What we do

The purpose of HM Inspectorate of Prisons for Scotland is to inspect the conditions and treatment of prisoners in prisons, court custody units and under escort, and to report publicly our findings. Also to inspect the The Public Services Reform (Inspection and Monitoring of Prisons) (Scotland) Order 2015 came into force on 31 August 2015 and from that date HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland assumes overall responsibility for the monitoring of prisons, which is be carried out on a day to day basis by independent prison monitors. 

We inspect and monitor prisons against a set of published standards which can be found at www.prisoninspectoratescotland.gov.uk/publications/standards-inspecting-and-monitoring-prisons-scotland.

We inspect and monitor court custody units against a set of published standards which can be found at https://www.prisonsinspectoratescotland.gov.uk/publications/standards-inspecting-court-custody-provision-scotland

The Standards for the inspection and treatment of prisoners under escort are currently being reviewed.

National Preventive Mechanism

HMIPS is one of twenty organisations that comprise the UK National Preventive Mechanism.  All our inspections contribute to the UK’s response to its international obligations under the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment (OPCAT).  HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland is a member of the NPM Steering Group.  During 2014/15 a Scottish NPM subgroup was established, comprising the six member organisations in Scotland.  The most recent NPM Annual Report published in December 2014 is available at https://www.gov.uk.