The Scottish Government began consultation on a draft Public Services Reform (Inspection and Monitoring of Prisons) (formerly Prison Visiting Committees) (Scotland) Order 2014, which would abolish Prison Visiting Committees, clarify the role of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons, create the roles of Prison Monitoring Co-ordinator and Independent Prison Monitor, and require the Chief Inspector to establish a Prison Monitoring Advisory Group. This consultation followed on from an earlier consultation on this topic, and a response to the original consultation was also published. The current consultation would close on 13 October 2014.
Source: Further Consultation on the Draft Public Services Reform (Inspection and Monitoring of Prisons) (formerly Prison Visiting Committees) Order 2014, Scottish Government
A report examined the state of youth justice in Scotland, and how the Kilbrandon Report (1995) had influenced policy and practice. The report looked at: trends in youth offending patterns over the past ten years; how politics, policy, research, and practice shaped youth justice in post-devolution Scotland; and the influence of values in shaping the current youth justice system. The report made recommendations for practice and policy improvements, including a call to raise the age of criminal responsibility to at least 12, for more age appropriate custody facilities, and for expanding the 'whole system approach'.
Source: Claire Lightowler, David Orr, and Nina Vaswani, Youth Justice in Scotland: Fixed in the past or fit for the future?, Centre for Youth and Criminal Justice
The Scottish Government published a Bill designed to end the right of certain long-term prisoners (sentenced to four years or more for sex offences and 10 years or more for other crimes) to automatic early release from prison at the two-thirds point of their sentences; and to allow prisoners serving all but very short sentences to be released from prison on a particular day, to ensure immediate access to support services in communities.
Source: Prisoners (Control Of Release) (Scotland) Bill, Scottish Government, TSO
A report evaluated the Community Reintegration Project, which formed part of the Scottish Government's wider Reducing Reoffending Programme and focused on addressing the needs of offenders serving prison sentences between six months and less than four years.
Source: Simon Anderson, Shanna Dowling, Simon Noble, and Alison Platts, Evaluation of the Community Reintegration Project, Scottish Government
The Scottish Government published its strategy for preventing and eradicating violence against women and girls. It said that its overall aim was to prevent and eradicate such violence, and set out four key priorities: for Scottish society to embrace equality and mutual respect, and to reject all forms of violence against women and girls; for women and girls to thrive as equal citizens (socially, culturally, economically, and politically); for interventions to be early and effective, preventing violence and maximizing safety and well-being; and for men to desist from all forms of violence against women and girls and for perpetrators of such violence to receive a robust and effective response.
Source: Equally Safe: Scotland's strategy for preventing and eradicating violence against women and girls, Scottish Government
A report provided findings of a review undertaken by the Scottish Police Authority into the use of stop and search by Police Scotland. The report said that, if inappropriately applied, stop and search could cause a loss of confidence within the community, thus undermining the principle of policing by consent and damaging the ability of the police to work in partnership with the community. It raised questions about proportionality, training needs, and the adequacy of recording of non-statutory searches, and said that further work was needed to determine the short and long term impact of stop and search on different groups and communities. The report made a range of recommendations for the police service and police authority.
Source: Scrutiny Reviews – Police Scotland's Stop and Search Policy and Practice: Final report and recommendations, Scottish Police Authority
An article examined the policing of anti-social driving by youths in a built-up urban environment in Scotland, in the context of concern and pressure from businesses, residents, the local authority, media, and government. It said that policing practices were shaped by the introduction of anti-social behaviour legislation that had redefined behaviours as deviant or anti-social, and considered the success of the use of this legislation and the impact this had on police relations with young drivers.
Source: Karen Lumsden, 'Anti-social behaviour legislation and the policing of boy racers: dispersal orders and seizure of vehicles', Policing, Volume 8 Number 2
The Scottish Government published an analysis of the responses to its consultation on the working of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. Key findings included: existing legislation was not seen as fit for purpose, as it placed too little emphasis on rehabilitation; respondents stressed the need to support access to employment for ex-offenders, and especially young ex-offenders; there were calls for clearer legislation, and information for those needing to apply the legislation; and there was a 'general feeling' that rehabilitation periods should be shorter. Separate reports provided feedback from people in prisons, and from stakeholders.
Source: Discussion Paper on the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974: Analysis of consultation responses, Scottish Government
The Scottish Government published an analysis of responses to a consultation on proposals to change the independent monitoring of prisons in Scotland.
Source: Consultation on the Draft Public Services Reform (Prison Visiting Committees) (Scotland) Order 2014 – Analysis of written responses, Scottish Government
The Scottish Government began consultation on proposals for the new model for community justice in Scotland. The consultation would close on 2 July 2014.
Source: Future Model for Community Justice in Scotland, Scottish Government
Links: Consultation document
A Scottish government report outlined the results of a consultation on merging the Scottish Tribunals and the Scottish Court Service to create a joint administration. The report said that there had been support for a merger, on the provision that the specialism of tribunals was protected. Legislation would therefore be brought forward.
Source: Scottish Government Consultation Report on the Proposed Merging of the Scottish Tribunals Service and the Scottish Court Service, Scottish Government
An article examined community policing in Scotland. It said that an increasingly entrenched performance management framework for policing was exerting pressures on beat officers to depart from established, valued, and often 'unmeasurable' activities within community policing practice. Attempts to increase community policing numbers, visibility, and public engagement had been problematic in various ways.
Source: Niall Hamilton-Smith, Simon Mackenzie, Alistair Henry, and Catherine Davidones, 'Community policing and reassurance: three studies, one narrative', Criminology and Criminal Justice, Volume 14 Number 2
An article examined the relationship between evidence and policy, drawing on a study of the development of anti-social behaviour policy in England and Scotland to examine: the classification of different types of evidence; whether there were systematic linkages between policy context and evidence type; and whether different forms of evidence were more influential at different points of the policy cycle. The paper considered the policy implications.
Source: Jon Bannister and Anthony O'Sullivan, 'Evidence and the antisocial behaviour policy cycle', Evidence & Policy, Volume 10 Number 1
A study examined the evidence on the use of stop and search by police in Scotland between 2005 and 2010. The report said that practices varied widely between areas and the effectiveness of stop and search was unclear. It said there was a clear need for politicians and policing stakeholders to clarify the limits of stop and search powers and to ensure that the appropriate legal and regulatory framework was in place to support police practice. The report made recommendations.
Source: Kath Murray, Stop and Search in Scotland: An evaluation of police practice, Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research, University of Glasgow