Scotsman Archive: Progress in penal reform, 1 December, 1948

THE Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill which was passed last session, was given a second reading in the House of Lords yesterday. Moving the second reading, Lord Morrison said the bill was the outcome of the progress made during the past few decades in the field of penal reform.

He particularly referred to the work of the Scottish Advisory Council on the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Offenders which, under the chairmanship of the Very Rev Dr C W G Taylor, had greatly assisted in the preparation of the bill. The enlightened view had come to be that not only should the punishment fit the crime but that the treatment should fit the offender. They sought to deal with an offender appropriately, both in his own interest and in that of the community.

That did not mean that reformation could be regarded as the sole object of the system of criminal justice. Punishment must still have a place and must often be beneficial to the offender as well as operating to deter others.