Prison sentences that last no longer than 12 months are to come to an end this year. The Justice secretary for Scotland has stated these are ineffective and will not longer exist in Scotland. The prison population which is approximately 7,330 has around 1,022 prisoners with sentences shorter than one year.
Three  years ago a consultation on a presumption against sentences of twelve months or less closed with a 85 per cent support rate including the inspector for prisons in Scotland. Mr McArthur of the Scottish liberal democrats said: “We know that 60 per cent of people given ineffective and disruptive short-term sentences re-offend within a year of release, whereas robust community-based sentences are far more successful and reduce the chance of more people becoming victims of crime.
This way there’s a benefit to individuals, families and, very importantly, communities. These are not soft options, but they do help preserve family links and limit the damage on dependent children.’’ There has been much support for this reform for many years with the move set to be final in 2019.