MBM statement on the Scottish Prison Service urgent case review

The SPS urgent case review is not drafted for clarity. Careful reading shows that the SPS still believe that there are some male prisoners whose sex should not automatically be treated as a relevant factor, when assessing their risk to women. Extraordinarily, in the case of Graham/Bryson, the SPS viewed two convictions for rape as too “limited”, to inform the initial assessment.

In addition, the review shows the SPS believe there are “exceptional circumstances”, in which a male prisoner with a history of violence against women could still be moved into women’s estate. This alone seriously calls into question its declared commitment to women’s safety and dignity, and to trauma-informed care.

The SPS must now commit to publishing its full revised policy in draft, for wider scrutiny, including by those who have not lost sight of the relevance of sex.