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Management of Offenders (Scotland) Act 2019

Section 59 – Offence of remaining unlawfully at large

200.Section 59 makes provision for a new offence of remaining unlawfully at large by inserting into the Prisons (Scotland) Act 1989 (“the 1989 Act”) new sections 32A to 32D.

201.New section 32A of the 1989 Act makes it an offence for a person who has been deemed to be unlawfully at large under the 1989 or 1993 Acts to remain unlawfully at large. It also sets out the maximum penalties for that offence.

202.New section 32B of the 1989 Act provides that, in proceedings for the unlawfully at large offence, the fact that a person has been deemed to be unlawfully at large can be evidenced by a document certifying that fact which is signed and dated by the Scottish Ministers.

203.New section 32C of the 1989 Act explains what constitutes remaining unlawfully at large for the purposes of the offence in section 32A. A person on temporary release from prison remains unlawfully at large if, having been notified of the period of their temporary release, the requirement to return to prison on the expiry of that period and the consequences of a failure to return to prison, they fail to return to prison on the expiry of the temporary release. A person otherwise remains unlawfully at large if they are notified of having been deemed to be unlawfully at large and fail to return to prison as soon as possible thereafter. In both cases, the person must take all necessary steps to return to prison and the person does not remain unlawfully at large if they have a reasonable excuse for their failure to return to prison. Notification can be given orally or in writing, must contain the information listed in section 32C(4) and can be deemed to have taken place where written notice is sent or delivered to the person’s address.

204.New section 32D of the 1989 Act provides definitions of the terms used in the preceding sections.

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