Scotland's Prison Population 1998-2013

It is hard to recall a time when Scotland's prison population wasn't rising, and since 1998 the population has increased by 33%. Our per capita imprisonment rates far outstrips other small countries with similar populations in Europe. These figures highlight the inescapable reality that is Scottish prison excess and prison expansion.

Follow the link to check-out our prison population inforgraphic:

Scottish Sentences

Some interesting top line stats in most recent Safer Communities and Justice Brief: Avg sentence in 2012/13 was just over 9mnths, which is almost 2mnths longer than in 2006/07. Use of social work orders has increased slightly, but that is following 2 years of decreased use

See more here:

HLS Event in the News

Lorna Holmes of Includem delivered a thoughtful and detailed presentation on Inclusion Plus for HLS recently. This potentially life changing initiative in Dundee involves specialist services which are working alongside schools to help disadvantaged and disaffected young people reduce exclusion, raise aspirations, improve family relationships and ultimately improve life chances by working towards a better future. The talk was covered in The Herald the following day and has also received further press coverage in Hollyrood magazine.

Read more here:
Inclusion scheme aiming to keep youngsters in school:
Going Back to School:

Scottish Prisons in the News

64% of women in Cornton Vale are currently on suicide watch, according to The Herald today. Prison continues to an unsuitable setting for the vast majority of women offenders, whose crimes tend to be petty in nature, rather than violent. Further, we know that women experience prison differently to men, many women prisoners have themselves been victims of repeated forms of sexual and physical violence and suffer from high rates of mental illness. Prison regimes, however, are designed based around the needs and patterns of behaviour shown by male prisoners. The Howard League Scotland continues to call for change to how we treat convicted women, we need to move from a punishment model to a restorative one, which can tackle the complex needs exhibit by women prisoners and, crucially, reduce re-offending.

Read more here:
'Two in three women in Scots prison are on suicide watch':
The Angiolini Commission:

Recruiting ex-offenders - James Timpson Lecture

James Timpson lecture

The Howard League Scotland was delighted to welcome James Timpson of his eponymous family business Timpsons, to speak about why he is such a passionate advocate of employing people with a criminal conviction. What followed was a riveting talk with one major point, hiring people is fundamentally about personality, not about the past. He has been willing to give people a chance, with the results that he has developed a strong ethos of work and comaraderie among the Timpson staff, and, moreover, created a thriving business. 

Here is a round-up of some of the facts and figures which highlights that is a beneficial programme for both employee and employer:

  • 10% of workforce recruited direct from prisons
  • Recruits from a third of the prison population 
  • 13 shops run by those released on temporary licence
  • Retention rate of 80% after 12 months for those recruited from prison (same as retention rate for employees recruited from general population)
  • Retention rate of 92% after 12 months for those on the Release On Temporary Licence (ROTL) scheme
  • Retention rate highest among female ex-prisoners


Read More