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Seòmar agus comataidhean

Bail and Release from Custody (Scotland) Bill - Financial Memorandum


The Bill makes changes to the law in two main areas:

  • decisions about granting bail to people accused of a crime;
  • arrangements for the release of some prisoners and the support that is provided to those who leave prison.

When a person accused of a crime appears in court, the court has to decide whether they should be remanded in custody or remain in the community on bail while they await their trial.

Part 1 of the Bill makes changes to the current law relating to bail in four areas:

  • requiring justice social work to be given the opportunity to provide information to the court when making decisions about bail;
  • changing the test that the court must apply when making decisions about bail;
  • requiring the court to record reasons for refusing bail;
  • allowing time spent on electronically monitored bail to be counted as time served against a custodial sentence.

Part 2 of the Bill makes changes to some prisoner release arrangements and the support provided to those being released. These include:

  • preventing prisoners from being released on:
  • Fridays or the day before public holidays (adding to the existing requirement that prisoners are not released on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays)
  • Thursdays in some circumstances
  • replacing home detention curfew for long-term prisoners with a new system that will allow them to be temporarily released to support their reintegration – subject to risk assessment and consultation with the Parole Board;
  • giving the Scottish Ministers power to release certain prisoners early in emergency situations to protect the security and good order of prisons or the health, safety or welfare of those in prison;
  • requiring certain public bodies (for example local authorities and health boards) to engage in release planning for prisoners;
  • requiring the Scottish Ministers to produce minimum standards for throughcare support, provided to prisoners throughout their time in prison and during their transition back into the community;
  • allowing victim support organisations to receive certain information about prisoners, including about the release of prisoners.

Financial Memorandum

As with all Bills, the Finance and Public Administration Committee invites written evidence on the estimated financial implications of the Bill as set out in its accompanying Financial Memorandum (FM).

Read the FM for this Bill: Financial Memorandum.

Your Views

The call for views on the Bill's FM closed on 8 September 2022.

The Committee received 3 responses to the call for views. Read the responses on Citizen Space.

The Committee agreed to forward the submissions received to the Criminal Justice Committee as part of that Committee's consideration of the Bail and Release from Custody (Scotland) Bill and to write to the Criminal Justice Committee in relation to some of the key issues highlighted in written evidence. Read the letter here:

Letter from the Convener to the Convener of the Criminal Justice Committee of 5 December 2022.

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