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Increase in elderly inmates convicted of Sex Offences

According to a recent article, official statistics have shown that the number of people serving time in prison for committing sexual offences has more than doubled since the year 2000. This rise in convicted sex offenders during this period was also met with an increase in the age profiles of offenders who have been convicted in historic cases.

Tom Fox, the head of corporate affairs at the Scottish Prison Service (SPS), stated that the service is committed to accommodating for all inmates sent to prison by the courts despite facing the challenges that come with the increase in elderly inmates. With some inmates in their sixties to eighties, some of which are entering the prison system for their first time, Mr Fox stated that special carers are required in order to assist with physical and psychological issues that arise from old age such as washing inmates and helping them to bed.

In the year 2000, the prison population was approximately 5,000-6,000 where around 500 of which were convicted for sexual offences. Since then, this number has risen to about 1,200 – a 58.3% increase - out of a total population of between 7,000-8,000.

While there were no specific figures given for the increase in elderly inmates during this time period, Mr Fox concluded that the population of these inmates has doubled within the last 20 years, something which he considers to be a “new phenomenon” within the Scottish prison system.

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