffs' Association, oral evidence, col 4630

118 NCH Scotland, written evidence, Annex C

119 SACRO, written evidence, Annex C

120 Scottish Executive, written evidence, Annex B

121 The Consortium, oral evidence, col 4206

122 Sheriffs' Association, oral evidence, col 4603

123 Sheriffs' Association, written evidence, Annex B

124 Highland Council, oral evidence, cols 4482/6

125 NCH Scotland, oral evidence, col 4518

126 Highland Council, oral evidence, cols 4485/7

127 NCH Scotland and Barnardo's Scotland, col 4517

128 Highland Council, oral evidence, col 4488

129 APEX Scotland, oral evidence, col 4530

130 Highland Council, oral evidence, col 4490

131 Minister for Justice, oral evidence, col 4640

132 Prof McIvor, written evidence, Annex B

133 Sheriffs' Association, oral evidence, col 4617

134 Minister for Justice, oral evidence, col 4636 - 4637

135 Sheriffs' Association, oral evidence, col 4617

136 The Consortium, oral evidence, cols 4191-2

137 ACPOS, oral evidence, cols 4548-9

138 Minister for Justice, oral evidence, col 4637

139 Sheriffs' Association, oral evidence, col 4618

140 Scottish Executive, written evidence, Annex B

141 Professor McIvor, written evidence, Annex B

142 Bill Whyte, oral evidence, col 4435

143 ADSW, written evidence, Annex B

144 Prof McIvor, written evidence, Annex B

145 Minister for Justice, oral evidence, col 4644

146 Scottish Executive, written evidence, Annex B; ADSW, oral evidence, cols 4276/7; Professor McIvor, oral evidence col 4427

147 Professor McIvor, written evidence, Annex B

148 Professor McIvor, oral evidence, col 4428

149 The Consortium, oral evidence, cols 4194

150 Bill Whyte, oral evidence, col 4428

151 SACRO, written evidence, Annex C

152 Bill Whyte, oral evidence, col 4430

153 ADSW, oral evidence, col 4273/4

154 ASPS, oral evidence, col 4557

155 Scottish Executive, written evidence, Annex B

156 Alec Spencer, SPS, oral evidence, col 3627

157 The Consortium, oral evidence, col 4215

158 BASW, written evidence, Annex C

159 Scottish Executive, written evidence, p12

160 Bill Whyte, written evidence, Annex B

161 Professor McIvor, written evidence, Annex B

162 The Consortium, oral evidence, col 4190

163 SACRO, written evidence, Annex C

164 Professor McIvor, oral evidence, col 4431

165 Sheriffs' Association, oral evidence, cols 4606/7

166 Minister for Justice, oral evidence, col 4652

167 Scottish Executive, written evidence, Annex B

168 ADSW, oral evidence, col 4272

169 Professor McIvor, Bill Whyte and Fergus McNeill, supplementary written evidence, Annex B

170 Professor McIvor, Bill Whyte and Fergus McNeill, supplementary written evidence, Annex B

171 Professor McIvor, Bill Whyte and Fergus McNeill, supplementary written evidence, Annex B

172 Dr Loucks, oral evidence, col 4334

173 Professor McIvor, written evidence, Annex B

174 Fergus McNeill, oral evidence, col 4434

175 ADSW, oral evidence, col 4273

176 Sheriffs' Association, oral evidence, col 4607

177 Sheriffs' Association, oral evidence, cols 4610/12

178 The Consortium, oral evidence, col 4206

179 Sheriffs' Association, oral evidence, col 4611

180 Professor McIvor, oral evidence, col 4438

181 SACRO, written evidence, Annex C

182 The Consortium, oral evidence, col 4211

183 Fergus McNeill, written evidence, p Annex B

184 Bill Whyte, written evidence, Annex B

185 SACRO, written evidence, Annex C

186 The Consortium, oral evidence, col 4203

187 Fergus McNeill, oral evidence, col 4437

188 Sheriffs' Association, oral evidence, cols 4624

189 Scottish Executive, written evidence, Annex B

190 The Consortium, oral evidence, col 4196

191 SACRO, written evidence, Annex C

192 Sheriffs' Association, written evidence, Annex B

193 Bill Whyte, written evidence, Annex B

194 Sheriffs' Association, oral evidence, col 4619

195 Bill Whyte, oral evidence, col 4437 and written evidence, Annex B

196 Commission for Racial Equality, written evidence, Annex C

197 Scottish Police Federation, written evidence, Annex B

198 Victim Support, written evidence, Annex C

199 Scottish Executive, written evidence, Annex B

200 The Consortium, oral evidence, col 4200

201 Public attitudes towards sentencing and alternatives to imprisonment, Simon Anderson and Dave Ingram, NFO System Three Social Research, Professor Neil Hutton, University of Strathclyde, Commissioned by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre for the Justice 1 Committee, Executive summary, piii.

202 SPF, oral evidence, cols 4549/4550

203 ADSW, oral evidence, col 4281

204 ADSW, oral evidence, col 4283

205 ADSW, oral evidence, col 4263

206 ASPS, oral evidence, cols 4574-5

207 Bill Whyte, written evidence, Annex B

208 Civic Participation event on issues of sentencing and alternatives to imprisonment, Inter-ed Ltd., Commissioned by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre for the Justice 1 Committee.

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