The Scottish government have published proposals to restrict short terms prison sentences in Scotland. If this is passed by the government it means that Courts will have to explain why sentences less than 12 months are being imposed and justify the reasoning for this. The Scottish government has stated that the presumption that is currently in place against prior sentences less that three months has allowed reoffending to come to a 20 year low.
Scottish Prisons such as Barlinnie are now 40 percent over capacity. However, there is criticism of such a conclusion as critics have stated that reoffending rates are in line with a trend that started before the presumption against three month sentences or less was introduced. It has been established however that those finishing a sentence of less than 12 months reoffend almost twice as often than those who were given a community payback order. There are proposals by the government to spend an extra 9.5 million on community based disposals.