Scotland’s justice secretary has admitted 265 criminals are now out of prison despite the risk they pose to the public being wrongly calculated because of a computer glitch.
The risk posed by hundreds of convicted criminals – used in deciding whether they can be released early – is being wrongly calculated because of an IT system error, Keith Brown told MSPs.
Brown admitted there are 265 “open cases” of released criminals who had their “risk score” wrongly calculated, with 115 cases yet to be checked to see if they may have been wrongly released.
In a statement to the Scottish Parliament, Brown said the Scottish Government is not aware of “any risk to the public from anybody being released when they shouldn’t be”, but that checks are still being carried out.
“There are 150 different cases out of the 265 that have to be looked at in relation to the open cases, which have come back with no public protection issues whatsoever,” Brown said on Thursday.
The Level of Service and Case Management (LSCMI) system, which is used by the 32 local authorities and the Scottish Prison Service (SPS), was centralised on November 22, 2021, and uses assessments to calculate the risk posed by criminals, particularly those with a history of reoffending.
Of the 24,000 open cases on the system, Brown said 13,117 scores “did not match” the correct risk level identified by assessments.
There are also 1037 closed cases affected by the error, although 537 of those have manually been corrected.
Scottish Conservative justice spokesman Jamie Greene said the statement “could not be more stark or actually shocking”, and added: “These are vital systems they use to score criminals and their risk to the public before they are released early.
“So the admission today there are potentially hundreds of cases where the risk for assessing that danger was wrong will and should be a source of grave concern to us all.”
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