- People should be sent to prison as punishment, not for punishment.
- Human rights obligations should apply equally to prisoners and non-prisoners.
- Scotland has one of the highest rates of imprisonment in Western Europe and this should be significantly reduced.
- There are four dimensions of this problem: over-long sentences; imprisonment for offences that should not be imprisonable; imprisonment of offenders who should not be in prison (e.g. the seriously mentally ill - see below); the over-use of pre-trial detention (see below).
- Prison should be reserved for those from whom the public requires to be protected. It should not be used as a place to house those whose behaviour - for whatever reason - has not been adequately managed in the community.
- Prison is not a place for offenders who are seriously mentally unwell. These people should be accommodated in secure mental health settings, not prisons.