The Scottish Prison Service has 16 managed prisons. The purpose of the Scottish Prison Service is to deter, punish, protect and rehabilitate, delivering opportunities which give the best chance to reduce reoffending.
The prison education is poorly resourced with funding at about a fifth of the level of that provided in England and Wales. Recent publicity in Scotland has drawn attention to the fact that in some prisons only 15-17% of prisoners are accessing education, even though the average is 30-40%.
The current curriculum is "one size fits all" with basic literacy, numeracy and IT, regardless whether you’re long term prisoner, young offender or a woman. If prisons were to deter effectively then people would be put off in the first place and those who do enter the system would be put off every going back. Over the past few years, the Scottish government and most Scottish politicians have come to think of prison as largely ineffective in rehabilitation offenders. There is evidence that a prison sentence when given to an offender only makes them more likely to commit crime on release.
Originally prisons were built as places of punishment where prisoners had few rights and beatings were acceptable. Prisons are still very strict and offenders have little privacy and no freedom. There are many restrictions on offenders lives, some prisons still focus on punishment as the main aim of the prison.
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