SPS International Symposium 2016

On the 2nd and 3rd June, SPS hosted an international Symposium titled “Reimagining Custody, Community and Citizenship for 21st Century Scotland”.

The Symposium brought together a number of key academics and professionals to discuss a range of topics including social justice, measurement in penal practice and pathways to desistance.

After the event was opened by SPS Director of Strategy and Innovation Teresa Medhurst, delegates were welcomed with a video address from First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, pictured below.


Those attending were also welcomed by Chief Executive Colin McConnell before talks and group work began.

Setting the scene on the first morning, Professor Lesley McAra spoke on “Crime and Punishment in a Small Nation: Why Welfarism Matters” and Professor Alison Phipps discussed “Working Towards Multilateral Integration – some Lessons from the Refugee and Asylum Experience”

Group sessions continued into the second day when conclusions were presented before the symposium was closed by the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Michael Matheson.

Speaking at the event, SPS Chief Executive Colin McConnell said that the Symposium was a golden opportunity “to start the process of fundamental change and to really innovate and think imaginatively about that moral, social, political, economic and physical ‘space for change’”.

Colin McConnell’s full opening speech from the Symposium is available here:

Colin McConnell, Chief Executive of the Scottish Prison Service

Professor Lesley McAra, University of Edinburgh

Professor Alison Phipps, University of Glasgow

Group Work at the SPS International Symposium

Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Michael Matheson MSP