Festive parties held at Perth Prison “send out the wrong message” it has been claimed.
Alexander Stewart, Scottish Conservative MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, hit out after documents released after a freedom of information request revealed a children’s party and various sporting competitions took place at the prison during the festive season — at a total cost to the taxpayer of £1200.
The overall cost of holding festive events in prisons throughout Scotland was £3871.
At Perth Prison a children’s party cost £300, with the cost of ‘other competitions’ and quizzes coming to £600. There were also various sporting competitions held over a three-day period.
Mr Stewart said he fully appreciated that inmates need to engage with the celebration of Christmas but asked the SPS “at what cost”?
“Many hard working families will be outraged at this and residents will see this as a soft touch,” he commented.
However, a spokesperson for the SPS defended the cost of the festive activities at Scottish prisons.
“A number of events and activities had been in arranged in prisons across Scotland over the festive period,” he said.
“This is an important time of year when relatives have the opportunity to spend time with people in our care. These events nurture family relationships which help to reduce re-offending.”
* For more on this story see Monday’s Courier, also available as a digital edition.
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