Prisoners are treated with respect by staff
4.1 Prisoners are treated well by staff, particularly as staff become more experienced.
Prisoners are treated with respect for their dignity while being escorted to and from prison, in prison and while under escort in any location.
4.2 Prisoners are treated well by escort staff. The conditions in Hamilton Sheriff court cells are poor whilst those in Airdrie Sheriff Court cells are adequate.
4.3 Prisoners are treated well by staff. Staff encourage a relaxed atmosphere and are coping well despite their relative inexperience. The lack of technical knowledge among newer staff can, however, cause some frustration over straightforward issues and requests.
4.4 Escort staff displayed experience, good interpersonal skills and consideration for the needs of prisoners.
4.5 The SPS Prisoner Survey indicates that 91% of prisoners get on 'OK', 'Well' or 'Very Well' with staff: a similar figure to that in SPS establishments. The comparable figure for escort staff was 74%.
Health and Safety
4.6 Addiewell has a well-qualified and experienced Health and Safety/Fire Officer. This officer delivers health and safety, fire and first aid training to all new recruits and also delivers relevant refresher courses. Managers (who need it) are also trained in managing safely.
4.7 Staff are also competent in fire evacuation and cell fire protocols. Staff were also aware of their responsibilities in this area and in the area of health and safety.
4.8 Health and safety is well established and integral to working practices in Addiewell.
Hamilton Sheriff Court
4.9 The route from the escort vehicles to the cells in Hamilton Sheriff Court is not secure, but the escort contractor has an effective arrangement in place to address this. Fire evacuation procedures are good.
4.10 The layout of the cells area is compact but does allow for the separation of different categories of prisoners. There are nine cells serving eight court rooms.
4.11 Space can be at a premium on busy days, with some cells holding up to eight or nine prisoners. An average of 25 to 30 prisoners are held each day. There is no natural light in the cells and they were dirty and covered in graffiti. Some had deep gouges in the plasterwork. G raffiti should be removed from the cells and damaged plaster should be repaired.
4.12 Only one cell is covered by CCTV and this cell is used for the most vulnerable prisoners. For security and safety reasons it is recommended that CCTV is fitted to all court cells.
4.13 There are two separate toilets which prisoners have to ask to use. Although there are washhand basins there are no soap dispensers. Towels are available. Appropriate hand washing facilities should be available in the cells area.
4.14 Drinking water is available and hot drinks are served with sandwiches and biscuits at lunch time. Special dietary needs can be accommodated and there are usually vegetarian and Halal choices available.
4.15 Solicitors are able to speak to their clients in four purpose built interview booths with glass screens. Handsets are in place to facilitate conversations.
4.16 Arrangements for medical support are in place and managers are confident in the support that is available. All escort staff are first aid trained.
4.17 Access from the cells to the court rooms is often through complex routes with only one court being directly accessible. However, escort, police and court staff mitigate as much of the risk as possible by using the most secure routes and double-handcuffing prisoners if necessary.
4.18 The District Court is two to three miles away from the Sheriff Court and only has the occasional requirement for prisoners to attend. The facilities are acceptable and three staff accompany any prisoner being held there. The disembarkation of prisoners to this court is difficult as the vehicle has to park on the road.
4.19 Property handover and storage is adequate and there are good exchanges of information between the prison and escort staff using the Personal Escort Record form.
4.20 Prisoners are treated well by escort staff.
Airdrie Sheriff Court
4.21 Arrangements for prisoners being transferred from the escort vehicles to the cells are secure. Fire evacuation procedures are also good. Police assistance can be called upon quickly if required as the station is across the road.
4.22 The layout of the cells area allows for the separation of different categories of prisoners. There are eight cells, one of which has a grille gate and CCTV. This cell is used for the most vulnerable prisoners. There is no CCTV in any of the other cells. For security and safety reasons it is recommended that CCTV is fitted to all court cells.
4.23 Although all of the cells were clean there is no natural light and most have graffiti in them. One has deep grooves in the plasterwork. G raffiti should be removed from the cells and damaged plaster should be repaired.
4.24 There are two toilets which prisoners have to ask to use. Although there are washhand basins there are no soap dispensers. Towels are available. Appropriate hand washing facilities should be available in the cells area.
4.25 The cells serve five court rooms. Three of these court rooms have direct access from the cells area. Two are insecure, and one is so exposed that escort staff generally need a police escort to go through public areas. The insecure court rooms are very rarely used. There are no district courts at Airdrie.
4.26 Agents are able to speak to their clients in the four interview booths that are available. The interview rooms were clean and had no graffiti in them. There is a glass partition in each room separating solicitor and client. Escort staff have good lines of vision from the staff office.
4.27 Good arrangements for medical support are in place. Escort court staff are all first aid at work trained.
4.28 Drinking water is available and a hot drink is served at lunch time with sandwiches and crisps. Special dietary needs can be accommodated by liaising with the contractors. A hot snack (microwave meal) can be provided for those who are still in the cells after 17.00hrs.
4.29 The arrangements for property handover and storage are good, with a secure cupboard completely separate from the prisoner and staff areas. There are good exchanges of information between prison and escort staff using the Personal Escort Record form.
4.30 There are no facilities for disabled prisoners to attend court. Wheelchair bound prisoners are placed in what is considered to be the most suitable cell and the sheriff, lawyers etc. visit the cell to conduct the hearing.
4.31 Prisoners are treated well by escort staff.
Equality and Diversity
4.32 Addiewell has a member of staff who is called 'the diversity and engagement officer'. She is very experienced in the field and has autonomy to promote good practice in this area. She works approximately 50% of her time on diversity issues. Two diversity meetings have taken place.
4.33 At the time of the inspection there were 11 Black and Ethnic Minority prisoners held within the prison. There was a number of Chinese prisoners who were unable to speak English and a translator had been brought in to address various issues for this group. On reception to the prison the telephone interpreting service is available to assist in the completion of the admission procedures and risk assessments.
4.34 Ethnic minority prisoners to whom inspectors spoke did not report having experienced any racial, cultural or religious discrimination or abuse and there was praise for staff in this respect.
4.35 There have been two recent Racial Incidents and Addiewell has its own investigation forms for such situations. On both occasions a senior manager submitted an investigation report and the concerns were dealt with appropriately.
4.36 Foreign national prisoners who have no family in the UK are permitted a ten minute telephone call at the prison's expense once a month. At the time of inspection six prisoners were being held in custody awaiting deportation.
4.37 At the time of inspection one prisoner required a wheelchair to move around the prison. There are eight disabled access cells across the prison, all located on the ground floor.
4.38 Equality and diversity issues are well managed at Addiewell.
4.39 Staff carry out rub down searches prior to prisoner movement from one area to another. All of the searches observed were carried out in a dignified manner. However, staff were observed at times to rush rub down searches in an effort to meet the demands of the timetable. The frequency of rub down searching was less than specified by Management and should be improved. Adequate time should be provided to carry out searches thoroughly.