McLellan slams children held in prisons

The chief inspector of prisons in Scotland has slammed under-16s
being held in prison, writes Clare

In 2004-5 there were 18 children held in prison and Dr Andrew
McLellan said that while there is no evidence to suggest these
children were not treated properly, early intervention was key to
prevent young people sliding into criminal behaviour.

“The presence of each child under 16 in prison is a stark
illustration of the cost of failure,” he said.

In his annual report for 2004-5, McLellan welcomed the
significant reduction in the number of prisoners being forced to
“slop-out” of their cells. Numbers have fallen from
1,324 to 616.

“However one prisoner slopping out would still be one too
many,” he added. “Combine slopping out with
overcrowding and we have the twin curses of Scotland’s

The chief inspector acknowledged the “impressive
contribution” made by so many prison staff, but he recognised
how damaging prison can be.

“Of course there are reasons for imprisonment other than
to do the prisoner good, but there should also be a recognition
that prison can affect families, homes and jobs,” he

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