Responding to the publication of a study into the experience of older people in prison, conducted by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate for Prisons for Scotland (HMIPS), Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP said:
“With the number of over 60s in prison increasing by a fifth last year alone, a new strategy is certainly needed to cope with the complexities that come with an ageing prison population. Changes will need to be made to the prison estate, training and procedures as staff contend with more and more people in their sixties, seventies and eighties.
“The challenge of dealing with more older prisoners also adds weight to the need for a culture shift across our justice system. For example, we need a new presumption against ineffective sentences of less than 12 months. Giving more people robust community sentences instead would allow staff greater time to deal with those older people for whom prison is the only option.”