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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-20565: Alison Johnstone (Lothian)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 12 December 2018

To ask the Scottish Government how many people have received funds from the Assisted Prison Visits Scheme to help them visit relatives in the last five years.

Answered by: Humza Yousaf 8 January 2019

I have asked Colin McConnell, Chief Executive of the Scottish Prison Service (SPS), to respond. His response is as follows:

The amount of approved Assisted Prison Visits in the last 5 years, April to March, are in the following table. The figures are of the total approved claims and are not broken down by unique users. The figure provided for 2017-18 takes account of the switch to a digital application system mid-way through the year.

Year

Total Approved claims

2014-15

4,320

2015-16

3,855

2016-17

3,372

2017-18

1,986 (Digital switch – July 2017)

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1,993 (Estimated approximately 3,000 approved claims by year end: 2018-19

Statistics indicate there has been a decline in prison population year on year since the most recent peak in 2012. Claims for APVU are increasing this year and if this increase continues it is estimated that around 3,000 claims may be approved this financial year.