The health secretary has announced funding to support people in prison or those about to leave prison during the coronavirus pandemic.
Jeane Freeman confirmed £150,000 will be made available to “enhance residential rehabilitation services” and £1.9m to help inmates who need opiate substitution therapy (OST).
OST involves those who depend on the drug being given an alternative prescribed medicine.
“We are providing £150,000 to enhance residential rehabilitation services,” the health secretary said at Sunday’s Scottish Government press briefing.
“It will increase the number of residential places available for people leaving prison.
“We’re making up to £1.9m available to support people in prison who need opiate substitution therapy, or OST as it is known. That is currently around a quarter of Scotland’s prison population.
“The funding will make a new treatment called Buvidal available to people in prison. Unlike other substitutes Buvidal is administered as a seven or a 28 day injectable dose, rather than daily.
“This change will help to relieve pressure on our prison service. It will ensure continuity of treatment for people in prison.”
Earlier this week, it was revealed the early release of prisoners during the pandemic has been delayed until next week.
Final legal checks are being made to make sure regulations will operate effectively, which justice secretary Humza Yousaf said was “absolutely necessary for a robust early release scheme that has public safety at its heart.”
He added the delay may benefit those being released from prison, with access to services becoming easier.
The scheme will be limited to those sentenced to 18 months or less and who have 90 days or less left to serve.