More crim­i­nals face tag­ging in­stead of prison

Paisley Daily Express - - Front Page -

More crim­i­nals will be tagged by the court in Pais­ley than banged up in prison, un­der new pun­ish­ment re­forms.

Jus­tice bosses want to en­cour­age more com­mu­nity sen­tences in pref­er­ence of short stretches in jail.

Michael Mathe­son, cab­i­net sec­re­tary for jus­tice, said shift­ing the fo­cus to re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion to pun­ish­ment is a bet­ter way to tackle re-of­fend­ing.

Mr Mathe­son said: “There will al­ways be cases where the court rightly takes the view that a prison sen­tence is ab­so­lutely jus­ti­fied, but for those who do end up in cus­tody, we must think be­yond bricks and mor­tar.

“A just, eq­ui­table and in­clu­sive so­ci­ety is one that is sup­ported by a pro­gres­sive ev­i­dence- based jus­tice sys­tem; a sys­tem which works with com­mu­ni­ties to re­duce – and ul­ti­mately pre­vent – fur­ther of­fend­ing. A sys­tem which holds in­di­vid­u­als to ac­count for their of­fend­ing, but ul­ti­mately sup­ports them to make pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tions to our com­mu­ni­ties.

“Elec­tronic mon­i­tor­ing is al­ready an im­por­tant tool in the de­liv­ery of jus­tice. It car­ries a puni­tive el­e­ment and of­fers a range of op­tions to im­prove pub­lic pro­tec­tion, while al­low­ing an in­di­vid­ual to main­tain their em­ploy­ment and fam­ily links.

“Over the past decade this Govern­ment has taken steps to end our re­liance on cus­tody.”

The Jus­tice Sec­re­tary re­cently cited ev­i­dence at Holy­rood that over half those re­leased from a prison sen­tence of 12 months or less – with lit­tle scope for ef­fec­tive re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion – are re­con­victed within a year, com­pared to a third of those who had served a com­mu­nity sen­tence.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.