Prison social work services scrapped

    Local authority managed prison social work services in Edinburgh
    are to be axed in a move towards privatisation, the Scottish Prison
    Service revealed this week.

    The news has been met with widespread opposition amid concerns
    about work with sex offenders and violent criminals.

    Director of social work for Edinburgh City Council Les McEwan
    said: “This is an essential job that protects public safety. We are
    at the forefront working with HIV prisoners, drug addicts and sex

    The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and the Association
    of Directors of Social Work opposed proposals to privatise
    prison-based social work when they were first put forward last year
    and criticised SPS for failing to consult them.

    The Prison Officers Association Scotland has also raised
    concerns about services being provided by private agencies,
    describing the move as being about costs rather than quality.

    The move is to be implemented in Edinburgh and Dumfries prisons
    in the first instance. A SPS spokesperson said: “If it’s successful
    we will extend the service to other jails.”




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