Justice Secretary Keith Brown has stated that ‘credible and consistent’ alternatives to custodial sentences are imperative to decrease the numbers being imprisoned. 
Mr Brown stated that reducing the number of people in remand is a priority. Currently, the Scottish government is considering powers that would result in groups of prisoners being released. This is a result of prisons being unable to cope with the numbers. 
The proposals indicate that individuals could be released prior to completing half of their sentence. Certain individuals would be able to “demonstrate their suitability for earlier release” or “to serve the remainder of their sentence in the community”.
Mr Brown stated: “I think there’s relatively widespread agreement, and it’s certainly true in the police as well, certainly the police that I’ve spoken to, that for some people prison is not the best place for them.”
He continued: “There is a challenge as well, and it’s not a quick one, to make sure that the community justice options are more credible and consistent, so sometimes the courts might be reluctant to go down that road if they don’t think the community justice disposal is sufficient, so we’ve got a job on our hands which we’re looking at just now. We’re currently reviewing the community justice strategy, and we want to improve that.”
In response to this Scottish Conservative spokesman Jamie Greene indicated that there is no justice in releasing prisoners after they’ve served just a third of their sentence.