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Rehabilitation services must be improved

January 2, 2012 12:01 AM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat Justice spokesperson Alison McInnes MSP has urged the Scottish Government to redouble its efforts to ensure there are adequate resources in place to help drug offenders turn their lives around.

Alison McInnes MSPAlison McInnes MSPIn answers to Parliamentary Questions submitted by Mrs McInnes, it was revealed that 70% of prisoners serving time for drug related offences have previously been in prison for a similar offence during the past 10 years.

Mrs McInnes has called on the Scottish Government to prioritise improving rehabilitation through a joined-up approach between prisons and the community to ensure that there is support in place to help offenders leave behind the scourge of drug abuse.

Commenting on the figures, Mrs McInnes said:

"Drug abuse blights families and communities throughout Scotland. We all feel the corrosive impact of this devastating problem.

"These figures make for worrying reading. It is really concerning that about 70% of drug offenders in jail have been there before for a similar conviction. We need to improve rehabilitation and tackle addiction if we are to break this cycle of reoffending.

"We need to make sure that offenders who want to change their lives have proper access to rehabilitation services whilst they are in prison. This then needs to be followed up properly in the community when they are released.

"Ministers need to look at ways of building closer links between prisons, community rehabilitation services and residential treatment providers.

"Individuals must not be cast adrift as soon as soon as they step outside the prison gates."