Pregnant offenders get push from jail
Too many pregnant women are serving “destructive” shortterm jail sentences, an MSP claims.
Figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats show that in the last five years, 104 expectant mums have been handed custodial sentences.
Of these, 37 got less than 12 months and 31 gave birth while behind bars.
Liberal Democrat justice spokesman Liam McArthur, urged the Scottish Government to press ahead with plans to replace jail terms of less than a year with community service for for mums-to-be.
He said: “The fact 37 expectant mothers have been given destructive short- term sentences in recent years should have alarm bells ringing.
“All the evidence shows short-term sentences are less effective than robust community-based disposals.
“Rates of reoffending amongst those who have served short stints in prison are sky high.”
The Scottish Government said: “Reducing ineffective short-term imprisonment is part of our smarter approach to tackling offending. We have announced plans to extend the presumption against short custodial sentences from three months to 12 months or less.”
CALL Liam McArthur