Inmates transfer as Noranside prison closes

Noranside Prison. Pic copyright Kevin Raistrick and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence All prisoners at Noranside will be transferred to Castle Huntly by 31 October

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An open prison in Angus has been closed with all inmates moved to another jail near Dundee.

The closure of Noranside prison was confirmed in August by the Scottish Prison Service (SPS).

The decision followed months of speculation about the future of the prison, which is used to rehabilitate sex offenders.

Prisoners have been transferred to Scotland's only remaining open jail, Castle Huntly.

In December 2010, the SPS said Noranside had been running under capacity since the Scottish government ordered a tightening of the rules on open prisons in the wake of the Robert Foye case in 2008.

Foye raped a 16-year-old schoolgirl in Cumbernauld after absconding from Castle Huntly, while serving a sentence for attempting to murder a police officer.

An SPS spokesman said the "strictest-ever" risk assessment was now in place on whether inmates should be allowed to be kept in open prisons, and Noranside was only running at 65% capacity.

Union leaders campaigned to save the jail, but a date was set for its closure on 2 August 2011.

The SPS has said staff at Noranside would be moved to other prisons or could take voluntary redundancy.

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