Bail and release from custody arrangements in Scotland

Closed 7 Feb 2022

Opened 15 Nov 2021

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


We want to reassess what role prisons and the use of imprisonment should play in a just and fair society.  We have the opportunity to take a transformative approach to the way some parts of the justice system operates in Scotland, delivering better outcomes for all.  This includes a focus on the role of custody, both now and in the future.  The use of remand and arrangements around release from custody are two areas which we consider have the potential to contribute to this shift in how prison is used in a modern Scotland, and this consultation seeks your views on reforms in these areas.

Read the consultation paper

Why your views matter

The consultation seeks views on proposed reforms relating to the law governing the use of bail and remand for those accued of criminal offences and the release from custody of those serving sentences following conviction.  This is the first stage in a longer-term consideration of how custody is used in Scotland. 

Our proposed reforms relating to the law on bail have a focus on emphasising public safety as being the determining factor justifying remand as we feel that those who do not pose a risk of serious harm should be managed in the community.  The consultation also seeks views on what alternatives to remand and support for people leaving remand could look like in the future.  We are also seeking views on proposals around release arrangements for certain prisoners and on the support provided to people on release from custody, with an emphasis on supporting reintegration.

These proposed reforms have an emphasis on both addressing the underlying causes of offending, and protecting public safety.

What happens next

Once the consultation has closed, we will publish the responses online and carry out an analysis of the responses.  This will be followed by a final report outlining the results of this analysis.  The analysis and report will then be used to help inform any consequential legislation on this matter as well as any longer-term considerations on how custody is used in Scotland.


  • Law and Order