Open letter to CEO of Scottish Prison Service

Colin McConnell
Chief Executive
Scottish Prison Service
Calton House
5 Redheughs Rigg
Edinburgh EH12 9HW

                                                                                                                                                         10th June 2014

 Dear Mr McConnell
OPEN LETTER re.Timothy Rustige PN 134031, HMP Barlinnie
This is to request your personal intervention in securing the tag-release of the above prisoner from HMP Barlinnie, to which he was transferred following the recent riot at HMP Grampian at Peterhead.
According to the tag-release process started while Mr Rustige was still at Peterhead he was ‘low-risk’ and due to be released on 3rd June which of course hasn’t happened under the circumstances.
In fact Mr Rustige has been informed that he is now in a queue to re-start the process from scratch and that the queue is based purely on alphabetical order, so his surname naturally places him way down the list.
I feel this is a rather arbitrary way of allocating priority for release – surely more relevant factors such as age, health, good behaviour etc. should be taken into account?
Mr Rustige is 65 and his health is not at all good. He already suffered a stroke 2 years ago and his blood pressure is currently way up. He has lost a lot of weight since being in prison because at home he has to follow a special diet to counteract severe arthritic pain which is obviously not possible in the circumstances. When I visited him at Peterhead on 16th May he was already a lot thinner than when I’d previously seen him at the end of February so I dread to think what shape he’s in by now, in fact many of us watching this situation seriously fear he may not make it to 11th August, the ‘official’ half-way point of his sentence…
Please, therefore, Mr McConnell kindly ask the Governor of Barlinnie Mr McGill to release Mr Rustige forthwith. I do hope the humanitarian aspect will prevail over bureaucratic nicety in this situation and look forward to hearing good news.
Yours sincerely
(Mrs) Belinda McKenzie
Spokesperson, Justice for Hollie, Free Robert Green & Release Rusty campaigns

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