Scottish Prisons Commission: 10 Years On

The Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research is delighted to announced our forthcoming conference on the Scottish Prisons Commission: 10 Years On.

In July 2008 the Prisons Commission’s recommendations encompassed comprehensive change across the criminal justice system, in seeking to reduce Scotland’s excessive use of prison compared to other parts of Europe. At this conference we will focus on the current situation and future of justice in Scotland, including parallel sessions on three major themes: Community Justice, Women and Justice and Reducing the Prison Population. A briefing paper has been circulated and will be developed following the conference on the state of punishment in Scotland; we welcome your views and information on its development (email us at .

Speakers include many of the former Commissioners including Henry McLeish, Lesley Riddoch, Alistair Duff and David Strang along with representatives from Howard League Scotland, the Scottish Prisons Service and Scottish Government as well as a guest lecture from Prof Bruce Western from Columbia University who will discuss Punishment & Inequality in an International Perspective.

***SOLD OUT*** (email to be added to waitlist)


12.15 – 13.00: Registration and light lunch

13.00 – 13.15: Welcome
Sarah Armstrong, Director of SCCJR, University of Glasgow
Henry McLeish, Chair of the Scottish Prisons Commission and former First Minister of Scotland

13.15 – 13.45: Houchin re-visited: Punishment & Inequality in Scotland
Chair: Sarah Armstrong
Speakers: Prof Susan McVie & Dr Ben Matthews, University of Edinburgh

13.45 – 14.15: Punishment & Inequality in International Perspective
Chair: Sarah Armstrong
Guest Speaker: Prof Bruce Western, Columbia University

14.15 – 14.30: Q&A

14.30 – 14.45 Break

14.45 – 15.45 Breakout Parallel Sessions

Parallel 1: Community Justice
Chair: Beth Weaver, University of Strathclyde
Speakers: Iona Colvin, Chief Social Work Adviser, Tracy McFall, Turning Point Scotland/Community Justice Voluntary Sector Forum and Prof Mike Nellis, University of Strathclyde

Parallel 2: Women and Justice
Chair: Margaret Malloch, University of Stirling
Speakers: Prof Michele Burman, University of Glasgow, Anne Pinkman, Prison Reform Trust and Teresa Medhurst, Scottish Prison Service

Parallel 3: Reducing the Prison Population
Chair: Louise Brangan, Howard Leage Scotland
Speakers: Andrew Coyle Howard League Scotland, Colin McConnell, Scottish Prison Service, Pete White, Positive Prison? Positive Futures and a representative from SPARC (Scottish Prisoner Advoacy and Research Collective)

15.45-16.00 Break

16.00-17.00: In conversation with the Prisons Commission featuring Henry McLeish, David Strang, Lesley Riddoch and Alistair Duff. Chaired by Prof Fergus McNeill, University of Glasgow

17.00-17.15: Scottish Government Justice Vision 2020

Neil Rennick, Director of Justice, Scottish Government

17.15 – 18.45
10-year Anniversary Drinks Reception with concluding remarks and thanks from Sarah Armstrong, SCCJR and University of Glasgow