Margaret Mitchell MSP

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Search for other Speeches made by Margaret Mitchell (Central Scotland) (Con)

Meeting of the Parliament 05 March 2015 : Thursday, March 05, 2015
Margaret Mitchell

I am disappointed that the cabinet secretary cannot give more specific dates for the various completions. Is he aware that residents who live in proximity to the construction site expected disruption and therefore negotiated a generous working pattern beginning at 6.30 in the morning and ending at 11 pm? That agreement has been breached on one occasion, which resulted in a sleepless night for the residents. They have now been told that, from 20 March, 24/7 working is due to recommence, with the pounding of heavy machinery, intrusive floodlights and all that that entails. Does the cabinet secretary think that that is reasonable? If not, can he intervene?



Meeting of the Parliament 05 March 2015 : Thursday, March 05, 2015
2. Margaret Mitchell (Central Scotland) (Con)

To ask the Scottish Government when the various phases of the Transport Scotland Raith junction improvement works are due for completion. (S4O-04083)



Justice Committee 03 March 2015 : Tuesday, March 03, 2015
Margaret Mitchell

I ask the cabinet secretary for clarification on one point, because it was not clear in his evidence this morning. Does he intend to lodge an amendment at stage 2 to provide for a minimum period of guaranteed supervision, so that we can see what the Government is proposing?



Justice Committee 03 March 2015 : Tuesday, March 03, 2015
Margaret Mitchell

I understand that. I am suggesting—and it was being suggested by the majority of the round-table panel members last week—that automatic early release of all prisoners should be scrapped, perhaps through the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill, and that we should start to get down to providing the rehabilitation programmes for which demand far outweighs supply in prison. We must start getting at the experience of prisoners in order to ensure that prison rehabilitates people. My proposal would deliver the stated aim of protecting the public and provide clarity and transparency in sentencing.



Justice Committee 03 March 2015 : Tuesday, March 03, 2015
Margaret Mitchell

In the interests of public safety, given that we know that the highest percentage of people who reoffend and end up back in the system are short-term sentence prisoners, would it not be better to end automatic early release while you are considering proposals, doing the evaluation of whether a community sentence is more appropriate and examining how short-term sentence prisoners are handled just now? Throughcare is not there at the moment. We hear about it all the time, but it is just not evident. Every day, people are released without having the throughcare that is necessary to help them not reoffend.



Justice Committee 03 March 2015 : Tuesday, March 03, 2015
Margaret Mitchell

You mentioned that one of the reasons for changing the proposal in the bill was consistency. However, surely it would be consistent to include short-term sentences and abolish automatic early release for them as well.



Justice Committee 03 March 2015 : Tuesday, March 03, 2015
Margaret Mitchell

Could you elaborate a little on the provision in section 1, particularly the use of the word “travel”, so that we can see whether there are some concerns about that or any other aspects of that section?



Justice Committee 03 March 2015 : Tuesday, March 03, 2015
Margaret Mitchell (Central Scotland) (Con)

I am a Central Scotland MSP.



Meeting of the Parliament 26 February 2015 : Thursday, February 26, 2015
Margaret Mitchell (Central Scotland) (Con)

I, too, thank the minister for advance sight of the statement.

The minister made reference to the question that my colleague, Annabel Goldie, put to the Solicitor General about how many people supplying the substances have been convicted under common law with reckless and culpable conduct. The Solicitor General responded that the figures are not available. That is a matter of concern, especially as the report identifies that using a charge of reckless and culpable conduct has been successful in securing convictions. Therefore, I am very pleased that the minister addressed the data collection issue in his statement.

I confirm that the Scottish Conservatives will be happy to take part in the cross-party group. However, there seems to be a number of different expert groups looking at the issue without an overarching co-ordinator. Has that been considered?



Meeting of the Parliament 26 February 2015 : Thursday, February 26, 2015
Margaret Mitchell (Central Scotland) (Con)

I thank Mary Fee for bringing an important debate to the Parliament. There is no doubt that the impact on a child of the imprisonment of a parent is an issue that, at best, has for far too long not been given the prominence that it should have and, at worse, is virtually ignored.

On statistics, it is alarming and concerning that in Scotland a staggering 27,000 children each year experience a parent’s imprisonment. To put that in perspective, as Kenny MacAskill said, that equates to about twice as many children as experience a parent’s divorce.

As the motion recognises, imprisonment affects the whole family in a number of ways. For example, children are likely to move house quite frequently, which can mean changing schools and being separated from friends. Often, multiple care arrangements have to be put in place, which can result in the family being separated and siblings having to live apart.

Imprisonment often attracts high-profile newspaper coverage about the individual and their crime. As teachers will testify, the trauma, the deep shame and, sometimes, the bullying that the children then experience are clear to see and can result in a deterioration in behaviour and performance in school. In the worst-case scenario, they might develop into mental health and physical problems.

Clearly, as the motion highlights, there are social, psychological and emotional impacts on the children as a result of a parent being imprisoned. Those issues are simply not being sufficiently addressed, which is why there is a desperate need for assessments of the impact on children to be undertaken at the point of sentencing.

Therefore, it is disappointing that Dame Elish Angiolini’s commission on women offenders did not make a distinct recommendation on child impact assessments. It did not do so because such assessments are included in criminal justice social work reports, but those reports are not carried out for every case, and nor do they always include detailed information about family circumstances or the impact on dependants.

The NSPCC and Barnardo’s are to be congratulated on the new report “An unfair sentence”, which analyses and highlights the detrimental impact of a custodial sentence on children under two. Equally worrying is the Barnardo’s statistic that 65 per cent of boys who have a parent in prison will go on to offend.

I very much welcome the fact that, with her proposed member’s bill, Mary Fee seeks to address the adverse impact on children of a parent being imprisoned. It is also important that, at the point of sentencing, child impact assessments are available to judges and that they have regard to them. I was encouraged that the new Cabinet Secretary for Justice recognised that point.

12:58  
Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

S4M-12521.2 Jackie Baillie: Protecting Public Services and Boosting Scotland’s Economy—As an amendme
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NoDefeated

S4M-12521.1 Gavin Brown: Protecting Public Services and Boosting Scotland’s Economy—As an amendment
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YesDefeated

S4M-12521.3 Willie Rennie: Protecting Public Services and Boosting Scotland’s Economy—As an amendmen
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AbstainDefeated

S4M-12521 John Swinney: Protecting Public Services and Boosting Scotland’s Economy—That the Parliame
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NoCarried

S4M-12495 Joe FitzPatrick on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau: Business Motion—That the Parliament
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NoCarried

S4M-12491.2 John Swinney: Privacy and the State—As an amendment to motion S4M-12491 in the name of W
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NoCarried

S4M-12491.1 Richard Simpson: Privacy and the State—As an amendment to motion S4M-12491 in the name o
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YesDefeated

S4M-12491 Willie Rennie: Privacy and the State—That the Parliament notes the Scottish Government’s c
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NoCarried

S4M-12492.2 Jamie Hepburn: Mental Health—As an amendment to motion S4M-12492 in the name of Jim Hume
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YesCarried

S4M-12492 Jim Hume: Mental Health—That the Parliament notes that one in four people will experience
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YesCarried

Search for other Motions lodged by Margaret Mitchell
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-12478: Margaret Mitchell, Central Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 27/02/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12326: Margaret Mitchell, Central Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 16/02/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12160.3: Margaret Mitchell, Central Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 27/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12093: Margaret Mitchell, Central Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 19/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11955: Margaret Mitchell, Central Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 18/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11758: Margaret Mitchell, Central Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 01/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11656: Margaret Mitchell, Central Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 21/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11567.2: Margaret Mitchell, Central Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 17/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11551: Margaret Mitchell, Central Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 13/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11480: Margaret Mitchell, Central Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 07/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Margaret Mitchell
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4W-24725: Margaret Mitchell, Central Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 03/03/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-04083: Margaret Mitchell, Central Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 24/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4F-02607: Margaret Mitchell, Central Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 16/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23912: Margaret Mitchell, Central Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 07/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03876: Margaret Mitchell, Central Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 17/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4F-02448: Margaret Mitchell, Central Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 01/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22936: Margaret Mitchell, Central Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 24/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03595: Margaret Mitchell, Central Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 29/09/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22466: Margaret Mitchell, Central Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 22/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22228: Margaret Mitchell, Central Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 01/08/2014 Show Full Question >>

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