Tayside and Central Scotland

Polmont Young Offenders Institution to improve education role

Polmont, Falkirk
Image caption HM Chief Inspector of Prisons said Polmont did not motivate or encourage young offenders enough

Polmont Young Offenders Institution is upgrading its education and training services in an attempt to tackle criticisms following an inspection.

In February, the unit was criticised for not motivating offenders and falling short in tackling reoffending.

For the first time government body Education Scotland will be directly involved in supervising inmates.

It aims to ensure offenders do not end up with an educational or training deficit compared with other youngsters.

In his report, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons Brigadier Hugh Monro said a lack of continuity had hindered Polmont in helping to reduce reoffending.

Brig Munro said the regime did not motivate or encourage young offenders to get out of bed and take part in activities.

'Secure learning'

The Chief Inspector said he believed a three year period of "frequent management changes" was the most likely reason for the lack of progress.

He suggested a period of stability to enable progress, particularly in the area of access to "purposeful activity".

Polmont has now teamed up with Education Scotland to become a "secure learning environment".

It wants to improve the services offered on site - ranging from basic reading, writing and counting skills to specific help training for trades.

There are also plans for better facilities and staff will be given more training.

It is hoped a link with the education curriculum will mean young offenders can continue course work started inside once they have been released.

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