Corporate Plan 2023 - 28

THE Scottish Prison Service (SPS) is on a journey to becoming a more trauma-informed organisation, its new Corporate Plan reveals.

The 2023 – 2028 plan sets out the SPS’s ambitions for the next five years.

That includes embedding trauma-informed practices in the way SPS staff support those in our care.

Those relationships are central to how SPS intends to reduce the risk of reoffending and support its communities, justice partners, and Scotland as a whole.

In the past 12 months, the SPS has opened three new establishments – the Bella and Lilias Community Custody Units, and HMP & YOI Stirling – all with a trauma-informed and person-centred approach to people’s rehabilitation.

Training in how experiences of trauma affect the behaviours and choices of those in our care will be extended to staff across all our establishments over the course of the next five years.

This will support staff in understanding how the trauma people have experienced in their past, affects their behaviour and choices now and in future.

The Scottish Government’s Vision for Justice makes it clear that Scotland ‘must look to redefine the role of custody in the context of needing to better support individuals’ rehabilitation, by taking a trauma-informed and person-centred approach whilst also ensuring public safety.’  

This plan translates that vision and wider public policy expectations of Scotland’s prisons into delivery.

Like all of Scotland, the Scottish Prison Service faces a challenging economic climate, with rising inflation, and pressure on public finances.   

However, the SPS remains ambitious in its plans for how we support our staff, manage those in our care, and serve Scotland.   

The Corporate Plan sets out three objectives, which have been developed from a review of relevant evidence, including engagement with those in our care, families and other visitors, SPS staff, and stakeholders. 

Those objectives are: 

* People in Scotland’s prisons live in establishments that are safe, secure, and suitable.

* The health, wellbeing, and care of people who live in Scotland’s prisons are better promoted, managed, and tailored to individual needs.

* People in Scotland’s prisons are better supported to follow an individualised pathway towards release, in ways that prioritise public protection.   

Writing in the Corporate Plan foreword, Teresa Medhurst, Chief Executive of the Scottish Prison Service, said: “The key to our success is the relationships staff have with those in our care.    

“These relationships, built on respect and understanding, will continue to be central to all we do, and how we will realise the ambitions set out in this plan. 

"They will also be key to us becoming a truly trauma-informed organisation, where we carry out our work in ways that recognise the impact traumatic experiences has on individuals’ behaviour as we support and encourage their personal development.”