CPT Recommendations Scotland - March 2014

CPT Recommendations Scotland - March 2014

Progress must be made if Scottish prisons are to satisfy the Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) and the European Convention on Human Rights. While progress has been made in the smooth transfer of prison health services to the NHS, the CPT have been critical of prison safety and expressed concerned over lack of meaningful and rehabilitative activity in a number of Scottish prisons. The most significant problems they highlighted were:

  • There were a number of allegations of excessive force by prison officers in Barlinnie and verbal abuse in Cornton Vale;
  • A number of prisoners in Kilmarnock felt unsafe and then prison was generally tense;
  • Upon admission to Barlinnie people were held in cupboard-like cublicles (1m squared, coloquially known as 'dog boxes');
  • Barlinnie prison is operating at 120% capacity;
  • Prisoners in Barlinnie are spending up to 22 hours a day in their cells;
  • Women held in HMP Edinburgh were also spending a similarly considerable percentage of their day confined to their cells. 

Their specific recommendations to the SPS were:

  • CPT advocates greater employment of alternatives to custody as the key means to reduce prison overcrowding; 
  • Recommends that serious mental health prisoners not be held in segregation units and be transferred more rapidly to appropriate in-patient facilities;
  • Clinical psychologists be employed to deal specifically with women prisoners who exhibit severe disorders;
  • Increased safeguards around discipline and segregation are necessary;
  • There must be increased support for foreign national prisoners.

Read the CPT Report here 

Read a summary of their report here: CPT report on the United Kingdom

Read a straightforward summary of Article 3 on the Prevention of Torture

Tagged cpt