Statement in response to a media enquiry on the use of remand (November 2015):
The number of people held on remand in Scottish prisons has risen by 65% since 2000. Remand prisoners constitute a fifth of Scotland’s prison population and Scotland’s remand imprisonment rate is the highest of all three UK jurisdictions. This should give us cause for concern. We should be limiting our use of prison for those on remand. After all, our justice system is premised on a presumption of innocence. We would like to see greater use of alternatives to remand, such as supervised bail. Alarmingly, just eight people were placed on supervised bail in the whole of Glasgow in the year 2013/14. Even a short period of remand can have ruinous consequences on people’s lives, which is why we should seek to use it sparingly.