Roderick Campbell MSP

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Meeting of the Parliament 28 January 2015 : Wednesday, January 28, 2015
10. Roderick Campbell (North East Fife) (SNP)

To ask the Scottish Government what support it provides to local authorities for fostering programmes. (S4O-03950)



Meeting of the Parliament 28 January 2015 : Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Roderick Campbell

As the minister will be aware, it was recently reported that Fife had the largest waiting list of children waiting to be put into foster homes, with 27 children in residential units over Christmas. The second largest waiting list was 17, in Falkirk. What steps can be taken to reduce what has been described as an “urgent need” for foster carers in Fife?



Meeting of the Parliament 28 January 2015 : Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Roderick Campbell (North East Fife) (SNP)

Like others, I welcomed the cabinet secretary’s statement on Monday. I also welcomed his considered response to the Justice Committee on 16 December. Members might recall that he said:

“I intend to take the opportunity to understand all the different aspects that feed into our thinking about the future shape of that facility before any final decision is made on the matter. That will include looking at its size as well as the model and the approach that we will choose.”—[Official Report, Justice Committee, 16 December 2014; c 3.]

This decision was not taken overnight.

I have taken the opportunity to remind myself of the contents of the Angiolini report. Its section on prisons highlighted the inadequacies of Cornton Vale and called for its replacement with a smaller specialist prison for long-term offenders. It drew attention to successes such as the community integration unit at the then HMP Aberdeen and the 218 centre in Glasgow, which was highlighted as an example of good practice and which we have heard a lot about today.

Recommendation 227 makes it clear that

“Additional places for women offenders should be provided in local prisons to enable improved community integration and family contact … and supported accommodation should be commissioned as an alternative to custody and to support women on release.”

The report highlighted alternatives to remand and to prosecution, together with a commitment to community justice centres. As the cabinet secretary said, most important, it was stated that many of the recommendations could be achieved through the reconfiguration of existing funding rather than through significant new investment.

In his response to Dame Elish Angiolini in June 2012, the then cabinet secretary envisaged that HMP Inverclyde, which was not then designated solely for women, would accommodate 52 women plus a further five in the community integration unit. In addition, he accepted the need for pilot schemes for community justice centres. Following that, the Scottish Prison Service embarked on a consultation in August 2012. The response to that highlighted strong support for regional units for women on remand or serving short sentences as well as a debate about the best place for a new national prison.

Along the way, we perhaps became too focused on the building to replace Cornton Vale as a national prison and on the bricks and mortar, rather than the underlying issues, so I am pleased that we are now exploring a more local approach. Maintaining family and community links wherever possible while tackling underlying alcohol, drugs and mental health issues, for example, must be the way forward.

There can be no doubt that ease of access for those serving any form of custodial sentence or punishment is important. That allows contact between mothers and their families wherever possible, and it may have a preventative purpose, as approximately 30 per cent of children with mothers in prison develop mental health problems and there is a higher risk of those children ending up in prison.

In evidence to the Justice Committee on 26 June 2012, Dame Elish highlighted that mentoring is critical to successfully keeping women out of prison. The Government has embraced that fully, in particular through the shine mentoring service, which is delivered through a public-social partnership. Along with other mentoring services, the shine service continues to be funded through the reducing reoffending fund, which is worth £18 million over the five-year period to 2017.

Women who have experience of mentoring projects have responded positively. Former prisoners have responded positively to the difference that mentoring can make. Mentors can be role models who fulfil a role that social workers simply cannot and, in some cases, former mentees become mentors.

I hope that the new HMP Grampian will build on experience of community reintegration at HMP Aberdeen and HMP Inverness. For offenders who are completing custodial sentences, we need to recognise the importance of reintegration. Throughcare support is vital; statutory throughcare is limited, but extending support fully to short-term offenders is important.

Let us remember that a ministerial group on offender reintegration was established in October 2013 to assist integration between the criminal justice system and wider public services. Trials such as the one conducted at HMP Perth, which seeks to maintain existing tenancies for short-term offenders to help them to reintegrate into the community after release, are important. Community justice is still a work in progress but, with fully integrated community planning partnerships that have a focus on reducing reoffending and on alternatives to custody, there are grounds for optimism.

I am pleased that the cabinet secretary still plans to close the existing Cornton Vale facility, and I share his preference for possibly building a smaller prison on that site. However, a decision remains to be made on where to site a secure facility for the small cohort who are the most dangerous offenders. That will need to be consulted on further.

I accept that, in a diverse country of cities, small towns, villages and countryside, a uniform system for community justice centres might not be feasible. Dame Elish accepted that when she gave evidence in 2012. With the projects that are under way in Angus and Fife, for example, we recognise that. I await with interest the independent evaluation of the 16 projects that the Government has funded. I also welcome the cabinet secretary’s commitment to provide £1.5 million for community-based solutions, which is clearly a step forward.

We have a cabinet secretary who listens to interested parties and takes on board the comments of the Howard League for Penal Reform and others. The aims must be to reduce the number of women in prison wherever possible, to reduce numbers on remand, to look critically at any short sentence and to redouble efforts to reduce reoffending. For us as a society, having rising numbers of women in prison is not a sign of success. I am pleased that the trend has stalled and that numbers are now dropping, albeit in a small way. Scotland can do better; indeed, it must do better.

15:54  

Meeting of the Parliament 28 January 2015 : Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Roderick Campbell

The member may recall that Dame Elish Angiolini, in giving evidence on child impact assessments, said:

“I do not believe that any judge who sentenced without reference to the fact that someone had children and the impact that imprisonment would have would be doing their job appropriately.”

She also said that

“creating more bureaucracy—more reports”—

would not necessarily

“make a difference to the sentencing process.”—[Official Report, Justice Committee, 26 June 2012; c 1582.]

Does the member disagree with Dame Elish Angiolini on that point?



Justice Committee 27 January 2015 : Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Roderick Campbell

Notwithstanding the acceptance in the policy memorandum that reoffending rates for sex offenders serving sentences of more than four years were not necessarily higher, we heard concerns—in particular from Peter Johnston—about the selection of sex offenders and the logic for that because of generally low rates of recidivism. Will you comment on that?



Justice Committee 27 January 2015 : Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Roderick Campbell

Peter Johnston said that sex offenders generally co-operate in prison, in terms of accessing programmes. In his view, they are not the people on whom the bill should be focused. Do you have anything to add to that?



Justice Committee 27 January 2015 : Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Roderick Campbell

I return to cold release, which we started with. Colin McConnell said in evidence:

“my experience is that the first six to 12 weeks after release can be extremely risky ... My emphasis is on making custody itself less distinct and less disconnected from the community ... That includes moving our resources—our prison officers—much more into the community to work alongside citizens who are moving from a period of custody back into the community.”—[Official Report, Justice Committee, 20 January 2015; c 19.]

Will you comment on that?



Justice Committee 27 January 2015 : Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Roderick Campbell

So in essence, the emphasis on throughcare continues anyway, irrespective of the detail of the provisions.



Meeting of the Parliament 27 January 2015 : Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Roderick Campbell (North East Fife) (SNP)

The transfer of Crown Estate assets to Scotland does not reflect what was proposed by the Smith commission. Will the Deputy First Minister press the UK Government to provide clarity around the extent of the powers to legislate on the Crown Estate in Scotland out to 200 nautical miles and ensure that that is properly reflected in any future legislation?



European and External Relations Committee 22 January 2015 : Thursday, January 22, 2015
Roderick Campbell (North East Fife) (SNP)

I have two questions that are very short, I hope, and one that is a wee a bit longer. I hope that that is okay, convener.

Priority 5, which is

“A Deeper and Fairer Economic and Monetary Union”,

refers to

“reinforced rules against money laundering.”

I appreciate that the programme is just for one year, but there does not seem to be much happening in relation to what I think is the fourth money laundering directive. Are you able to give me an update on progress on that?

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

S4M-12182.1 Alex Fergusson: The Chilcot Inquiry—As an amendment to motion S4M-12182 in the name of N
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NoDefeated

S4M-12182 Nicola Sturgeon: The Chilcot Inquiry—That the Parliament calls for Sir John Chilcot’s offi
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-12176 John Swinney: Community Charge Debt (Scotland) Bill—That the Parliament agrees to the gene
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-12160.2 Michael Matheson: Women Offenders—As an amendment to motion S4M-12160 in the name of Kez
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-12160.3 Margaret Mitchell: Women Offenders—As an amendment to motion S4M-12160 in the name of Ke
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-12160 Kezia Dugdale: Women Offenders—That the Parliament welcomes the decision of the Scottish G
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-12154.1 Lewis Macdonald: Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) – Supporting Indivi
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-12120.1 Jenny Marra: 2020 Vision, the Strategic Forward Direction of the NHS—As an amendment to
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-12101 John Swinney: Budget (Scotland) (No.4) Bill—That the Parliament agrees to the general prin
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-12095.4 Ken Macintosh: Tackling Inequalities—As an amendment to motion S4M-12095 in the name of
>> Show more
NoDefeated

Search for other Motions lodged by Roderick Campbell
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-12209: Roderick Campbell, North East Fife, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 29/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11921: Roderick Campbell, North East Fife, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 16/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11920: Roderick Campbell, North East Fife, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 16/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11873: Roderick Campbell, North East Fife, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 11/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11836: Roderick Campbell, North East Fife, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 09/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11593: Roderick Campbell, North East Fife, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 18/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11470: Roderick Campbell, North East Fife, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 06/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11452: Roderick Campbell, North East Fife, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 06/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11406: Roderick Campbell, North East Fife, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 04/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11403: Roderick Campbell, North East Fife, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 03/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Roderick Campbell
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4O-03950: Roderick Campbell, North East Fife, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 21/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03891: Roderick Campbell, North East Fife, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 06/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03802: Roderick Campbell, North East Fife, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 02/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03788: Roderick Campbell, North East Fife, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 26/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03735: Roderick Campbell, North East Fife, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 19/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03673: Roderick Campbell, North East Fife, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 05/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03623: Roderick Campbell, North East Fife, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 22/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03580: Roderick Campbell, North East Fife, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 01/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22631: Roderick Campbell, North East Fife, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 25/09/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4F-02296: Roderick Campbell, North East Fife, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 22/09/2014 Show Full Question >>