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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-05429: Claire Baker (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 8 December 2016

To ask the Scottish Government how much it is providing to develop bail supervision as an alternative to remand.

Answered by: Michael Matheson 14 December 2016

The Scottish Government’s commitment to reducing reoffending includes an emphasis on reducing the use of short-term imprisonment, both in sentencing and remand.

This includes exploring the use of Bail Supervision as a direct alternative to remand.

The Scottish Government provides an annual funding allocation to local authorities for the delivery of Criminal Justice Social Work (CJSW) services and programmes to reduce reoffending. It is for each local area to allocate this funding in order to deliver statutory CJSW services and respond to local priorities. Under this funding formula, an indicative amount is provided for Bail Information and Bail Supervision services. It is for local authorities to determine how much they allocate to bail supervision, depending on local needs and priorities, and they can also vire funding between lines if needed.

In addition to this central allocation, a further £860k (2015-16) and £1.5 million (2016-17) has been distributed equally amongst the eight Community Justice Authorities, to support increasing the use of early and effective intervention and supervised bail for women.

The Scottish Government is also exploring further ways to reduce the use of remand. This includes an improvement project, based in three pathfinder sites, which is testing ways to reduce the use of remand by making better use of bail options.