End to prisoner early release scheme welcomed
Victim Support Scotland has backed the end of automatic early release for prisoners jailed for more than four years.
Under the new legislation no-one will be eligible for automatic release.
Currently all prisoners are eligible to apply for parole after serving half of their sentence.
They are released automatically after two-thirds of their jail term.
The new provisions are contained in the Prisoners (Control of Release) (Scotland) Bill, currently making its way through parliament.
First minister Nicola Sturgeon also announced a guaranteed period of supervision for prisoners guilty of serious offences coming out of custody.
The safety of the public is an absolute priority - Nicola Sturgeon
Susan Gallagher, acting chief executive of Victim Support Scotland, said: "For those who live in all of the communities in which we work this should be viewed as a step closer to achieving a system in which sentences are straightforward and understandable to the victim and those communities.
"We also support the guarantee of a period of post-release supervision for prisoners, as we recognise the significant role played by community supervision, not only in facilitating enhanced reintegration into the community, but also in supporting offenders to desist from further offending."
Sturgeon added: "The safety of the public is an absolute priority of this government, and we have made significant progress in recent years, with an additional 1,000 police officers on our streets and recorded crime now at its lowest level in 40 years."