PRISON PHONES PLAN WILL REDUCE REOFFENDING
- Reform Scotland has been campaigning for landlines in prison cells for six years
- Research Director says plan will help hold support networks together
Reform Scotland, a public policy institute which works to promote increased economic prosperity, opportunity for all, and more effective public services, has today welcomed the Scottish Prison Service (SPS)’s announcement that it will install landline telephones in prison cells.
Until a recent Scottish Government pilot scheme, Scottish prisoners were only able to access a telephone at certain times and often in communal settings. Following on from the pilot scheme, Justice Secretary Angela Constance has today said this “will help people in custody maintain contact with friends and family, which we know is crucial to their rehabilitative journey.”
In England and Wales, a number of prisons have landline phones in cells to allow prisoners to contact their family more frequently and in private.
Reform Scotland wrote its first report calling for telephones in cells in 2017, drawing on evidence from policies implemented in England and Wales and arguing that the change would assist rehabilitation and reduce reoffending after the prisoner is integrated back into their community and society.
- Reform Scotland’s 2017 paper, Reforming Prison, can be read here, and its subsequent paper Calling Home for Christmas, published in 2018, can be read here.
- Reform Scotland, a charity registered in Scotland, is a public policy institute which works to promote increased economic prosperity, opportunity for all, and more effective public services. Reform Scotland is independent of political parties and any other organisations. It is funded by donations from private individuals, charitable trusts and corporate organisations. Its Director is Chris Deerin and Alison Payne is the Research Director. Both work closely with the Trustee Board, chaired by Lord McConnell, which meets regularly to review the research and policy programme.