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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-07273: Liam McArthur (Orkney Islands)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 16 February 2017

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-06417 by Michael Matheson on 3 February 2017, whether the reasons that young offenders on remand are held in a prison overnight are (a) statutory or (b) non-statutory; under what circumstances young offenders are on remand in prisons; whether there has been a policy or guideline change in this regard since 2010 and, if so, what the reason for this change was.

Answered by: Michael Matheson 15 March 2017

The change in SPS Policy recognised the vulnerability and significant care requirements of young people remanded to our care, in particular those aged 17 and 18. SPS believes that their needs in terms of regime and accommodation can be better met in a YOI.

Young people remanded to SPS custody can legally be held in either a prison or Young Offenders Institution (YOI). In recent years SPS has taken the policy decision to locate all young people on remand in a YOI rather than Prison. There may be occasions when SPS will locate a young person in a prison, for a temporary purpose, such as for during court proceedings, where daily travel arrangements to and from a YOI would be challenging or exhausting.

I have asked Colin McConnell, Chief Executive of the Scottish Prison Service, to respond. His response is as follows: