Inquiry into purposeful activity in prisons



The Justice Committee has launched an inquiry to consider issues around the opportunity prisoners have to engage in purposeful activity in the course of their imprisonment, in particular-

What is meant by 'purposeful' activity and how can this be measured;

The extent to which prisoners have an opportunity to engage in purposeful activity;

What are the perceived benefits of purposeful activity and whether there are any examples of best practice;

What barriers may exist to prevent prisoners engaging in such activities;

Whether access to purposeful activities is consistent across the prison estate; and

Whether access to such activity can be improved.



Written evidence

The Committee issued a call for evidence. The closing date for submissions was Friday 26 January 2013

Read the call for evidence

Read the news release on the call for evidence

Read the written submissions received

Fact finding visits

In addition to the formal evidence taking sessions, the Committee also undertook a number of visits to prisons across Scotland.

View pictures from Christine Grahame and Alison McInnes MSPs’ visit to HMP YOI Polmont

View pictures from Alison McInnes MSP’s visit to HMP Addiewell

Members discussed the key issues which arose from these visits at the Committee’s meeting on 29 January 2013.

Oral evidence

The Committee took oral evidence at the following meetings:

29 January : Scottish Prison Service

5 February : Benefits and delivery of purposeful activities (2 panels)

26 February : Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Chief Executive, Scottish Prison Service


The Committee published its report on its inquiry on 28 March 2013.


Further information relating to the inquiry can be obtained from the clerks to the Committee on 0131 348 5047 or by e-mail [email protected]


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