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

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.

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