Date lodged: 28 April 2017
To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to encourage criminal defence lawyers to use video-conferencing technology when dealing with clients who are (a) serving a custodial sentence and (b) being held on remand.
Answered by: Michael Matheson 11 May 2017
Action is being taken to increase up-take of video-conferencing including piloting the video-links system with advocates. Visits to Polmont and Barlinnie prisons are planned to engage with solicitors attending the prisons to provide information on the benefits of the video-links system and identify any barriers, perceived or otherwise, to usage. In addition the Video Conferencing Project Board recently met and agreed to some targeted communication activity to promote the use of video-conferencing. 415 Agents to Prisons Video-links were conducted during February to April 2017.