Prisoner who claimed Scottish Ministers failed to provide opportunities for rehabilitation fails in damages bid

in the CARE programme amounted to or resulted from a breach by the respondents of their duties.

“There is then a complaint that, although the CARE programme was completed by the end of March 2014, it took until August before the post-programme report was finalised and until early September for it to be considered by the prison service. I see no reason to think that this time was not required. The petitioner’s complaint that this should all have been worked out before he was introduced to the CARE programme is, to my mind, wholly unrealistic given the difficulties with which the petitioner presented.”

The last specific complaint concerned the alleged failure by the SPS to get a local authority to accept responsibility for the petitioner upon his release, but the judge observed that their duty was to take “reasonable steps to further the process of rehabilitation leading to possible release” and there was “nothing to suggest that their efforts, through the governor, were lacking”.

The petitioner also complained, at a general level, that the process had all gone on “much too long and without sufficient priority being given to his needs”, but the judge said that given the specific circumstances it was “unrealistic to expect that he could be put straight into something like the CARE programme and then put seamlessly through the next levels leading towards preparation for release”.

Lord Glennie added: “There had to be time for proper assessment in addition to identifying and then implementing the programmes and other coursework. I see no basis for the complaint made at this general level either.”

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