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Expert Review of Mental Health Support For Young People Entering And In Custody At HMP&YOI Polmont - Final Progress Update

On 24 March 2021, the final progress update on the Expert Review of Mental Health Support For Young People Entering And In Custody At HMP&YOI Polmont was published. None of the recommendations have been fully implemented, which has raised some concern, whilst HMIPS believes that significant progress has been made in 25 of the 80 recommendations e.g. standardised mental health screening processes; Talk To Me (TTM) transitional care plans; halt to routine body scanning etc. It has been noted that SPS has taken the decision itself not to publish further updates. 

Extended Presumption Against Short Sentences Monitoring Information: January – December 2020

On 23 March 2021, the Scottish Government published a report on ‘Extended Presumption Against Short Sentences Monitoring Information: January – December 2020’. It contained some interesting geographic disparities in sentencing that suggest that some of the judiciary are more willing to ignore or bypass PASS than others.

Scottish Crime & Justice Survey 2019-20

On 16 March 2021, the Scottish Crime & Justice Survey 2019-20 was published which showed a 46% fall in crime since 2008-9. It highlighted continuing inequality where falls in crime and improved perceptions of safety have not been equally felt; and where 1 in every 100 adults was a victim of repeated incidents of violence, with their experiences accounting for almost two thirds of the total of violent crime in 2019-20.

Criminal Justice Social Work Statistics: 2019 -20

On 8 March 2021, Criminal Justice Social Work Statistics: 2019 -20 were published. The figures only cover up to 31 March 2020, therefore are only very minimally affected by the pandemic. it highlights a number of interesting points, compared to the previous year: the number of diversion from prosecution cases commenced rose by 8%; the number of bail supervision cases commenced rose by 40%; a 69% successful completion rate for community payback orders (77% for those aged over 40 and 66% for those aged 40 or under); the number of Drug Testing and Treatment Orders (DTTOs) decreased by 15% which is the second lowest level of the last seven years.

HMIPS Liaison Visit to HMP/YOI Grampian

On 4 March 2021, HMIPS published their report on a Liaison Visit on 4 and 5 November 2020 to HMP/YOI Grampian, which advised that “the backlog in prisoners awaiting offender behaviour programmes is a serious concern; we urge the SPS HQ to address this as quickly as possible and continue to ramp up opportunities for progression across the prison estate”. Since then, a Liaison Visit to HMP Glenochil has highlighted the same concern: “The SPS and HMP Glenochil similarly need to develop a coherent plan to maximise availability and delivery of offender management programmes and address the assessment and programme backlog”. This a recurring theme which we highlighted in our recent letter to the Justice Committee. 

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