Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP has today called out “clear failures” in rehabilitation policy, as statistics published today by the Scottish Government show the reconviction rate has increased to 3 in 10.
This increase is evidenced across all male age groups, almost all female age groups, and for nearly all categories of crime. The increase to reconviction rates follows several years of decreases.
Those released from custodial sentence in 2018-19 had one of the highest reconviction rates and average number of reconvictions.
Commenting, Liam McArthur said:
“These statistics show clear failures in the SNP’s attempts to make communities safer by reducing reoffending. They are the inevitable consequence of years of short-sighted thinking and under-resourcing.
“Ministers preach progressiveness, but practiced a ‘lock ‘em up’ mentality. Prisons have been bursting at the seams for years, and Scotland has one of the highest rates in Europe. Around a quarter of people being held haven’t even been convicted of a crime yet.
“Routes to rehabilitation barely exist. Throughcare was cancelled, and cells built by the Victorians for one person are seen as fit for two by the Scottish Prison Service. Experts say human rights are being breached.
“In the end, that means future crimes are more likely and people are less safe.
“SNP ministers want to extend the pandemic power for executive release, because they have no other answers. That is not a sign of a government that’s coping.”