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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-14604: Liam McArthur (Orkney Islands)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 12 February 2018

To ask the Scottish Government on how many occasions a request has been made by each prison in the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) estate seeking (a) authorisation and (b) an extension of an order to remove a prisoner from association with other inmates in accordance with section 95 of the Prisons and Young Offenders Institutions (Scotland) Rules 2011 in each of the last three years, also broken down by gender; how many requests were (i) declined, and for what reason and (ii) authorised by (A) ministers, and (B) SPS officials, broken down by position.

Answered by: Michael Matheson 7 March 2018

The initial decision to remove a person from association in accordance with Rule 95(1) of the Prison and Young Offenders Institutions (Scotland) Rules 2011, is applied locally by Governors or SPS Controllers at private prisons and does not require any further authorisation. There is however no data collected centrally on this process and the information requested in the question cannot be obtained without incurring disproportionate cost.

The following table provides a breakdown, by year, of all approved Rule 95 extensions:




Rule 95 Extensions






(April -Jan)


The following table provides a breakdown of the reasons provided for refusals to extend Rule 95 applications by gender.


Reason For Refusal To Extend Rule 95 Application


April 2015- March 2016

April 2016- March 2017

April 2017- January 2018

Insufficient information contained in application

13 x Males


7 x Males

8 x Males

1 x Female

Insufficient intelligence provided to support the application

9 x Males

4 x Males

3 x Males

Application submitted after the expiry period

9 x Males

1 x Females

15 x Males

8 x Males

Errors on paperwork

8 x Males

1 x Female

7 x Males

5 x Males

Incorrect classification/ no longer required

2 x Males

3 x Males

4 x Males


41 x Males

2 x Females

36 x Males

28 x Males

1 x Female

It is the responsibility of an identified senior SPS operational manager to approve or decline Rule 95(11) and (12) extension applications on behalf of Scottish Ministers. As an Executive Agency of the Scottish Government, SPS exercises these statutory functions on behalf of Scottish Ministers.

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