Early Release from Prison announced

The Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Humza Yousaf  announced in Parliament yesterday that a number of short-term prisoners nearing the end of their time in custody are to be released early, under measures designed to help tackle the (COVID-19) outbreak.

Regulations will be laid before Parliament on the 30th of April 2020, which will come into immediate effect, that will allow for a limited number of short term sentenced individuals to be released on or after that date. The scheme will be limited to those sentenced to 18 months or less and who on 30 April have 90 days (three months) or less left of their time in custody and will exclude certain types of prisoner, such as those sentenced for sexual or terrorism offences.

Further details of the proposed early release programme, which will see these prisoners released over a four week period from 30 April, can be found within the news release here.  

A link to the Ministerial statement made in Parliament is here.

Today, a letter from the Scottish Government Justice Division outlining how they expect the early release to work in practice was sent to partners across the public sector, including Chief Executives of local authorities. The letter is here.