The findings of an urgent review into the handling of the case of a double rapist held in a women’s prison will be published this week, the First Minister has said.
The report was ordered by Scotland’s justice secretary in the wake of public backlash after Isla Bryson was housed in Cornton Vale, the country’s only female-only prison.
Bryson – who will be sentenced later this month for raping two women while going by the name Adam Graham – was then moved to a men’s prison.
The review was due to be finished by the Scottish Prison Service last Friday and Nicola Sturgeon confirmed cabinet minister Keith Brown had received it.
“The findings of the report will be published,” she told MPs during First Minister’s Questions.
Sturgeon said that Brown will update the Criminal Justice Committee this week with Holyrood entering recess for a week on Friday.
She said that both the justice secretary and the chief executive of the Scottish Prison Service Teresa Medhurst will attend the Justice Committee on February 22.
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross urged the First Minister to commit to publishing the full report, as opposed to just the “findings”.
“The First Minister claims I’m clutching at straws on this – it seems she’s clutching on to this report, because she’s not willing to issue it in full today,” he said.
“The report findings, we’re told, will be published at some point, why not today? Why not publish the findings and the full report that your Justice Secretary has had for over 24 hours?”
Ross also questioned the First Minister on the case of Tiffany Scott, who was convicted of stalking a 13-year-old girl while Andrew Burns and had requested to be moved to the female prison estate.
On the day reports of Scott’s request appeared, The Scottish Government halted transfers of trans prisoners with a history of violence against women to female facilities.
Ross said his party had spoken to a retired prison officer who said officers had been “threatened with disciplinary measures” if they refused to refer to Scott with female pronouns.
“They said that Scott ‘has used gender recognition as a tool to create as much chaos as possible within the prison system’,” Ross said.
The officer, the Tory leader claimed, continued: “This is a classic example of devious, dangerous individuals who are exploiting this dangerous situation.”
Reports have also claimed that female prison officers have had to carry out strip searches of Scott while in prison, something Ross said was “completely unacceptable”, urging the First Minister to intervene.
Sturgeon said: “Those on the prison estate are dealt with depending on the nature of the crime and the nature of the risk posed and, again, it’s important for reasons of public assurance to underline that as well, and that is demonstrated in the two recent cases that have been cited in the media in recent days and here again today.”
She said the SPS has been dealing with transgender prisoners for “many, many years now” and have been doing so “safely and effectively”, and that the prison service can use technology to search prisoners.
“The SPS is experienced in these matters, I trust their handling of these matters and it’s important that we continue to ensure they are handled appropriately,” the First Minister said.