Church welcomes rethink on women’s prison

Rev Sally Foster-Fulton

The Church of Scotland is welcoming the Scottish Government's decision to think again about the proposed new women's prison at Inverclyde.

Rev Sally Foster-Fulton, Church and Society Council Convener, says she's pleased the Cabinet Secretary has recognised Scotland must take a more radical and ambitious approach to female offending.

The Joint Faiths Advisory Board on Community Justice, of which the Church is a part, wrote to the Cabinet Secretary in January calling for the new prison to be scrapped. The Board supported the Angiolini Commission in pointing the way to a new approach, recognising that the present system does not meet the needs of communities, victims, women offenders or their families. Yet the proposed prison seemed to offer more of the same.

Rev Sally Foster-Fulton said: "We know that centres like the 218 residential unit in Glasgow work for many who would otherwise be in prison and it is encouraging that the Cabinet Secretary chose a visit there to make the announcement. It is also encouraging that there seems a good deal of political consensus around rejecting 'more of the same' and finding new ways forward. We look forward to being part of the 'extensive engagement with key partners' promised today."