It was reported by the chief inspector for Scottish prisons that the number of people in custody is going to soar in the next year.
Wendy Sinclair-Gieben emphasised that although the numbers had fallen during the COVID 19 pandemic this did increase when the pandemic was over. She has visited over 10 prisons over the last year and has noticed positive progress although improvements still need to be made.
One of the positive changes she noted was the facilities for women with HMP Stirling opening as a replacement for Corton Vale and a new community custody unit was also being introduced.
Figures of inmates have reached over 7,000 in February 2019, the highest since 2013 but also noted that this total will now rise above that level again in the next 12 months which would lead to severe overcrowding.
The Scottish Government and the Scottish Sentencing Council have introduced a number of measures to attempt to reduce the prison population.
One of the changes being in 2022 new guidelines were introduced for people under the age of 25 should only receive a custodial sentence if no other sentence was judged appropriate.