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Commission on Female Offenders

Sheriff Danny Scullion and Dr Linda de Caestecker have been appointed to the Commission on Female Offenders, led by former Lord Advocate Dame Elish Angiolini, to find a more effective way of dealing with women offenders and ultimately reverse the rise in the female prison population.

The Commission, who will consult with a wide range of stakeholders over the coming months, will bring forward recommendations to tackle the issue of overcrowding and practical measures that can be taken forward in this Parliament to reduce female reoffending. It will report back to the Scottish Government by February 2012.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said:

“The number of women in prison has more than doubled over the last decade – this situation cannot go on. We must find a more effective way of dealing with these women in the 21st century and this independently chaired Commission will help us to do that.

“The Commission will now take evidence and consult widely before bringing forward practical recommendations to help reduce offending by women and ultimately lead to a reduction in the steady rise in the female prisoner population.

“Turning the tide on reoffending rates will benefit not only the women for whom criminal behaviour has become a way of life but for society as a whole. I am confident that the Commission will produce rounded recommendations, taking into account the judicial, sentencing and health matters which will be so integral to addressing this issue and building a safer Scotland.”