The Scottish Government wrote to the Committee on 3 September 2013 setting out its plans to end automatic early release for certain categories of prisoners and indicating that the provisions would be brought forward by way of amendment to the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill. The Committee agreed to seek views on the proposals before considering the relevant amendments bringing forward these provisions. To that end, the Committee issued a call for evidence seeking views on the proposals and a number of submissions were made in response.
The Cabinet Secretary for Justice subsequently announced to the Parliament on 23 April 2014 that Stage 2 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill would not commence until after the Post-corroboration Safeguards Review, chaired by Lord Bonomy, had reported. The Review is expected to report in April 2015.
The Cabinet Secretary for Justice wrote to the Committee on 27 May 2014 advising that the provisions relating to automatic early release would be brought forward as a separate piece of legislation. The Prisoners (Control of Release) (Scotland) Bill was introduced on 14 August 2014.
A SPICe briefing considering the Scottish Government’s proposals for reform in this area, as outlined in a letter to the Justice Committee in September 2013, together with evidence which the Justice Committee has received in relation to those proposals was published on 3 May 2014.