Scots chief inspector slams prison regime

    The Scottish chief inspector of prisons has slammed conditions at
    Polmont Young Offender Institution in Falkirk.

    Andrew McLellan said young people held at Polmont’s Argyll and Spey
    halls were still forced to slop out. The prisoners, many of whom
    are on remand, have no access to proper toilets at night, and even
    during the day they can be locked in their cells for “considerable
    periods”.

    The criticisms came as justice minister Cathy Jamieson announced
    that slopping out had ended at Barlinnie prison in Glasgow where
    prisoners have been transferred to a newly refurbished hall with
    sanitation and electric power in every cell.

    The inspection of Polmont also revealed that young adult offenders
    spent a great deal of time locked in their cells. McLellan warned
    Polmont not to allow this to become the normal way of life.

    He also raised concerns that 15 children under the age of 16 were
    detained in Polmont last year.

    “It is not possible for Polmont to provide anything like suitable
    circumstances, conditions and activity for them,” he said.

    “Children are only held in prison when there is no other place
    available for them, but that does not make it right.”

    He also warned that not enough food was provided for the young men
    held there.

    Community Care is campaigning for a massive reduction in the number
    of children sent to custody.

    l Report available from www.scotland.gov.uk/hmip

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