Choice vs. Crisis: How Scotland could transform thinking about prisons and punishment

Published: 2009

Armstrong, S. and McNeill, F. (2009) Choice versus crisis: how Scotland could transform the way we think about prisons and punishment.Criminal Justice Matters, 75 (1). pp. 2-4. ISSN 0962-7251


We review the report of the Scottish Prisons Commission (2008), arguing that its significance lies in avoiding a crisis management approach to penal policy making. The SPC Report connects penal policy to national well-being, recognises the role of the criminal justice system itself in driving up prison populations, and re-connects Scotland’s tradition of enlightened social welfarism to a philosophy of punishment that emphasises restoration and reintegration.