Prisoners cannot wait: acting now will save lives

  Yesterday, the Scottish Government has released a Covid-19 related Bill. Amongst other issues, the Bill set out (inSchedule 4, Part 9, subsection 4) provisional rules on the early release of prisoners in Scotland and was debated in Parliament yesterday. Within the Bill it stated that Ministers should be able to sanction the early release [...]

SPARC statement on COVID 19 – Friday 27 March 2020

SPARC is deeply troubled about the lack of speed and clarity about the response to Covid 19 in Scottish prisons. While the pandemic is evolving rapidly, we remain concerned that the response from the SPS and Scottish Government has not. There appears to have been little meaningful progress since our statement of Tuesday 17th March, [...]

Too late, too vague – where is the detailed transparent COVID-19 plan for Scottish prisons? A disaster waiting to happen

Yesterday it was confirmed that two people in prison at HMP Kilmarnock were in self-isolation with the first suspected cases of Coronavirus in prisons in Scotland. Meanwhile, down south a prison officer at HMP High Down was diagnosed with the virus. This is terrifying for those who are trapped inside and for their families and [...]

IWD 2020 What about the women in prison?

In light of International Women’s Day (IWD), on 8 March, we are prompted to think about women everywhere, including in prison. IWD started as a radical struggle by women to recognise their status as equal human beings, protected by and entitled to the same rights as men. Is this being achieved for women in prison? [...]

SPARC response to consultation on whole life custody bill

A member of the Scottish Parliament, unable to gain any support from colleagues outside his party, has launched as an individual member a consultation for a Proposed Whole Life Custody Bill (Scotland): https://www.parliament.scot/gettinginvolved/111685.aspx Along with numerous other groups, we have submitted a response to the consultation strongly opposing this senseless, cynical attempt. A summary of [...]