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Cole-Hamilton: Prison not the solution for vulnerable people who are misusing drugs

January 29, 2018 6:00 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat Health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today called for serious drug and sentencing reform ahead of tomorrow's meeting of the Holyrood Health Committee, where the Scottish Prison Service will provide evidence on the Scottish Government's drug strategy.

Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:

"Given we know that a third of people leaving prison are addicted to drugs, it is clear that the current approach is failing. Putting vulnerable people with a history of misusing drugs behind bars won't help them get clean.

"That is why Scottish Liberal Democrats believe we should treat drug misuse as a health issue. If we are to really tackle drug misuse and help those most in need then we should instead be providing proper education and treatment.

"This is an approach backed up with proper medical and scientific evidence. It already works in other countries, and if the Scottish Government is willing to act it could work in Scotland too."