Former Lord Advocate signs up to help turn tide of female offending
AFTER a career spent pursuing criminals, Dame Elish Angiolini has been given the task of preventing women from offending.
The former Lord Advocate will offer support to women whose criminal behaviour is linked to vulnerability, chaotic lifestyles, drug addiction and mental health problems.
Justice secretary Kenny MacAskill vowed to "turn the tide" after a decade in which the female prison population has doubled in Scotland.
He said: "Elish Angiolini will bring her substantial experience and talent to examine one of the most pressing social justice issues of recent times.
"The number of women in prison has more than doubled over the last decade - this situation cannot go on. In the 21st century, we must find a more effective way of dealing with these women, and I am confident that the commission will help us to do that. I am determined that we turn the tide to improve conditions and reduce reoffending rates."
Dame Elish added: "I am delighted to have been asked to chair this commission."
The commission was welcomed by Circle, a Scottish charity supporting marginalised families.
Grant Sugden, the organisation's operational manager, said: "There needs to be a concerted effort to prevent women going to prison."
Andy Hogg, Scottish assistant general secretary of the Prison Officers Association, added: "There is not - as far as I'm aware - a national strategy about female prisoners. There needs to be."
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