Responding to the new report from the Auditor General confirming that Scotland’s prisons are overcrowded, violence is rising and financial pressures are compromising efforts to support and prepare prisoners for life outside prison, Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP said:
“Nothing in this report comes as a surprise. The SNP were warned that prisons were on the brink for years. Liberal Democrats found evidence of spiralling self-harm, attacks on officers and cuts to prison budgets.
“Even a series of devastating incidents such as the deaths of Katie Allan and William Lindsay have not prompted the Justice Secretary to take radical action.
“This report shows that there is now a real risk of the disintegration of our prison system. Barlinnie is teetering on the brink.
“In the face of this crisis Scottish Liberal Democrats have submitted bold proposals designed to boost rehabilitation and make community sentences more robust. Justice can be tough without being fundamentally unsafe.”