Audit Scotland: 2022/23 Audit of the Scottish Prison Service

Audit Scotland: 2022/23 Audit of the Scottish Prison Service

On 12 December 2023, Audit Scotland published its 2022/23 Audit of the Scottish Prison Service. It reported that despite an increase of 13.5% in the 2023/24 budget of £540.8m, SPS is still forecasting a shortfall of £19.5m. Without this money being made available it advises that there will be a delay to capital expenditure projects in subsequent years i.e. for HMPs Glasgow and  Highlands, and the additionally planned work for HMP Stirling. The average cost per prisoner space has increased to £44,620. The report reiterated issues previously raised by HMIPS e.g. the unsafe internal environment of HMP Addiewell; the unsuitability of HMP Greenock’s buildings; and the essential need to replace HMPs Barlinnie and Inverness. Whilst it doesn’t give any timelines for the former’s replacement, it advises that “HMP Highland [HMP Inverness replacement] is expected to be operational in June 2025”.

The report also advised that the prison estate currently has a target operating capacity of 8,007. An “extended operating capacity” of 8,475 means it could hold more prisoners, but only under a restricted regime i.e. meeting legal requirements such as access to open air and visits, but curtailing other activities such as work and recreation.

Category Prisons
Tagged finance