The internationally acclaimed sex offenders treatment unit
in Peterhead prison is to move to the central belt as part of a Scottish
executive review of penal resources which will result in three new prisons
providing 2,200 new places.
Announcing the strategy, Jim Wallace, justice
minister, revealed that Low Moss and Peterhead prisons would close and be
replaced by privately run prisons by 2005.
Contrary to original fears of privatisation by prisoner support groups
the sex offenders unit at Peterhead will remain within the public sector but
relocate to prisons within the central belt where most prisoners originate.
Making the announcement, Wallace said: "Prisons are a crucial element of the
criminal justice system. It is an uncomfortable, but undeniable, fact that
the existing prison estate does not meet the needs of many prisoners, or
address the public’s interest in effective rehabilitation, as well as it
Two new prisons will be built and a third kept
in reserve. Other developments include
substantial investment in Barlinnie prison in Glasgow where modernisation will
finally put an end to the practice of slopping out. Overall work on existing prisons will increase the number of new
places by a further 1,100. The
proposals are based on future estimates that the overall prison population will
increase by 1,000 over the next decade.