An Audit Scotland report published today notes that the Scottish Government has yet to achieve its objective of ensuring that people convicted of criminal offences increasingly receive community-based sentences instead of going to prison, despite legislation being in place since 2016.
Responding to the report, Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP said:
"Reform of community justice has been shamefully slow.
"We talk about being a progressive country, but Scottish prisons are some of the most overcrowded in Europe. While it will always be necessary to lock up more serious criminals, we know that in many cases community sentences are more effective at reducing reoffending. This report shows that the Scottish Government are failing to make progress with those options.
“Making communities safer isn't as simple as locking people up and throwing away the key. That kind of short-sighted thinking just stores up problems for the future.
"Scottish Liberal Democrats are committed to delivering robust community sentences as part of a progressive and effective justice system. The Scottish Government need to show the same.”