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Summary

  1. The Justice Committee takes evidence on the Management of Offenders Bill from Scotland's chief inspector of prisons.
  2. Justice Secretary Michael Matheson gives a ministerial statement on police call handling
  3. The Sccotish Parliament observes one minute's silence in remembrance of the victims of the Manchester Arena concert attack
  4. MSPs debate how to tackle the employment gap faced by disabled people
  5. Tory MSP Liam Kerr leads a member's debate entitled 'Increasing awareness of restorative justice within the criminal justice system'

Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Louise Wilson

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all from Holyrood Live

    That's all from Holyrood Live today, Tuesday 22 May 2018.

    MSPs observed one minute's silence this afternoon to mark the anniversary of the Manchester Arena attack which saw 22 people killed.

    Collage of MSPs during minute's silence

    Among those killed was 14-year-old schoolgirl Eilidh MacLeod from Barra.

    Her friend Laura MacIntyre survived but was badly injured.

    As well as a national minute's silence, an emotional memorial service took place in Manchester.

    Eilidh MacLeod was among the 22 people killed in last year's attack
    Image caption: Eilidh MacLeod was among the 22 people killed in last year's attack
  2. Minister backs value of restorative justice

    Legal Affairs and Community Safety Minister Annabelle Ewing

    Legal Affairs and Community Safety Minister Annabelle Ewing says restorative justice offers an opportunity to build on efforts to create a safer Scotland.

    She emphasises the need to put victims at the heart of the criminal justice process.

    We must ensure high quality training is available to restorative justice facilitators, the minister states.

    Public awareness and its benefits must also be improved, she argues.

    Ms Ewing says the Scottish government is committed to providing strategic leadership to deliver restorative justice in Scotland.

    One option being considered is a national framework to help deliver it at a local level, with consultation work currently underway.

  3. Lib Dem MSP points out restorative justice can be key to rehabilitation

    Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur
    Image caption: Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur

    Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur pays tribute to his colleague Alison McInnes for her efforts on restorative justice when she was an MSP.

    Mr McArthur points out restorative justice can be key to rehabilitation.

    He says he does not think all victims have access to safe restorative justice services but accepts progress has been made.

  4. Restorative justice could be used as diversion from prosecution insists Green MSP

    Green MSP John Finnie
    Image caption: Green MSP John Finnie

    Green MSP John Finnie says it is often not only the victim that is seeking an apology, but offenders want to provide one too.

    He argues that it could be seen as a diversion from prosecution.

  5. Background: Restorative justice: 'How I got an apology from my abuser'

    Laura Coel

    Laura Coel was sexually abused by her former stepfather for long periods of her childhood.

    She explains how the restorative justice system enabled her to meet him years later and gain an apology.

    "You tend to make up in your head what your abuser is thinking, and you make judgments about things which only they can tell you for sure," Laura says.

    She remembers the unanswered questions that led her, in 2014, to meet her former stepfather for the first time since he was sentenced in 2006.

    Her abuser - who we have decided not to name - groomed and sexually assaulted her between the ages of four and 14, and served four years in prison after pleading guilty to 12 counts of indecent assault and gross indecency with a child.

    Laura, from Morpeth, Northumberland, had wanted to hear him apologise for his actions, but also make him face up to how his crimes had affected her.

    Read Laura's story.

  6. Labour MSP points out restorative justice can benefit victim AND perpetrator

    Labour MSP Daniel Johnson
    Image caption: Labour MSP Daniel Johnson

    Labour MSP Daniel Johnson says the traditional model of one that looks at punishment is flawed.

    Mr Johnson points out that people committing crimes are very often victims before they do so.

    He agrees with Liam Kerr that sometimes the victim can get lost and reminds the chamber Lady Justice not only carries a sword but also scales.

    The Labour MSP says restorative justice is not just beneficial for the victim but can help the perpetrator see the real consequences of what they have done.

  7. SNP MSP praises restorative justice schemes

    SNP MSP Fulton Macgregor
    Image caption: SNP MSP Fulton Macgregor

    SNP MSP Fulton Macgregor, as a former social worker in the justice system, exalts the value of restorative justice, particularly for young people.

    He welcomes the Scottish government's commitment to supporting its delivery.

    While only a small number of local authorities are providing it officially, Mr Macgregor insists more are making use of restorative justice but are not naming it as such.

  8. Background: Restorative justice in Scotland

    Front cover of guidance on restorative justice

    Last October, the Scottish government published guidance for the delivery of restorative justice in Scotland.

    It sets out the key principles of such an approach for providers and facilitators.

    In September 2016, a report from the Independent Advisory Group on Hate Crime, Prejudice and Community Cohesion concluded the Scottish government should explore using restorative justice for victims and perpetrators of hate crime.

  9. Restorative justice should not replace a formal trial and punishment

    Tory MSP Liam Kerr
    Image caption: Tory MSP Liam Kerr

    Mr Kerr tells the chamber: "We need to get these services up and running."

    This will put victims at the heart of the justice system, he argues.

    The Tory MSP says restorative justice should not replace a formal trial and punishment.

    He ponders whether victims should be included in Community Payback Review Hearings.

  10. Background: What is restorative justice?

    • Restorative justice enables victims to meet or communicate with offenders to explain the real impact of the crime.
    • For communication to take place, the offender must have admitted the crime, and both the victim and offender must be willing to participate.
    • Meetings take place in a controlled environment, with a facilitator to ensure the process is safe.
    • Restorative justice is used most commonly in relation to burglary, robbery, grievous bodily harm and assault. It is well established in the youth justice system.
    • Restorative justice reduces the frequency of reoffending by 14%, according to a 2010 UK government report

    Source:Restorative Justice Council

  11. Restorative justice allows victims to receive an apology says Tory MSP

    Tory MSP Liam Kerr
    Image caption: Tory MSP Liam Kerr

    Tory MSP Liam Kerr emphasises that restorative justice does not replace a formal trial.

    It offers victims the opportunity to receive a direct apology which is not normally possible during the usual criminal justice routes, he explains.

    Scotland's re-conviction rate has "barely changed" in the last 17 years, highlights the Tory MSP.

    But restorative justice schemes in England demonstrated a drop in re-conviction rates of 15%, he says.

  12. Here is the motion

    In his motion, Tory MSP Liam Kerr:

    • highlights that restorative justice brings together offenders and victims of crime in an attempt to repair the harm that was caused
    • notes restorative justice has the ability to reduce reoffending
    • refers to three pilot schemes in England and expresses concern about Scotland being "relatively slow" to take this approach
    • urges the Scottish government to champion restorative justice
    Liam Kerr's motion
  13. Restorative justice debate begins

    Burglar breaking in

    Tory MSP Liam Kerr now leads a members' debate on restorative justice.

  14. Scottish government's amended motion agreed

    The Scottish government's motion, as amended by Labour and the Tories, is agreed with 81 for and 28 against.

    Scottish government motion
  15. Tory and Labour amendments agreed

    The Tory amendment is agreed unanimously.

    Tory amendment

    Labour's amendment is agreed, with 81 MSPs voting for and 28 against.

    Labour amendment
  16. Response to last week's point of order

    Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh refers back to a point of order from Labour MSP Daniel Johnson last week on the conduct of the education secretary and his officials.

    Mr Macintosh points out that complaints against ministers are for the ministerial code and complaints against civil servants is for the civil servants code.

  17. 'The problem is not with disabled people, the problem is a societal one'

    Man in wheelchair at work

    Mr Hepburn assures Alison Johnstone that Fair Start Scotland will fully support those with a learning disability.

    He tells the chamber the employment rate for those with a learning disability is worse than for those with a disability.

    "The problem is not with disabled people, the problem is a societal one."

    Mr Hepburn praises Daniel Johnson for being willing to come to the chamber and talk about his ADHD.

    The minister goes on to agree realistic targets and timescale must be set.

  18. Closing employment gap would boost GDP says minister

    Employability and Training Minister Jamie Hepburn
    Image caption: Employability and Training Minister Jamie Hepburn

    Employability and Training Minister Jamie Hepburn welcomes the broad consensus across the chamber on this issue.

    We must reach out to people not in work and get them into employment, the minister argues, saying each person represents a lost opportunity and social injustice.

    The right to work should be a universal one, he asserts.

    Mr Hepburn also insists there is an economic incentive to employing disabled people, highlighting estimates that closing the employment gap would lead to a 3.5% increase to GDP.

  19. 'Barriers to employment, both perceived and real, need to be addressed'

    Tory MSP Michelle Ballantyne
    Image caption: Tory MSP Michelle Ballantyne

    Tory MSP Michelle Ballantyne says barriers to employment, both perceived and real, need to be addressed so Scotland's disabled people can participate in the economy and communities.

    Ms Ballantyne welcomes the government's working group on this issue.

    She welcomes the recent Deaf Awareness Week and the Fairer Scotland Action Plan.

    The Tory MSP calls for a timeframe for the ambition to cut the disability employment gap by halve.

    She says the education participation gap is up to 7% between young people with and without disabilities.

    Unemployment is 15.5% higher for disabled graduates, compared to those without a disability, she tells the chamber.

  20. Public sector must offer leadership on workforce diversity

    Labour MSP Mark Griffin urges the public sector to offer more leadership in creating a more diverse workforce.

    He tells the chamber of how he has to wear a hearing aid since spring recess.

    Labour MSP Mark Griffin
    Image caption: Labour MSP Mark Griffin

    Mr Griffin says support and necessary adjustments can offer a 48% return on investment to employers.

    The Labour MSP notes the changes to the Access to Work scheme puts 600 jobs at risk.

    He goes on to criticise other various UK government policies which he says negatively impact disabled people in particular.

    Almost half of people in poverty are living with someone with a disability, he highlights, and he insists a target on employment would be a step towards improving this.