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Peterhead Prison

17/11/2010

Conditions at Peterhead Prison remain among the worst of any establishment in Scotland with sanitation and hygiene arrangements being of particular concern, according to a report published today by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons.

The report also highlights concerns that there is insufficient provision to address offending behaviour and that very few prisoners are tested in less secure conditions before release.

Despite the poor fabric of the prison, the report commends staff and management for maintaining high standards of prisoner care, and highlights:

  • The prison is safe for both prisoners and staff
  • The provision of medical and mental health services are good
  • There is adequate access to constructive activity during the day

Chief Inspector of Prisons Brigadier Hugh Monro said:

"Conditions in Peterhead Prison remain among the worst of any establishment in Scotland. I am particularly disappointed that the degrading practice of 'slopping out' remains.

Given the specialist nature of Peterhead I am concerned about the insufficient provision for addressing offending behaviour and the small number of prisoners who are appropriately prepared and tested prior to release. I have raised these issues in three of my six recommendations to the Scottish Prison Service and the Scottish Government and I would want to see them addressed as a matter of priority.

"My inspection did find many positives in Peterhead Prison with a total of 16 examples of good practice, the majority of which are a testament to the dedication of staff and management who have continued to deliver under difficult circumstances. The fact remains however that these are all overshadowed by the very real issues surrounding the age and fabric of the establishment."