Scottish executive defies plan’s critics

    Social services groups in Scotland have hit out at Scottish
    executive plans to push ahead with a single agency incorporating
    the prison service and criminal justice social work despite
    overwhelming opposition from professional bodies.

    While nearly 95 per cent of respondents to a consultation carried
    out by the executive failed to back the idea, minister for justice
    Cathie Jamieson said she remains convinced a service for offender
    management which has a single, integrated structure is required.

    She added that it would speed up the processing of offenders,
    reduce reoffending, improve prison intervention and allow for
    proper supervision upon release.

    Steven Fitzpatrick, criminal justice spokesperson for Cosla, said:
    “By forcing through a single agency, ministers would be choosing to
    ignore the collective views of those with greatest insight into how
    offending can be reduced.”

    The legislation is planned to be tabled in parliament next
    February.

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