NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Newest Scottish prison in Peterhead 'doing well but can improve'

HMP Grampian
Image caption The new prison opened in 2014

Scotland's newest prison, which was shaken by a riot just months after opening, is performing well but can improve its health care, a report said.

HMP Grampian in Peterhead opened in March 2014, as a replacement for HMP Peterhead and Craiginches in Aberdeen.

The inspector's report is the first since 40 inmates rioted two years ago, causing damage put at £150,000.

It said some healthcare staff were worried about their safety when treating prisoners.

The prison inspection was carried out between November and December last year.

The new jail was said to be good at preparing prisoners for returning to the community, but overall health and wellbeing was rated as poor.

It said that some NHS nurses had been verbally abused by prisoners and were understandably sometimes nervous.

Maintain contact

A total of 506 prisoners can be held at the new prison. At the time of the inspection there were 431, with no male young offenders, and three female young offenders.

The report found the prison was well-maintained and clean, with inmates feeling safe within the prison.

It also noted "considerable efforts" being made to help prisoners maintain good contact with relatives.

However, concern was raised that some prisoners held separately for their own protection could spend 23 hours a day in their cells.

Health and wellbeing was rated as poor, due to issues including infection control.

Future plans

HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland, David Strang, said: "I look forward to seeing these improvements introduced through the prison's future plans."

Prison officers wearing protective body armour were needed to break up trouble several weeks after it opened.

And considerable damage was caused two weeks later in a disturbance involving more than 40 inmates.

Image caption Craiginches opened in Aberdeen in the 19th Century but closed down

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites