HMIPS Thematic Review of Segregation in Scottish Prisons

On 21 July 2023 HMIPS published its Thematic Review of Segregation in Scottish Prisons. It was a highly critical report, highlighting a raft of concerns at an individual and systemic level, with some very troubling findings including serious prisoner mistreatment at an unnamed prison. It also covered the issue of a lack of high secure beds for women in Scotland, linking it to the Independent Forensic Mental Health Review’s strong recommendation that this be actioned within 9 months of its 2021 report. SPICe (Scottish Parliament Information Centre) also published a briefing paper on Forensic Mental Health Services in Scotland, reiterating similar points.



HMP Greenock Full Inspection Report

On 14 July 2023 HMIPS published its full inspection report of HMP Greenock. Whilst it praised the leadership and management of the prison, highlighting what it described as “excellent staff-prisoner relationships” it did not shy away from serious criticism of the appalling state of the building which dates from the early 1900s. There are no plans as yet to replace it, with new issues arising re the previously confirmed rebuilding of HMP Barlinnie and HMP Inverness in terms of costs and timings.

HMIPS Annual Report 2021-2022

On 11 November 2022 HMIPS published its Annual Report 2021-2022 in which it described Scotland’s prisons during the pandemic as “places of containment, rather than          rehabilitation”, questioning the equivalence of healthcare in and outside prisons, and yet again, drawing attention to serious issues of remand; overcrowding; child imprisonment; barriers to progression; and the estate’s ageing infrastructure – going so far as to moot the possibility of some prisons being closed.

HMIPS Strategic Plan 2022-2025

During November His Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons for Scotland (HMIPS) published its Strategic Plan for 2022-2025 which interestingly, included a strategic objective to develop a methodology for unannounced inspections of prisons.

HMP Shotts: Full Prison Inspection

On 2 November 2022 a full inspection report of HMP Shotts from May 2022 was published. Areas of concern included: delays in progression; insufficient pre-release preparation; lack of stability in senior management positions; poor rating of patient care; staff shortages; and a high incidence of substance related issues.

For the first time it included a pilot pre-inspection survey with prisoners, which included some concerning findings e.g. 46% of respondents reported having witnessed staff abusing, threatening, bullying or assaulting another prisoner in the prison; 77% of respondents reported that the complaints system worked ‘quite’ or ‘very’ badly; and 49% of respondents did not know how contact an Independent Prison Monitor (IPM).









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