Greens call for private firms to be kicked out of criminal justice system

Scottish Greens Justice Spokesperson John Finnie MSP will today (2 Apr) propose an amendment to the Management of Offenders Bill to remove any role for the private sector in the existing or proposed expanded monitoring regime.

The Justice Committee will begin its Stage 2 consideration of the Bill, which, “… brings forward a number of reforms designed to … transform the way in which Scotland deals with offenders”.

John Finnie MSP said:

“Like many, Scottish Greens are extremely uncomfortable with profit being associated with any aspect of our criminal justice system.

“The expansion of electronic monitoring supports proposed by this legislation sees the introduction of new technologies, such as GPS which will improve the effectiveness of electronic monitoring, for example through the use of exclusion or inclusion zones, however it places even more personal information in the hands of the present operator, a commercial company.

“I note that past SNP Manifestos stated, ‘First, we will ensure public services should be just that - public. Government money intended to provide public services must do just that and should not be wasted through inefficiency or be taken out of the system to pay excessive private profit’.

“My proposal would ensure that only the public or third sector would take responsibility for this important public safety issue.”