MSPs on the Scottish Parliament’s Criminal Justice Committee have put out a call for views on the Scottish Government's Bail and Release from Custody Bill, as they begin their stage 1 scrutiny of the bill.

Reforms made by the bill include:

  • changing the test that the court must apply when making decisions about bail, and requiring the court to record reasons if bail is refused;
  • ending "Friday release" from prisons, so prisoners being released have a chance to access public services;
  • introducing minimum standards for throughcare support provided to prisoners throughout their time in prison and during their transition back into the community; and
  • allowing victim support organisations to receive information about prisoners, including their release.

The Government hopes these measures will reduce use of custody for remand, give greater priority to rehabilitation for those leaving prison, and reduce overall reoffending rates.

The call for views will run over the summer, ahead of evidence hearings expected to take place later in the year and then the committee’s stage 1 report.

Committee convener Audrey Nicoll MSP commented: "These plans propose important changes to the criminal justice system in Scotland.

"We want to hear the range of views on them which exist across Scotland, not least from victims of crime, those with experience of prison and the families and communities around these people."

Respond via this link. The closing date is 8 September 2022.