Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Catholics in Scottish prisons petition

The committee discussed petition PE1073 this afternoon. This calls on the Parliament to investigate and establish the reasons for the apparently disproportionate number of Catholics in Scottish prisons. The webpage gives you the background to this petition and the consideration we have given to it so far. You will see that we wanted to widen the scope of the petition to also cover the disproportionate number of Muslims in prisons.
At our last meeting we agreed to consider whether research in this area was desirable. This afternoon, we discussed the initial responses we have received from academics in this field.
The committee has been particularly interested in this issue which is why we think it might be worthwhile taking forward some bespoke research. What we will now do is approach some academics to take forward a more detailed scoping study which would provide more information on precisely what we might want to research.
Once we have this more refined information we will consider whether to commission research. We hope to look at the petition again before the end of the year.
Frank McAveety MSP (Convener) and John Wilson MSP, PPC

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