I don’t know how those excellent fact-checkers, Ferret, managed to copyright their name when the wee gang of Scottish Lib Dems are such determined wee burrowers into the Scottish Government, digging up fact after fact, snuffling and pouncing on anything they can pass to the NoMedia. Are they on commission BBC Scotland, STV? Both went with the same headline story of stuffed Scottish prisons with no real attempt to provide any useful detail so, I’m guessing Liam McArthur kind of wrote the whole thing for them so that they could enjoy their holidays.
He’d clearly been planning it, since he hit gold, to his wee mind, with the answer to this one he posed on the 10th of December 2018 and got an answer to from Humza on the 8th January 2019. Did it really take five days to write this?
Here’s the question and the answer:
Question S5W-20504: Liam McArthur, Orkney Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 10/12/2018
To ask the Scottish Government what the (a) occupancy, (b) occupancy rate and (c) capacity has been in each prison in (i) 2017 and (ii) each month in 2018.
Answered by Humza Yousaf (08/01/2019):
I have asked Colin McConnell, Chief Executive of the Scottish Prison Service (SPS), to respond. His response is as follows:
The following tables provide a breakdown of the Average Occupancy, Capacity and Occupancy rate of each Scottish prison in 2017 as well as each month in 2018.
SPS has a responsibility to accommodate those sent to us by the courts. The data shows the occupancy levels of each establishment when measured against design capacity. The design capacity and operational capacity of establishments are different and can change for reasons of policy, maintenance and changing operational requirements.
December 2018 (Average Prison Population 7877) (Data up to 16 December 2018)
|Name||Average Occupancy||Design Capacity||Occupancy Rate|
To get this wee morsel, Liam had to ask lots of other questions which turned out not to be newsworthy for him. Try searching for Liam with a space after it, at:
His name comes up 60 times! How many civil servants is he keeping in work?
Anyhow back to the table above. You’ll see with the detail, that in fact, only 2 out of 15, Barlinnie and Inverness have significant overcrowding and that six have over-capacity. Are those being crowded, kept there because they and their relatives want that proximity to home?
Despite the detailed figures, BBC Scotland and STV gave us those stupid Liam-generated headlines above and comments like:
‘Five prisons out of 15 were at, or beyond, their capacity at the start of 2018 – the figure rose to nine by the end of the year.’ (BBC).
‘The majority of Scotland’s prisons were at or beyond their maximum capacity last month, figures have revealed.’ (STV)
Remind us, what is wrong with a tax-payer-funded service operating at or very near capacity? Had they all spare capacity, we know what the Lib Dem headline would be.
Finally, on a lighter note, Liam’s frantic burrowing and the flights to Edinburgh may be damaging his brain. See this:
Try sleeping now!