Responding to the news that the number of community payback orders issued fell by 1,500 (8%) last year, Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP commented:
“For years we have heard the Scottish Government talk about maximising the use of community sentences, but these new figures show that their use has dropped for the third year in a row.
“Meanwhile, the prison population has spiralled to dangerous levels. The Council of Europe has called it an ‘emergency’ and last week the Scottish Human Rights Commission deemed it necessary to inform the UN.
“The Scottish Government must now relieve this pressure and make the new presumption against ineffective short-term sentences work by properly resourcing community-based sentencing options. The evidence shows that community sentences are better than prison at reducing the chance of these people reoffending, meaning communities are safer.”