Prisons dealing with crisis on crisis

Commenting on reports that almost a quarter of Scottish Prison Service staff are currently absent from work, Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP said:

"There is no escaping the fact that Scotland's overcrowded prisons were in crisis before this pandemic hit. Now the difficulty of social distancing in prisons that are well over capacity and a lack of PPE is putting both staff and inmates at increased risk of infection.

"The Scottish Government has acquired the power to release people from prison early, but people will be back in there before this health emergency is over unless ministers also immediately work up a better package to avoid re-offending.

"The Justice Secretary should also follow the UK Ministry of Justice and lay out on a daily basis the number of prisoners and staff in isolation and the number testing positive. There needs to be full transparency."

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