FoI request reveals deep divisions between Cathy Jamieson and the Scottish Prison Service

Tony Cameron, Chief Executive of the Scottish Prison Service (SPS), has stated that re-offending rates will keep rising and insisted that community measures, such as tagging, will backfire. Figures released last month show that Scotland has one of the poorest records on recidivism in Europe, with half of all prisoners returning to jail within two years of their release.

Cameron's views came to light after an e-mail from Cameron to Jim Gallagher, the head of the justice department, was released under freedom of information rules. His missive, sent on December 1 last year, was in response to claims by civil servants that the current plan of the Scottish Justice Minister, Cathy Jamieson, would have a positive effect on re-offending rates.

Jamieson is pushing ahead with a criminal justice plan and a management of offenders Bill to try and meet the Scottish Executive’s objective to significantly reduce re-offending. Central to the policy is an extension of community disposals, such as tagging and improved rehabilitation inside and out of prison. Last month, the Sunday Herald revealed that the first person tagged in a Kilmarnock pilot scheme was arrested just four hours after being released into the community.

‘Re-offending will rise with new justice bill’ (Sunday Herald, 5 June 2005)