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Information for Partner Organisations



The health and wellbeing of the people who live and work in Scotland’s prisons, including staff employed by others, will always be SPS’ priority.  This is why the SPS had to take the unprecedented decision to suspend all visits to help prevent the spread of COVID 19.

Communications and data sharing

We recognise that good communication and data sharing is a crucial element of our response to COVID 19. The SPS will continue to use the channels of engagement we already have in place with partners and sectors and will provide updates through this SPS COVID site and the sites of other key partners, for example, the dedicated CJVSF web page cjvsf/hot-topics/covid-19/ as a vehicle for updating third sector partners.    

We will be supplementing these existing channels of engagement with more intensive engagement with key partners and sectors, in particular NHS, COSLA, CJVSF, SWS, DWP, the Public Social Partnerships and our justice partners including Police Scotland, COPFS, SCTS and Parole Scotland.

The arrangements for the sharing of data with local councils continues to improve with all Councils now signed up to a Data Sharing Agreement with the SPS.  The arrangements for data sharing with the Public Social Partnerships continue to improve with regular reports now being provided – this arrangement will be kept under review and existing Data Sharing Agreements will be refreshed.

The suspension of prison visits and the absence of face to face engagement

The SPS is committed to ensuring that our partners can continue to play their distinctive roles in supporting the needs of the people in and leaving SPS’ care.  We recognise that the suspension of prisons visits and the absence of face to face engagement, challenges both the SPS and our partners to be creative in how services can be designed and delivered - a number of key products are under development in support of that. 

Statutory and third sector organisations who wish to maintain contact with those in SPS care will require to do so predominantly through the ‘email a prisoner’ system. This allows emails to be printed off and delivered to people along with their regular mail.



The Early Release Regulations can be found in the following via the following two links;

Early Release Regulations

Early Release Regulations

Our latest partners briefing note (28 May 2020) is now available and can be accessed by clicking on the link below.

ER Partners Briefing 28 May 2020

Links to key products to support reintegration as well as previous briefings are also provided below.

ER Partners Briefing 5 May 2020

Coronavirus - How to keep safe when you go home

Coronavirus leaflet - Useful information for those leaving custody

DWP Information Leaflet

GP Registration Form and Information Card

Scottish Welfare Fund Application Form




Partnership Agreements should continue to be completed by SPS and Third sector organisations. The SPS and CJVSF remain committed to the Partnership Agreements process.

SPS' corporate position on working with the third sector remains in place.

The SPS and the Criminal Justice Voluntary Sector Forum (CJVSF) circulated a joint letter to the third sector. It can be accessed by clicking here.

Interim guidance is in place to prevent homelessness on release. The SPS and Scottish Government have drafted Sustainable Housing on Release (SHORE) and COVID-19 interim guidance which can be found here.

DWP have set up a dedicated service for prison leavers. Work Coaches are supporting the overall new claim effort in the community. In the immediate term prison leavers should make an online claim for UC wherever possible. If they are unable to access/use the internet they should utilise the existing telephony claim service – ID can be verified and payment made over the phone. The number to call once they are in the community is 0800 328 5644.

If people have no access to the internet or a telephone they may still be able to attend their local job centre – the most vulnerable will be supported in person at job centres. If people are displaying symptoms or are in the group required to self-isolate, then they must not go into a Jobcentre and should use the telephone service. The attached flyer being distributed to prison leavers to inform them about how to make a claim for Universal Credit in the community after they have been released from prison.