Commission welcomes report on Prisoners (Control of Release) Bill

The Scottish Human Rights Commission has welcomed the human rights concerns raised in the Scottish Parliament Justice Committee’s Stage 1 report on the Prisoners (Control of Release) (Scotland) Bill.

Professor Alan Miller, Chair of the Commission, said:

“We are pleased to see the Committee has listened to the Commission’s evidence and echoed our concerns about the need for adequate prison rehabilitation programmes should the Bill progress. 

“The Bill, as it stands, is likely to have the effect of increasing Parole Board applications and appeals concerning the adequacy of prison rehabilitation programmes about which there are already concerns. Adequate and available rehabilitation programmes for prisoners are necessary  to protect both public safety and the right of prisoners to be released on parole licence when they have benefited from rehabilitation and are considered not to pose a risk to public safety.”

The Commission also welcomes the Committee’s recommendation that the Scottish Government revisit the Bill’s human rights impact statement, following our evidence that it is inadequate in its current form. 


1. Following the Bill’s introduction in August 2014, the Commission submitted written evidence and oral evidence explaining the human rights implications of the bill, both in terms of its potential impact on public safety and on individual liberty. The Commission gave further written evidence last month.