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Fine Defaulters

Volume 174: debated on Thursday 14 June 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the number of admissions to prisons in Scotland of persons for non-payment of fines of (a) up to £25 and (b) between £25 and £50, at the latest date for which figures are available.

The available information is for value of fine outstanding rather than fine imposed at court and for receptions rather than persons admitted to prison. One reception is counted if one or more warrants arrive for the same person for the same court on the same day. Some receptions relate to warrants arriving at establishments for people already held in custody.In 1989, the number of receptions where the fine outstanding was

(a) up to and including £25 was 387, and (b) greater than £25 and up to and including £50 was 1,420.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many people were admitted to Scottish prisons as a result of non-payment of fines in the last year for which figures are available; what percentage this was of total admissions and what was the average length of stay in prison before release.

The available information is for receptions rather than persons admitted to prison. One reception is counted if one or more warrants arrive for the same person from the same court on the same day. Some receptions relate to warrants arriving at establishments for people already held in custody.In 1989, there were 9,154 receptions into penal establishments in Scotland for non-payment of fines, 47 per cent. of all receptions. The average period spent in custody by fine defaulters was 11 days.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what percentage of the daily prison population in Scotland was made up of inmates in prison because of non-payment of fines, excluding remand prisoners.

In 1989, 6 per cent. of the average daily population in penal establishments, excluding those held on remand, were there for non-payment of fines.