HM Inspectorate of Prisons Report on HMP Dumfries

Prison - Full Inspection Report

Executive Summary

ISBN 978 1 78045 334 7
DPAS 11915

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Key Facts










Good Practice


Action Points

Annex 1 Sources of Evidence

Annex 2 Inspection Team/a>

In accordance with my terms of reference as Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland, I forward a report of a full inspection carried out at HMP Dumfries between 4 and 12 April 2011.

Eight recommendations and a number of other points for action are made. The report highlights 11 areas of good practice.

Signature of HUGH MONRO

HM Chief Inspector of Prisons
June 2011



HMP Dumfries is located approximately one mile to the West of Dumfries town centre.


The prison holds two very different types of prisoners. It holds untried and convicted short-term prisoners and it is also a national centre for sex offenders, usually serving long sentences.


The prison opened in 1883 and housed male and female untried and convicted prisoners from the South West of Scotland. Since 1951 it has undergone a number of changes. In 1951 it was designated as a Borstal and in 1987 was designated as an establishment for holding long-term young offenders. It adopted its current role in 2004.

Design Capacity


Population on First Day of Inspection

206, 110 of whom were long-term prisoners and 96 of whom were a mix of short-term and untried prisoners.


There are five main Residential Halls. Most of the Halls have single cell accommodation although there are a number of dormitories.

Last Inspected

April 2008


Setting the Scene

1.1 . The buildings that constitute Dumfries Prison date from late Victorian times. They are complex in design and will require modernisation in due course. The fabric of the prison is poor and the lack of significant investment over many years is very evident; that said, the prison is probably the cleanest I have seen. The pattern of the small Residential Halls is so complicated that this feature requires a unique prison officer staff deployment to cope; it also takes time to reach parts of the prison, a potential issue in an emergency. Nevertheless, Dumfries prison is, in my view, providing a decent service. Staff morale is good and they are proud of what they do in challenging circumstances. However there is an over-riding anxiety amongst staff that the prison may be considered for closure and this affects their perspective of how the prison is run.

1.2 . Dumfries is not an easy prison to manage due to the distinct mix of prisoner groups. The first of these are local male convicted offenders and males on remand. The second group consists of long-term prisoners under protection. The majority of these have been convicted of sex offences most of whom deny their guilt; this group must not be allowed to mix with the others for reasons of safety, adding considerable complexities to running the regime. The last group, and much smaller than the other two, are males who are detained under immigration legislation. Each of these groups complain of poor access to activities, but this issue is mainly due to the need to run separate regimes within the prison.

1.3 . Dumfries Prison is a significant local employer but there seems to be some doubt about its future. I was somewhat surprised, therefore, to discover that there appears to have been relatively little interest shown in the vital work of the prison by local politicians or other local community and business groups. Prisons need local and community support and I urge both the prison authorities and local community leaders to re-establish community engagement. On the other hand I was impressed by the early links between the Community Justice Authority, voluntary sector organisations and the prison: community partnerships are excellent ( Links with the Community). Given the importance of Dumfries as a national prison for long term sex offenders (and the inevitable difficulty such a population causes), it seemed to me that prison staff were receiving little top-down communication either about the future of this population or indeed about the future of the prison. Related to this is the comment made to me by the Convenor of the Dumfries Visiting Committee that during nine years as a member of the Committee he had not met a SPS Board member. On the other hand local leadership by the Governor seems to be good and there are excellent connections between the VC and the prison, one advantage of having a GiC in place for a longer period of time.

Inspection of Dumfries

1.4. . Dumfries Prison has become the 'prison-of-choice' for those long term sex offenders who have been moved from HMP Peterhead for refusing to admit their guilt; such refusal means that prisoners are unable to engage in the sex offender programmes available at Peterhead. This policy puts the prisoners at Dumfries in to a 'penal cul-de-sac' because there is little or no hope of progression. The risks of this policy are high because when such offenders are eventually released they are unlikely to have received the required sex offender interventions; nor will they have been tested in less secure conditions prior to release.

1.5 The result of this policy for Dumfries is that long term sex offenders are inevitably frustrated by the very limited opportunities to prepare for release. Prisoners have said to me that being sent to Dumfries signals a loss of hope and they can see little way forward. I accept this is a difficult population to manage and that some sex offenders will never admit their guilt, but I saw no evidence of attempts to motivate prisoners to deal with their offences and to open ways of progressing and preparing them for release or transfer to Peterhead. The consequence is that risks are being taken and this situation needs to be reviewed.

1.6 In the 2010 Peterhead Report I made similar observations about the difficulties of progressing sex offenders through prison and preparing them for release. In that report I suggested a National Sex Offender Strategy be published to give guidance and direction on these matters. Having seen the stark issues at Dumfries I continue to recommend that a comprehensive strategy is produced ( Training). Such a Strategy would complement the Joint SWIA, HMIP and HMICS report on Serious and Violent Offenders published in 2008.

1.7 . A recurring theme of my inspections has been poor access to out-of-cell activities and this is a growing concern across Scotland's prisons. Only by accessing these activities (work, employability training, education, PT, programmes etc) can offending behaviour be addressed. If there is no activity to attend, the alternative is to be locked up for sometimes lengthy periods without productive activity. This is the challenge in Dumfries: during this inspection specific figures show that an average of only 39% of prisoners had access to purposeful activity ( Opportunities). During the inspection figures also show that an average of over one third of prisoners were locked in cells. A small amount of investment would, for example, allow more prisoners to access gardening or the excellent sports pitch ( Exercise Areas). The latter can only be used by prison staff, a poor return on an excellent resource. Nevertheless, the prison has improved the accuracy of recording access to purposeful activities as well as providing more work parties. A major pillar of prison work is preparation for release, yet in Dumfries this aspect is severely under-resourced and needs action now. Those prisoners on remand or under short sentence have particularly poor access to activities which is also the trend elsewhere.

1.8 . In terms of Good Practice, Dumfries runs one of the best BICS programmes I have seen, a possible reason why this old and somewhat run down prison is also the cleanest I have seen. Equally, the small garden is the best small prison garden. Both these points would be an excellent example for Cornton Vale to emulate where the grounds and the cleanliness of the prison have been criticised in my recent reports.

1.9 . The Health Centre was being refurbished at the time of inspection and healthcare services were being provided from a single room. This, along with staff shortages, had restricted the delivery of healthcare services, including mental health services.


1.10 Dumfries is a well run prison with dedicated and very experienced staff. Nevertheless it requires considerable local and strategic attention to lead it through a period of uncertainty. As a priority, I urge that a Review is put in place as soon as possible to set out the framework for dealing with sex offenders. There are now five Scottish prisons (Peterhead, Glenochil, Barlinnie, Dumfries, and Edinburgh) holding substantial numbers of sex offenders and several others with smaller numbers. Scotland needs a Review in order to produce a new approach to deal with sex offenders serving short and long sentences.



Prisoners are held in conditions that provide the basic necessities of life and health, including adequate air, light, water, exercise in the fresh air, food, bedding and clothing.

2.1 The prison is clean although the cells are showing distinct signs of wear and tear. The dormitories are too small for the number of prisoners living in them.


2.2Prisoners Held. Dumfries prison holds two very different types of prisoners. It holds untried and convicted short term prisoners and it is also a national centre for sex offenders, usually serving long sentences. On the first day of the inspection there were 206 prisoners: 110 were LTPs and 96 were a mix of STPs and untried prisoners (two of whom were waiting deportation).

2.3 Dumfries has been particularly successful in reintegrating several difficult prisoners back into the mainstream system from long periods in segregation.

Accommodation Areas

2.4 There are five main Residential Halls in the prison: 'A', 'B', 'C', 'D' and 'E'.

'A' Hall

2.5Obersvation Suite. One part of 'A' Hall houses prisoners who require extra support or are in need of closer supervision. The area is known throughout the prison as 'The Observation Suite'. It consists of two anti-ligature cells, both of which have integral sanitation. There is a further single cell and a dormitory, all of which have integral sanitation and electric power. All but the anti-ligature cells have televisions.

2.6Conditions. The overall decoration within The Observation Suite is poor although a painting programme was in place during the inspection. All mattresses were in good condition. The space between the beds in the dormitory is limited. There are two showers and a toilet which were fit for purpose.

2.7 Prisoners are able to access a telephone in the central living/recreation area and appropriate notices were visible. The notice board has information on services available such as health, addictions, and chaplaincy. Complaint forms were not readily available.

2.8 The rest of 'A' Hall comprises 14 cells over two floors and on the day of inspection there were 31 prisoners unlocked. One part of the Hall houses local convicted and untried and other local prisoners on protection (non offence related). All cells have integral sanitation and were clean if a bit dreary.

2.9 Twelve cells are double occupancy and a further two cells each house three prisoners. The mattresses were adequate but the cells were grubby and shabby.

2.10 There are individual lockable safes as well as power points, televisions, kettles, tables, chairs and storage containers in all of the cells.

2.11 There are four shower areas with modesty boards which were clean and well maintained. However, there is no infection control signage on display.

2.12 There is no dedicated office for staff in the central living/recreation area, and therefore nowhere for private conversations to take place. A telephone with a canopy is available for prisoners to use during recreation. Recreation consists of pool, darts, table tennis, DVD games, dominoes and television. A Listener Scheme box is situated in the Assembly area. Forms to contact a Listener are not readily accessed by prisoners.

'B' Hall

2.13Capacity. The accommodation in 'B' Hall is primarily single cells. The Hall has a capacity of 63 over four floors. Each of the floors is treated as a separate unit. All cells have integral sanitation and electrical power.

2.14Conditions. One part of the Hall (B1) is used to accommodate prisoners who are elderly or infirm. Cells have a television, kettle, table and chair. There is a telephone with a canopy which can be accessed during evening recreation or during the day. Mattresses and bedding were in good order and despite the shabby appearance of the Hall the area was clean.

2.15 There are two showers with modesty boards and ramp type access in the central living/recreation area. There is also a 'wet room' type of shower. There was no infection control signage displayed.

2.16 A pool table, television, Wii Fit, chess and darts are available for recreation. Prisoners also attend indoor bowls as part of their recreation. There is poor natural light in the recreation area.

2.17 A second part of the Hall (B2) has 17 cells with a dormitory for three people. There are three showers and a toilet: all of which were clean. There were cards on show identifying infection control measures. A telephone with a canopy is located in the central area. The area is bright and has a television and pool table.

2.18 The single cells are an adequate size and were clean and well decorated. The three bed dormitory is small and has only two chairs. Mattresses and bedding were of a reasonable quality.

2.19 Listener documentation was on show and there is a Listener located in the Hall.

2.20 A third area of the Hall is configured in the same way as B2. However it is poorly maintained and the paint work in general is poor. The shower areas were clean with appropriate privacy. There were colour coded cleaning signage on display within the shower area.

2.21 Recreation facilities include a pool table, television, selection of reading material, darts, table tennis and a Wii Fit.

2.22 An area known as 'B zero' has two separate living areas with a door separating them. One area is the Segregation Unit. The second area houses local short-term and remand prisoners who have requested protection. Conditions are basic and regarded by prisoners as a downgrade. There are nine cells, three single and six double. There were 17 prisoners located in this area at the time of the inspection. All cells have integral sanitation. The segregation area was being painted during the inspection and the bedding and mattresses were of appropriate quality.

2.23 The environment is dreary and there is little to do. The living/recreation areas is particularly poor. There is no natural light or sufficient space for those living there to benefit from association with others. There is access to a telephone.

2.24 The communal shower area was clean although one of the shower cubicle doors was very dirty.

2.25Information displayed on notice boards was limited with no details on services within the prison. Complaint forms were available for race relations but other complaint forms could only be accessed by asking an officer.

'C' Hall

2.26Capacity and Purpose. 'C' Hall holds long-term sex offenders. The accommodation is split over four floors with 10 single cells on each floor. C2 and C3 are managed separately. C4 and C5 are linked by an adjoining recreation facility and staircase. One member of staff manages both areas. There is electronic night sanitation. In general the areas had limited light, but were clean. However, C4/5 was much brighter. The cells have a television, kettle, individual safe, chair, clean bedding and good quality mattresses.

2.27Conditions. The toilet and shower facilities are located at the doorway of each floor. There was work ongoing to replace floor tiles but there were tiles missing on the walls and the floor had not been cleaned following the tiling work. There were toilet cleaning materials available.

2.28 The recreation areas are separate from the main living area. These areas are much better equipped than the other areas in the prison. There is a pool table, table tennis, Wii fit and TV, cards, darts, exercise machines, dominos and pool. The prisoners spoken to said that staff shortages mean less access to recreation and a rota system has been put in place to manage this fairly. During the evenings when there is no access to recreation prisoners remain in their cells. Telephones with canopies are available in each of the recreation areas.

2.29Complaint forms were not readily available. However, notice boards contained a range of information which was much more comprehensive than in the other areas within the prison.

'D' Hall

2.30Capacity. 'D' Hall provides dormitory accommodation in three sections, one of which is referred to as 'the Annex'. There are six double cells, five three person cells, five four person rooms and one five person room. All cells have an enclosed toilet and all have new lockable safes. Two of the cells in the Annex (which have previously been used as the prison hospital) have a shower.

2.31Conditions. The conditions in the Annex are reasonable, but very poor elsewhere in the Hall. The cells are showing real signs of wear and tear and need to be refurbished. For example, one cell had had windows broken in an incident a couple of months before the inspection which had not been replaced.

2.32The toilet and shower area should be upgraded as a matter of urgency. It was dirty, two toilets had been removed and the water from the showers was far too hot to use.

2.33 The classroom was being used as a storeroom while also being used to deliver induction sessions. There are two recreation rooms. Recreation consists of pool, table tennis and darts. There is a reasonable selection of books available in the Hall.

2.34Overall conditions in 'D' Hall are not good and need to be upgraded.

'E' Hall

2.35Capacity and Purpose. 'E' Hall holds local short term convicted prisoners who participate in an enhanced regime. The area comprises two four person dormitories, two double cells and a single cell previously used as an observation cell. When inspected there were four people in one of the dormitories and it was extremely cramped. There were boxes underneath the beds for personal belongings and only two chairs.

2.36Conditions. The Hall was clean and tidy. There is one shower for communal use and one of the cells has an adjoining shower facility. The shower area was clean and tidy. The bedding and mattresses were of good quality. The single occupied cell did not have a cubicle around the toilet although there was a curtain ring, (with no curtain as the prisoner had decided to hang his clothes above the toilet basin). The cell was grubby and in poor condition. This cell should be upgraded.

2.37 Prisoners launder their own clothes and have access to a washing machine/dryer. This is managed on a rota basis. They also have use of a kitchen area. Recreation consists of a pool table, television, play station, books and videos and the use of a computer to complete the European Computer Driving Licence ( ECDL). There is a relatively large room which is used to store furniture.

2.38 The notice boards were well equipped and complaint forms were readily available.


2.39Facilities and Access. The provision for recreation is good: there are pool tables on most floors, table tennis tables, board games and some computer consoles.

2.40 There are two floors (in 'C' Hall) that can access a hall gym. However the main gym is very accessible during recreation periods.

2.41 As the prison is small any incident can have a detrimental effect of the provision of recreation. Prisoners complained that it is often curtailed due to staff shortages. This was observed twice during the inspection. On one occasion this was due to a serious self harm incident. On another occasion it was the result of a staffing shortfall due to sick leave.

Exercise Areas

2.42 There are two main outdoor exercise areas. These also have a small seated area. There is a large prison garden with a football pitch which is not available for use by prisoners for reasons of security. There is a small quadrangle next to 'E' Hall where prisoners can grow produce and play volleyball. However prisoners in 'E' Hall said that they suffer from taunts and objects being thrown at them from prisoners in 'D' Hall Annex. It is recommended that the security fence around the sports pitch is improved to allow prisoners to use this pitch and more prisoners to access the garden.

2.43 There is appropriate access to outdoor wear should it be requested.


2.44Staffing. The kitchen is staffed by three officers. Management of this area is provided by a First Line Manager whose responsibilities include the management of programmes. All have qualifications in catering. It employs up to 12 prisoners, with eight working at any one time. Prisoners working in the kitchen undertake an in-house induction providing basic food hygiene training. Two prisoners had completed an SVQ level 1 in the year before the inspection but no-one was studying for this at the time of inspection due to staff constraints.

2.45The Kitchen. The kitchen itself is compact, functional, clean and efficient. Some new equipment has been purchased. Almost all prisoners eat in a communal dining room next to the kitchen, which although a bit drab is fit for purpose.

2.46The Menu. The menu works on a three weekly cycle - there is a standard menu, halal menu and vegetarian menu in place. Healthy options are always available and special diets are met following advice from the Health Centre. The prison seeks prisoners views through Food Focus Groups. The quality of the food was good at lunch but much poorer at dinner. The 'main' meal is served at lunch but plans are in place to change this to the evening.

2.47Meal Times. Meals are served at the following times:

Short- term prisoners
Lunch Dinner
Monday - Friday 11.30 hrs 16.30 hrs
Weekends (Brunch) 09.30 hrs 16.00 hrs
Long - term prisoners
Lunch Dinner
Monday - Friday 12.00 hrs 17.00 hrs
Weekends (Brunch) 10.00 hrs 16.30 hrs

2.48 A breakfast pack is provided in the evening and can be eaten at any time.

2.49Complaints. There is no complaints book in place as any problems are dealt with at the servery at the time of dining.


2.50 The canteen is a "bag and tag" facility. The storage area is sufficient to hold stock. Changes to stock or prices are highlighted on the canteen sheet. There is no stock specifically for ethnic minority prisoners although requests can be made through sundry purchases. However, it did not appear that all ethnic minority prisoners were aware of this. The canteen sheets are provided to all categories of prisoner within reasonable timescales. During the inspection there were criticisms that the canteen staff were not proactive, prices were not competitive and that there were limits placed on certain products, particularly proteins.

Clothing and Laundry

2.51Staffing. The laundry employs ten prisoners. One prisoner was working towards completion of SVQ at Level 2 in laundry at the time of inspection.

2.52Access. A revised process was launched in January 2011 which includes a mechanism for recording what is sent to and returned from the laundry. This system was given a positive reception by prisoners. An audit and tracking mechanism has helped reduce lost or misplaced items.

2.53 The process allows good access to the laundry. Despite complaints from prisoners that they did not have the opportunity to change or wash their underwear there are at least two opportunities to access the laundry each week .

2.54Condition of Clothing. A system is in place for disposal of old clothes and towels. Clothing was in good condition. There are also processes in place for bio-hazard washing and infection control.



Appropriate steps are taken to ensure that individual prisoners are protected from harm by themselves and others.

3.1 The prison does a good job in keeping different categories of prisoners separate. A number of security issues were identified and have been drawn to the attention of the governor. Admission procedures in Reception are inadequate. The suicide risk management arrangements are very good and the Listeners Scheme is working well. The management of risk is handled extremely effectively.

Security and Safety

3.2Escapes. There have been no escapes or absconds from the prison since the last inspection. A number of security matters have been drawn to the attention of the Governor, some of which are for local resolution, while others will require the provision of additional staff resources and capital investment

3.3Violence. Between 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011 there were two serious prisoner-on-prisoner assaults and no prisoner-on-staff assaults. In the same period there were 61 minor prisoner-on-prisoner and one minor prisoner-on-staff assault.

3.4The number of minor prisoner-on-prisoner acts of violence in Dumfries has increased significantly between 2009-10 and 2010/11: 27 as against 50 and the reason for this upward trend should be examined.

3.5 The prison has a complex mix of prisoners including short and long term protections - (the latter being a large group of sex offenders), short term local prisoners and remands. There is a central dining facility in which in which meals are provided in two sittings. This area tends to be a location for tension to build as large numbers of prisoners gather together on a regular basis. There are also a number of dormitory cells in the prison which house between two and five prisoners. Several prisoners located in a comparatively small space for long periods of time can also cause tensions. Most inter-prisoner violence though stems from community feuds being continued when rivals are imprisoned. The prison's anti-bullying strategy is not used as frequently as it might be to address inter- prisoner bullying and intimidation.

3.6 The prison scrutinises all incidents of violence with a view to establishing causes and trends in order to minimise the risk of future occurrences.

Supervision Levels

3.7Allocation of Supervision Levels. Dumfries uses the normal SPSPSS system. The processes are compliant with national standards and timescales. Prisoners have sight of and sign the relevant documentation relating to their supervision level and the outcomes are recorded on PR2.

3.8 Untried and STP convicted PSS forms are completed by a First Line Manager ( FLM) as part of the first night process. These are then passed to the night duty FLM for counter signing. There is no check by a Unit Manager.

3.9 For LTPs the Hall staff are responsible for generating and submitting annual PSS reviews. The reviews are prompted automatically by PR2 but there is no flexible approach to the setting of review dates.

3.10 Once the review process is finalised, staff obtain signatures confirming that prisoners know the decision and their right of appeal. Hall staff displayed good knowledge of the PSS process and were able to answer questions from prisoners.

3.11 The Deputy Governor is also the Head of Residential so he operates the process. This means that he makes all the decisions. No quality audit of the documentation is conducted. Supervision levels should be verified by a Unit Manager and not solely by the Deputy Governor. A random sample taken of prisoners files (in the ICM and warrant desk areas) suggests that documentation is being filed appropriately.

Admission Procedures

3.12 The Reception Area. Reception is poorly designed. There is little scope to keep different categories of prisoners separate as there are only two communal holding rooms. The design makes it impossible for Reception staff to operate a good 'flow through' system. Visibility into the larger of the two rooms is poor. Although there is CCTV it is in the busy staff office and wasn't viewed at all when inspectors were in Reception. Despite this drawback staff are very professional in their dealings with prisoners.

3.13The Reception Process. All prisoners are brought into Reception for the staff to check warrants and take possession of cash and property. Once this process is completed prisoners go into a waiting room. They are not searched at the point of entry or asked to sit on the BOSS chair (a detector for internally secreted illicit items).

3.14 The holding rooms have seats and there are adequate notices on display. Although there were notices to aid the identification of those speaking a foreign language there were no other translated information notices. Notices in a range of foreign languages should be on display and information should be readily available to all foreign language prisoners who do not understand English.

3.15 Despite the shortfall in the provision of foreign language posters there are sound arrangements in place for interpretation. As Dumfries serves Stranraer Sherriff Court it receives a substantial number of foreign nationals. The staff in Reception are well versed in looking after prisoners who do not speak English. Language line is used regularly to assist the reception process. Observation of the invoices for this service confirms that it is well used.

3.16 Once escort staff have left, the prisoner has to sit on a high seat at a glass partition so that personal details can be added to the computerised prisoner records system ( PR2). The ACT interview also takes place here. This is not a suitable way to conduct either of these processes. During the inspection the prisoner cleaner (and anybody else in the area) was within earshot of the interviews and able to hear such details as phone numbers and addresses etc.Interviews should take place in a private, calm environment out of view and hearing of other prisoners but the design does not allow for this to happen.

3.17 Clothing, cash and personal property is opened and checked in the presence of the prisoner. These are added to his property card and the prisoner signs for receipt. Remand prisoners are not allowed to retain their own clothing for the first seven days. When questioned, staff stated that this is a historical arrangement between the police and Procurator Fiscal to facilitate the gathering of evidence. Remand prisoners should be allowed to wear their own clothes, if they are suitable, on entry into the prison.

3.18 After the interview and property processes have been completed the prisoner is taken for a medical screening. They are not searched prior to this. Medical interviews are described in the healthcare section of this report.

3.19 After the medical screening prisoners are given their liberation date, asked to sign the Firearms Act, sign to say that they know they can appeal and are issued with a telephone PIN number. A monetary advance is also given to ensure that the prisoner can access the telephone.

3.20Prisoners' property is stored in two property rooms which are not fit for purpose. They are small and do not have modern space-saving mobile shelving units. This means that there is inadequate storage space. However, they were tidy. All property was logged accurately.

3.21 Valuable property is put into a 'night safe' .The next day it is taken to the cashier and stored in a safe in the administration area. The packets in which this valuable property is placed are sealed and logged appropriately.

3.22 There is an area containing showers and small cubicles which are used for searching. However, prisoners are not offered a shower and strip searches are not carried out until after the whole reception process has been completed. Prisoners should be offered a shower and should be searched via the BOSS chair and a strip search as soon as possible after escort handover.

3.23 During the reception process staff interact appropriately with prisoners and there was good 'banter' between staff and prisoners at all times.

3.24 There is no disabled access to reception: if a wheelchair-bound prisoner arrives, arrangements are in place to carry out the admission process in one of the Halls.

3.25 The Inspectorate was informed that there is a weekly random property check by senior managers but there is no record of these. A record of senior management property checks should be maintained.

3.26 Staff in reception do a good job with sensitivity but are not helped by the design of the area. This has had an effect on working practices highlighted by the fact that no search takes place until well after the prisoner has entered reception.

3.27 It is recommended that the reception area should be re-designed to facilitate a proper reception process.

First Night In the Prison and Induction Procedures

3.28Facilities. There is no First Night in Custody centre ( FNIC). The two separate populations have differently designed and delivered induction programmes.

3.29First Night Processes. On admission a prisoner is allocated to a hall commensurate with his status. ('A' or 'D' Hall if 'local' or 'B' or 'C' Hall if a national LTP) and made aware of important issues.

Short-Term Prisoners

3.30 Hall staff help prisoners settle in and take great care to ensure that any vulnerable individuals are well looked after. They are given a 'first night checklist', which includes an information booklet, description of fire and medical procedures and how to access the Listeners Scheme.

3.31 Staff complete the Core Screen, and Links Centre staff interview all receptions as soon as possible.

3.32 A full induction is delivered in 'D' Hall within a week. This consists of local and national information. It is usually delivered on a Thursday afternoon. The PowerPoint presentation used for this is one of the best that the inspectorate has observed.

3.33 The ICM consent form is explained and signed during induction. The visits contact sheet is also explained and information provided.

3.34 Feedback from STPs suggests that the induction process is effective in helping them learn about the prison and settle into the regime.

Long-Term Prisoners

3.35 A checklist similar to that for STPs is completed for LTPs on the first night.

3.36 The induction package is a 'work in progress' with some of the information being out of date or inaccurate. It is delivered on a Friday afternoon to all newly received LTPs. The session includes information on progression, property allowed, work allocations, wages, laundry, etc. Usually the STP protections (held in 'A' Hall) are included in the presentation.

3.37 Overall, both induction programmes are adequate but there is no involvement of agencies in either and there is no input from senior managers. There are no plans to hold family induction sessions.

3.38 There are no measures in place to deliver ongoing reviews with an interpreter. Foreign national prisoners who do not speak English should have ongoing reviews with an interpreter.


3.39 Due to the type of offence of the long term prisoners and their unwillingness to participate in offence related work, they are immediately prohibited from progressing to top end or open conditions. Short term prisoners who address identified needs through a multi-disciplinary prisoner progression assessment and achieve low supervision levels may be considered for progression to 'E' Hall. The regime in 'E' Hall allows greater access to recreation and access to enhanced family visits.

Suicide Risk Management

3.40Compliance with ACT2Care. Compliance with the ACT2Care policy is good and much improved from the previous inspection report. There have been no suicides at HMP Dumfries for many years.

3.41Processes. Prisoners placed on ACT2Care are usually located within the 'observation suite' in 'A' Hall. As this is not a continually staffed regime it requires the full time allocation of staff when prisoners are placed at risk. There was no evidence that this arrangement was an impediment to managing prisoners safely. The cells were clean and ready for use. One cell was in use at the time of inspection, and the documentation was completed with a plan for progression and encouragement to maintain association, normal clothing and routines. All High Risk prisoners are allowed out of their cells for a minimum of five hours for normal association.

3.42 A business case submitted to convert high risk cells into safer cells was successful and work has started on this. However the removal of the plinths in the cells meant that the work had to be stopped, causing delays.

3.43 The prison provides a consistent approach to the delivery of the ACT2Care policy and to suicide risk management. Documents were readily available and knowledge of how and when to access them was high. Staff within all residential areas spoken to had a high awareness of managing suicide risk effectively. An individualised approach to care planning was evident. A positive and knowledgeable approach to the prisoner's management was displayed and this was reflected in general throughout HMP Dumfries.

3.44ACT2Care documentation is audited on an ongoing basis by the ACT2Care co-ordinator. Any omissions or non compliances are tackled and rectified immediately, either one-to-one with the individual involved or by an electronic notice if a trend is noted. Once completed ACT2Care documentation is removed from the Hall and filed within the healthcare record. It is not available to the ACT2Care co-ordinator because of confidentiality concerns. This practice should stop and all ACT2Care documents should be available to the ACT2Care co-ordinator for audit purposes prior to being filed within the healthcare record.


3.45Listeners. There are four trained listeners who are managed by a very proactive coordinator. A good succession planning process ensures new Listeners are trained in good time to fill anticipated vacancies. This is an area of good practice.

3.46 Inspectors met with the Listeners and it was reported that the number of calls was low but they felt able to access prisoners to give help and support.

3.47 During the inspection there was a serious self harm incident and it was observed that the prisoner concerned was able to access good support from managers, staff and a Listener.

3.48 Listeners informed inspectors that there was no difficulty in getting to see a prisoner apart from during the night and during patrol periods. They felt well supported by managers, staff and the Samaritans. Other prisoners were appreciative of the service that they offer.

Night Duty

3.49Staffing. The night staff complement is one FLM and five officers who all undertake this duty as part of their normal rostered duties.

3.50Procedures. Emergency orders were available for scrutiny. These are comprehensive and include contingency plans. Night staff are issued with these every time they report for duty. There are a high proportion of first aid trained staff on night duties. This is an area of good practice. The night shift is visited at least once a month by senior managers and visits are logged on the night patrol report sheets.

3.51 All areas have access to sanitation with 'C' Hall being on a 'night san' system. This involves the automatic electronic unlock of one prisoner at a time at their request. The system works well.

3.52Emergencies. All staff were able to answer questions about what to do in emergency situations. Adequate arrangements were in place to mitigate the risk that is inherent with having dormitories of up to five prisoners. With only five staff on duty some situations may necessitate calling in staff who live locally to assist .

Staff Training and Development

3.53Staffing. The training department comprises the Head of HR, the Staff Development Manager and an Administrator. This is supplemented by the staff who deliver aspects of core training. There is a dedicated weekly training day. Information to support transitional and post training of officers is available through the sharepoint site. Staff commented that this was a good source of information and found it helpful. This is an area of good practice. The establishment has achieved IiP bronze status.

3.54Training. Training needs are driven by the need to provide core training and the local training plan is limited and reflects this. Core training is delivered by a mixture of classroom based and e learning. There is limited staff development or role specific training given despite the fact that staff have dual responsibilities in different disciplines.

3.55 There is excellent management information which identifies training delivered and training weaknesses. However, the lack of ongoing refresher training, particularly in terms of conditioning, given to staff in relation to this specific prisoner population is of concern. New recruit induction training is comprehensive and is based at the SPS College and at HMP Dumfries.

Health and Safety

3.56Compliance. An inspection was carried out on 24 January 2011 by the Chief Inspector of Fire and Rescue Authorities. The report noted that the good work carried out over the years had resulted in much improved fire safety standards. The report also reflected that the improvement in fire safety compliance standards reflected well on all of those staff with direct responsibility for fire safety issues.

3.57Procedures. Simulations of fire evacuations, Hall by Hall, are undertaken although no documentation was provided to support this.

3.58Health, Safety and Fire Awareness. Health, Safety and Fire "walk arounds" are carried out on a regular basis and involve the Governor, Health and Safety Manager, Estates Manager and the Partnership Liaison Representative. The findings of this informal walk around the establishment are recorded through an action plan which is considered at the quarterly Health and Safety meeting. There is a requirement to provide annual information centrally to HQ to assess and identify corporate risks and Dumfries submitted their return on 29 March 2011. Health and Safety is a standing agenda item within the monthly business meetings. The visible approach by the Governor confirms the commitment and focus to issues of Health and Safety. Eighty eight per cent of staff have been trained in Fire Awareness with 93% having completed Health and Safety refresher training.



Prisoners are treated with respect by staff.

4.1 Relationships between prisoners and staff are good but inspectors were concerned that some staff regularly use nicknames which could be interpreted as being derogatory. There is no job specific training for staff working with non compliant sex offenders.


4.2Staff and Prisoners. Relationships between staff and prisoners are good. Staff create a relaxed atmosphere and cope well with the complexities of dealing with very different categories of prisoners.

4.3 Despite the added pressures of different categories of prisoner, staff act professionally, usually call prisoners by their first name or prefix with Mr and show understanding throughout.

4.4Nicknames. However, feedback from prisoner groups and observations by inspectors indicate that in some cases staff use nicknames that could be regarded as derogatory. The SPS Prisoner Survey also confirms this with 26% of prisoners stating that staff speak to them using nicknames.

4.5Bad News. In general, FLMs would relay bad news to prisoners, except in the case of a bereavement where it would usually be a Chaplain.

4.6Feedback. Prisoner Information and Council Meetings ( PIAC) have recently been reinvigorated and the minutes suggest that this is a beneficial venture.

4.7 The latest prisoner survey (2009) shows that 92% of prisoners said they got on Ok, Well or Very Well with the staff. The figure for Reliance staff was 75%.

4.8Complaints. Out of 762 complaints last year only five were connected with relationships.

Equality and Diversity

4.9Numbers. At the time of inspection there were 20 foreign national prisoners being held in the prison. Of the ethnic minority population who were prepared to provide information on their religion, 15 were Muslims and one a Baptist.

4.10Processes. There are four nominated Race Relations Officers. A Residential First Line Manager has delegated responsibility as the Equality and Diversity Manager. The Equality and Diversity Committee meets quarterly and the last meeting was held in November 2010. It is chaired by the Deputy Governor. There is a prisoner Equality and Diversity Meeting which was last held on 29 March 2011. Since 2009 to the date of the inspection there have been three Confidential Racial Incident Reports raised. These incidents were dealt with appropriately.

4.11Interpreting Services. Interpreting services are available via a telephone helpline and, if necessary, onsite interpreters. There are no picture cards for the first night in custody, although there are translation booklets available. There is a lack of multi cultural events held in prison.

4.12Awareness. There was a view that staff were not confident about responding to questions from ethnic minority prisoners and sought guidance from the Equality and Diversity Manager. There were also concerns raised that staff may not always identify the boundary between banter and 'respect' when communicating with prisoners whose first language is not English. This view was further supported by ethnic minority prisoners who felt that staff generally had poor awareness of racial, cultural and food issues for ethnic minority groups. Equality and Diversity awareness sessions for staff should be considered.

4.13Older Prisoners. There are a number of older prisoners who require significant assistance to allow them to function on a daily basis. Staff time is being eroded as a result of this additional support alongside what is already a demanding regime.

4.14Cells. Cells for disabled prisoners are regular cells adapted to specific needs. However no cells were fitted with an emergency pull cord. No cell was purposely furnished or designed for the use of a hospital bed, mobility aids or disabled showering facilities. Cells for disabled prisoners should be fit for purpose.


4.15 A number of issues to do with searching and security in general have been drawn to the attention of the Governor.



Good contact with family and friends is maintained.

5.1 The visits room is bright, spacious and welcoming, and an excellent range of information is available to visitors in this area. There are four Family Contact Officers in place, although they are not able to devote specific periods of time to this area of work and the system is not therefore working as effectively as it could do. Visitors say that they are treated with respect by staff.

Family Strategy

5.2Strategy. The prison does not have a written family strategy, although it does work to the SPS Good Practice Guidance:

  1. Children and families should be treated politely and treated with respect.
  2. Families should receive the information they need in a proactive way.
  3. Visits should take place in an environment that meets the needs of children and families - it should be clean, comfortable and provide a good visiting experience.
  4. The prison should consult with local transport providers, CJAs and others to ensure that visiting arrangements are convenient.
  5. Families should be consulted.
  6. There should be links to substance misuse, housing and literacy services.
  7. The prison should actively encourage families to participate.
  8. The distribution of visits should be for the benefit of children.
  9. Procedures for closed visits should be clear.
  10. The prison should respond to significant family events (bereavements, etc).
  11. The prison should quality assure any changes in delivery of services.
  12. Staff should be trained on the rights and needs of children, etc.
  13. The prison should organise family days and events.

5.3 A 'Families Agenda Group" is in place and the minutes of the first (and to date only) meeting of this Group confirms that the Strategy is being addressed.

Family Contact

5.4Visits. Convicted prisoners book their own visits and visitors for untried prisoners book theirs. No concerns about the arrangements were raised by prisoners or visitors.

5.5 Visiting times are as follows:

Untried and local convicted prisoners
Monday - Friday 13.30 hrs-14.30 hrs
Saturday 11.30 hrs-12.30 hrs
Sunday 10.30 hrs-11.30 hrs

5.6 The Saturday and Sunday visits are primarily available to prisoners who have not taken their visits during the week, although other prisoners can have access depending on circumstances and availability.

Long - term prisoners
Friday 15.00 hrs-16.00 hrs
Saturday and Sunday 14.15 hrs-15.45 hrs

5.7 Father/child bonding visits are available to prisoners who meet the criteria and who are drug free and have a good disciplinary record.

5.8 The visits waiting room is comfortable and contains a good range of information. The toilet areas are cleaned on a regular basis and are in a very good condition.

5.9Visits Room. The visits room itself is bright, spacious and welcoming and an excellent café facility run by 'Friends of Dumfries Prison' is open during all visit sessions. A toilet for disabled visitors is located in the visits room. A play area for children is also available. The tables are well spaced to allow a certain degree of privacy, and supervision by staff is not obtrusive. It was noticeable that the visits sessions observed by inspectors were never more than half full and the reasons for this should be examined. Visits staff are identified within the line roster for the Operations Group. These staff are shift based and carry out other tasks when not supervising visits. There is a wide range of information available on a highly visible desk/stand in the visits room. This covers information on the prison and the arrangements for MAPPA, HDC and ICM amongst other things.

5.10Visitors. Visitors said they were very well treated by prison staff.

5.11Family Contact Officers. There are four Family Contact Officers ( FCO) in place and these duties are secondary to their roles as residential officers. They do not have any time allocated specifically to family issues and indeed seem to be more of a point of contact for prisoners than visitors. There is no dedicated telephone or office and they are not able to attend visits or induction sessions. It is recommended that the role of the Family Contact Officer is given a higher priority.

5.12Family Events. The prison does not organise any family days or events and there is no family induction. Staff were trained in child protection issues some years ago but this has not been refreshed .All staff should be trained in child protection issues.

5.13Letters and Telephones. Prisoners can send as many letters as they can afford and there are telephones in the Halls. However, prisoners almost always have to queue to use the telephones and there is little privacy.



Prisoners' entitlements are accorded them in all circumstances without their facing difficulty.

6.1 Most prisoners know what they are entitled to. The disciplinary procedures are operating to a good standard and there is little use of Rule 94 to segregate prisoners. Documentary evidence suggests that the complaints procedure is accessible but prisoners have to ask staff for forms that should be readily available. Complaint processes are operating fairly and in a transparent fashion.

Legal Entitlements

6.2 Legal Representation. When prisoners arrive at Dumfries they usually have legal representation, and there are systems in place should this not be the case.

6.3Privileged Correspondence. Privileged Correspondence procedures are robust. This includes a system for dealing with mail that may be legal correspondence but is not marked as such. The envelope is stamped to say that the mail has to be verified. The letter is logged and a FLM and the prisoner open the letter. Both parties then sign to confirm why it has been opened and whether it is a legal letter or not. This is an area of good practice.

6.4 Information. Copies of the Prison Rules are available in the library and in the Halls. Human Rights literature and up to date legal books are also available.

6.5 Visiting Committee. Prisoners can make a request to see the Visiting Committee from the Halls and this is operating effectively.

6.6 Access to Consuls. Foreign nationals can gain access to a consular official on request.

Management of Disciplinary Procedures

6.7 Facilities. Disciplinary hearings are held in a suitable room. In the procedures that were observed all staff were seated and the hearing was conducted in a relaxed and non confrontational manner. The hearings are usually conducted by the duty manager.

6.8 Processes. The adjudicators ensured that the prisoner understood the charge, had enough time to prepare a reply to the charge and was ready for the hearing. All prisoners were offered a pen and paper to take notes. They were also offered a copy of the Prison Rules and assistance if required.

6.9Paperwork. Disciplinary paperwork to record hearings is completed accurately and prisoners understood the process followed and decisions made. In all cases where guilt was proven, account was taken of Hall staff and narratives in terms of a prisoner's disciplinary record. However, the system for recording previous appearances in the Orderly Room was poor and no account was taken of information on PR2. Disciplinary records should be available from PR2 if a prisoner is found guilty in the Orderly Room.

6.10 In one case a serious concern came to light about a prisoner and this was dealt with sensitively.

6.11 Decisions. There was an average of 44 hearings a month over the last two years. An average of 8% result in a not guilty decision or case dismissed. There were 116 appeals against decisions submitted last year.

Religious Observance

6.12 Staffing. The prison has two part time Chaplains. A Church of Scotland Minister works 15 hours a week but is in the prison most days. A Roman Catholic priest works eight hours a week. There is also a visiting Imam who attends every Monday. The prison has difficulty in sourcing a service from some other denominations: for instance they have been unable to have a Rabbi visit as there is no Jewish community in the area.

6.13 Meetings. The Chaplains are well integrated into the running of the prison. They attend the Multidisciplinary Mental Health Team meetings, the Equality and Diversity meetings, ACT2 case conferences (when required) and, nationally, the prisoners' week planning committee.

6.14 Services. Worship takes place on a Thursday ( RC mass) and an informal group each Sunday afternoon for the reformed faiths. Occasionally a communion service is held on a Sunday.

Visiting Committee

6.15 Feedback. The VC representatives to whom we spoke were very positive about the management of Dumfries and the delivery of the services to prisoners. They described positive staff/prisoner relationships; few complaints from prisoners (only 36 in the past 12 months); good food; and a good atmosphere in the visits area. They looked forward to the commissioning of the refurbished healthcare facilities.

6.16 On a less positive note, the VC said that there was concern among prisoners about a recent rise in canteen prices; that a small number of prisoners were making what seemed to them to be vexatious Freedom of Information requests; that the prison's uncertain future was giving rise to a great deal of speculation among staff; that the Segregation Unit was not continuously staffed when prisoners were located there; and that some non-core escorts were occasionally late for hospital appointments and in one case for a funeral.

6.17 The Governor was very helpful in supplementing their budget and in providing a training session for VC members at the end of each of their business meetings.

6.18 The Committee has produced a notice about their work for the information of prisoners and have also recently revamped their request form.

Prisoner Complaints Procedure

6.19 Number of Complaints. Some of the LTP population are particularly litigious. This can cause operational problems due to the amount of staff time taken up answering complaints and requests made under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. For example, in 2010 there were 762 CPs logged:

CP1 (general complaint) 251
CP2 (confidential access to Governor) 340
CP3 (medical) 55
CP4 (Appeal - orderly room decision) 116

6.20It is recommended that ways are found to support staff who have to deal with complaints and requests under Freedom of Information legislation from Dumfries prisoners.

6.21Complaint Forms. Complaint forms are not easily accessible and prisoners have to ask a member of staff for one. While this means that a member of staff may be able to help informally, complaint forms should be freely available in the Halls.

6.22Processes. Once raised, complaint forms are entered on PR2 which monitors how long the process takes. However, the quality of responses is not monitored.

6.23 The Internal Complaints Committee ( ICC) meets every week, The Committee is chaired by a unit manager and two other senior managers sit on the panel.

6.24 There were 174 cases heard by the ICC in 2010, of which 64 progressed to the Governor.

6.25 A review of ICC paperwork indicates that prisoner complaints are given careful consideration and detailed reasons are given for the decisions. There is an appropriate balance between complaints which are upheld and complaints which are not.

6.26 SPSO. The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman ( SPSO) literature and information notices are displayed around the prison. Information on how to make a complaint is also provided during the induction sessions for both the LTP and STP populations.

6.27 Staff Knowledge. Staff in the Halls demonstrated sound knowledge of the CP system and how to access the VC or make a request to see a manager.

6.28 Effectiveness. The prisoner complaints procedure is operating effectively and the evidence from the records suggests that it transparent and fair.

Management of Segregation

6.29Segregation Unit. The Segregation Unit comprises five single cells in a discrete area adjacent to 'B zero' which is located in the basement of 'B' Hall. Each cell has integral sanitation, a bed, chair and built-in furniture. The latter is shabby and in need of replacement and the sink design is so impractical that prisoners are given a flask for water. The prison has only two 'safer cells' available. None of the cells in the Segregation Unit have been modified to take them to the standard for classification as 'safer cells'. At the time of inspection the Segregation Unit was not in use because the cells were being painted. The area was otherwise clean and maintained to an adequate standard though its age is showing and its location in the basement of the prison is not ideal.

6.30 Use of Segregation. The Segregation Unit is used for locating prisoners subject to the Orderly Room sanction of 'confinement to cell' - a punishment which was imposed on 103 occasions between April 2010 and March 2011. It is also used to house prisoners removed from association under the conditions of Rule 94. Of the latter, there were 10 cases in the period April 2010 to March 2011 but none were held there for more than one month. The unit is sometimes also used to house prisoners at their own request for short periods of "time out".

6.31Staffing. The Segregation Unit is staffed from the complement of two staff on 'B zero'. If a third member of staff is needed when the unit is occupied, then he/she is imported from another area. The 'B zero' team may also require to staff the observation cells on the level above and to supervise exercise and other activities which take them away from their Hall. At times, this can cause significant problems in continuity of supervision and the consequence is that there are times in the day when the Segregation Unit is not staffed.

6.32Regime. There is no set daily routine for 'B zero' and the Segregation Unit as such depends on the numbers located in these areas and staff availability. When there are prisoners located in the unit they are visited daily by a member of the healthcare staff and on a regular, but not daily basis, by a Unit Manager. Daily narratives are not routinely maintained on the prisoners and there is no written guidance readily available in the area for staff in relation to the routine and regime for prisoners on Rules. These issues should be addressed.



Prisoners take part in activities that educate, develop skills and personal qualities and prepare them for life outside prison.

7.1 Prisoners have good access to learning, skills and employability opportunities. The prison consistently meets the target set for the number of Prisoner Learner Hours it makes available. Prisoners report positively on their experiences within LSE. The quality of provision in the cleaning and garden areas is high. Overall, however, there is a limited range of vocational and educational qualifications available. Links between and amongst employability, vocational and educational activities are not sufficiently strong and effective. The quality of aspects of assessment to improve learning in the Learning Centre is not high enough.


7.2 The Contract. Motherwell College holds the education contract to deliver education in Dumfries Prison. The current target set for the college for Prisoner Learning Hours ( PLHs) is 17,000 per year. The prison is on schedule to meet this target. The total number of PLHs delivered has risen in each of the last four years. Education provision in the prison is organised, managed and delivered by a staff team, led by a Learning Centre Manager. SPS staff deliver a range of vocational training programmes and work parties. This is led by prison officer instructors in the production and training workshops and across the prison.

Staffing and Resources

7.3 Staff in the Learning Centre, gymnasium and workshops are well qualified and experienced. All staff in the Learning Centre are appropriately qualified to teach adults. The range of Continuous Professional Development ( CPD) undertaken by staff in the Learning Centre over the last year was very limited. The accommodation in the Learning Centre consists of a computing suite, an art and craft room and two multi-purpose classrooms. The accommodation is basic and in need of some refreshment and refurbishment. Displays of prisoners' work and achievements are limited. Use of posters and displays to support and stimulate learning is poor.

Access to Learning, Skills and Employability Provision

7.4The Learning Centre. The Learning Centre is open fifty weeks of the year. Around 35% of the prisoner population attend the Learning Centre each week. Prisoner attendance rates in the Learning Centre are very high. All categories of prisoners have access to education provision. Long-term prisoners have access for between three and five sessions per week. Recently, management have placed a strong and effective focus on ensuring that short-term prisoners have access to educational provision. Generally, STPs now have two sessions per week, while STPs in 'E' Hall have four sessions over the course of the week. Remand prisoners also have access to education provision. The inclusion of both short-term and remand prisoners in educational activities is a very positive feature and is an area of good practice.

7.5 Participation. The majority of prisoners participate in constructive activity during the day - in education classes, work parties or programmes.

7.6 Induction. As part of the induction process, prison staff inform prisoners of provision for, and access to, learning, skills and employability activities. Staff recognise the need to improve input into induction processes and have plans in place to do so. The Learning Centre Manager interviews prisoners individually. Prisoners also undertake the SPS 'Alerting Tool'. This is used to ascertain whether a prisoner requires further assessment through use of the SQA Screening and Levelling Tool which helps staff to determine prisoners' levels of literacy and numeracy. The information gathered from this helps staff and prisoners decide on which activities and at which level the prisoner would be best placed. Prison staff ensure that prisoners are aware of the range and type of vocational programmes and work party duties available.

7.7 Information. Staff in the Learning Centre take some steps to inform all prisoners about the provision available in the Learning Centre. This includes occasional newsletters to all prisoners. Overall, however, communication of activities and opportunities available and possible within the Learning Centre is not yet widespread and effective enough. Staff are considering more dynamic and effective ways of communicating the work of the Learning Centre through, for example, better display of prisoners' work and achievements in communal areas of the prison.

7.8Opportunities. Most prisoners who are eligible to work take part in a range of work parties. Opportunities are available in the laundry, kitchen, garden, joinery workshop, recycling workshop, and as cleaners and passmen. There are currently a total of 115 work party places for the 132 prisoners who are eligible to work from the total prison population of 198. Routinely 80 prisoners are involved in these activities daily. On one day during the inspection there were 76 prisoners taking part in activities. At 39% of the prisoner population, this does not compare favourably with other establishments.

7.9Work Parties. The range of work parties meets the needs of many of the prisoners, helping them to develop new skills and, in some instances, providing certification for those skills, including SVQ and SQA units in horticulture and carpentry and joinery, and BICS awards in cleaning. Indeed, Dumfries runs one of the best BICS programmes in the SPS which is an area of good practice. A few prisoners also gain forklift truck operator qualifications through the Road Transport Industry Training Board ( RTITB). Recently staff have consulted local organisations to try and match more closely local skill shortages and job market demands to the skills sets that prisoners are developing. As a result, a new Lifeskills Development work party has been introduced for STPs. This incorporates useful practical DIY and basic carpentry skills to help prepare prisoners for release and independent living.

7.10 However, some work parties can be limited by the availability of suitably qualified officers. For example, brickwork was no longer available to prisoners due to the member of staff who delivered the training leaving the establishment.

7.11 Curriculum. In the Learning Centre, the curriculum provided for prisoners is too narrow in scope. There has been a clear and effective emphasis recently on ensuring a strong focus on the development of prisoners' skills and capacities in literacy and numeracy. Programmes in communications cover Access 2 to SQA Level 6. Numeracy and Mathematics programmes range from Access 3 to Intermediate 2. The two other main areas of curriculum coverage in the Learning Centre are creative arts and Information Technology. In the latter area, provision ranges from Access 2 to coverage of the European Computer Driving License ( ECDL). There is no provision currently for other curriculum areas such as Social Subjects or Drama. At the time of inspection, five prisoners were undertaking open learning, principally through Open University provision.

7.12Support. A Community Learning Assistant, based in the Links Centre, provides good support for prisoners who have difficulties with literacy. This includes a range of approaches such as individual support, working with small groups of prisoners and training and supervision of peer mentors. Peer mentors are prisoners who are trained to support other prisoners with identified literacy problems. Support for prisoners who do not speak English as their first language is targeted at long-term prisoners. Staff have identified the need to ensure that short-term prisoners who require this support have appropriate access to it. Provision to support employability for prisoners is improving. The Community Learning Assistant leads in this area and has ensured an effective focus on interview skills and confidence building for a significant number of short-term prisoners. Overall, however, links between the work being carried out in different areas of LSE within the prison are not consistently effective.

7.13 Gymnasium. The gymnasium accommodation is small and appears cramped due to the low ceiling and the number of pieces of gym equipment. However, prisoners make good use of the facilities and work around these limitations. A small games hall is used for personal gym workouts and for activities like carpet bowls for less mobile prisoners. The uptake of physical training ( PT) by prisoners has improved significantly recently due to a change in how it is offered by the prison. It is now viewed as a recreational activity rather than a prescriptive one. This improvement in choice for prisoners has resulted in over 60% of prisoners using the gym facilities regularly, compared to the previous figure of 33%. Each prisoner has the opportunity to attend between three and five sessions per week and these are timetabled during the day, some evenings and at the weekend.

7.14 Library. The prison has a small library and a number of 'satellites' in the various Halls to which prisoners have regular access. Library stock is rotated regularly to ensure that prisoners have use of a range of texts. Prisoners have access to the main library on a weekly, timetabled basis. The main library is very well organised and presented. Relevant staff recently conducted a survey of prisoners relating to library use and are using the results obtained to develop provision further. Plans for improvement include use of mobile stands to make books and DVDs more accessible. Relevant staff have made encouraging links with library staff from Dumfries and Galloway Council. This important initiative should be developed further to ensure that the positive links are built upon.

Assessment of Need

7.15 Alerting Tool. On arrival in the prison, and as part of the induction process, prisoners undertake the SPS Alerting Tool. Information gathered from this is used in order to determine whether there is a need for prisoners to undertake the SQA Screening and Levelling Tool for assessment of literacy and numeracy. The Alerting Tool is too limited in nature and does not offer a realistic assessment of the levels of prisoner literacy or numeracy without referral to the SQA Screening and Levelling Tool. A new Alerting Tool is being developed and plans are in place to introduce this in the near future.

7.16Learning Plans. Staff and prisoners make use of Individual Learning Plans and subject learning plans. Overall, however, the process of individual learning planning does not involve prisoners effectively in influencing and taking ownership of their own learning and development.

Delivery of Learning

7.17Interactions. Staff across the prison have developed good relationships with prisoners and know the prisoners well as individuals. Most of the teaching observed in the Learning Centre was in the form of individual support for prisoners as they worked independently through units and tasks. When staff interacted on an individual basis, the quality of the support for prisoners in their learning was good. Staff used questioning well in helping to check and develop prisoners' understanding. Opportunities for prisoners to reflect openly on their learning experiences and on their progress over the course of a session were under developed.

7.18Resources. Resources for use in learning and teaching in the Learning Centre are adequate. There is a strong emphasis on use of worksheets in activities. Other than in the IT suite, use of IT in teaching and learning is very limited and requires review and development.

7.19 Workshop Training. Workshop training is vocationally-based and delivered by motivated staff who support prisoners well to develop skills and gain certificated awards.

Prisoner Learning Experiences

7.20 Communication. Prisoners in the Learning Centre engage in a limited range of learning experiences which are focused on key areas such as literacy, numeracy and IT. They work and learn in a positive learning environment. The Community Learning Assistant is involved in the development of prisoners' employability skills. Communication between and amongst the distinct elements of educational provision in the prison is generally good. However, this needs to be developed further to ensure that there is a more effective overview of individual learners' progress and development. This includes support for the development of interview skills and interpersonal skills. The development of the whole range of prisoners' skills and capacities is not yet shared effectively by staff in all of the discrete elements of educational provision within the prison.

7.21 Staff have started to look at prisoners' learning styles and how these can affect learning and teaching. This is at a very early stage of development.


7.22 Certification. Many prisoners who complete education or training programmes gain certificates for their learning. Over the last year, prisoners attending the learning centre attained 245 SQA units, mainly in information technology (42%), communication (29%) and numeracy (28%). Over the same period, prisoners on vocational training programmes attained 325 units, mainly in cleaning awards (50%) and carpentry and joinery units (38%).

7.23 Project Based Initiatives. As part of an initiative to bring together discrete areas of subject-based learning, staff have introduced project-based initiatives involving all Learning Centre subject areas. Prisoners reported positively on their involvement in these experiences. As a result, staff identified a range of positive outcomes for prisoners, including enhancement of prisoners' self-esteem. Prisoners have enjoyed significant success in a number of competitions including the Koestler Awards for the arts. A number of prisoners found involvement in this highly motivational and are proud of their achievements in this area. Prisoners' achievements in LSE are highlighted on a regular basis with an effective focus on celebrating success.

7.24 'E' Hall. Prisoners in 'E' Hall undertake a lifestyle focused regime. As part of this, they experience a strong emphasis on education and learning. Prisoners in this area are gaining useful skills in numeracy that will assist them on release.

Ethos and Values

7.25 Relationships. Relationships between staff and prisoners are positive and constructive. Relationships between the Community Learning Assistant and prisoners are purposeful and offer an effective platform for learning. Prisoners are confident in their engagement with relevant prison staff.

Quality Assurance

7.26Quality Assurance. Learning Centre staff use quality assurance procedures developed by Motherwell College. Staff use the annual Portfolio Review to review progress on action taken to ensure improvement in provision. The Portfolio Review also includes a useful self-evaluation report and a review of key trends and the results of the SPS annual Prisoner Survey. Overall, however, self-evaluation to ensure consistent improvement in experiences for prisoners is not of a sufficiently high quality. Quality improvement processes require greater attention and stronger leadership.



Healthcare is provided to the same standard as in the community outside prison, available in response to need, with a full range of preventive services, promoting continuity with health services outside prison.

8.1 Healthcare services were operating under the difficult conditions of providing all clinical services from one single room due to an upgrading and refurbishment of the Health Centre. This, along with staff shortages has restricted the delivery of healthcare services. At the time of inspection prisoners did not have access to a mental health nurse. Waiting times for dental treatment far exceeded those in the community. Despite this, the remaining healthcare provision is comparable with that in the community and is responsive to prisoners' needs.

Healthcare Admission Processes

8.2Admission Processes. All prisoners admitted or transferred into the prison are seen in reception by a nurse and a doctor within 24 hrs or 72 hrs if transferred. Prisoners are not searched prior to seeing the nurse. The healthcare admission process itself is comprehensive and thorough. All processes observed had the healthcare records available and consent forms signed. All clinical urine samples obtained were tested immediately, referrals were made to the appropriate services and a brief explanation of what happens in the next 24 hrs given. Interpreting services are available and had been used 15 times in the month prior to the inspection.

Physical Environment

8.3 The Health Centre. The Health Centre was closed for refurbishment at the time of inspection and services were being provided from a single 'satellite' room [1]. This room was noisy, poorly ventilated, hot and overcrowded. There was no waiting area. These are very difficult working conditions for staff and uncomfortable for patients.

8.4 Storage. All medications were being stored and dispensed from this area. The area itself was clean and storage of medication was compliant with statutory and professional standards.

Healthcare Team

8.5 Staffing. The healthcare team comprises a Clinical Nurse Manager in Charge ( CNMIC), three primary care nurses, one mental health nurse and one substance misuse nurse. At the time of inspection the mental health nurse was on maternity leave and the CNMIC was on long term sick leave. The substance misuse nurse was acting up for the CNMIC. No back fill was provided for either the substance misuse nurse or the mental health nurse. This has effectively left the healthcare team without a mental health nursing service and only a partial substance misuse nursing service.

8.6 This doubling up of duties, coupled with the extremely difficult environmental challenges has placed a considerable strain on the service. However staff remained focused on providing the best service possible and morale was good.

Healthcare Records

8.7 Archived healthcare records were stored within the Health Centre currently under refurbishment. Storage was secure and access limited to Healthcare staff. Live records were stored within the reception room. Healthcare records were transported to the satellite surgery where storage was again secure and limited to Healthcare staff. The records themselves were in good order and in the main tidy and well kept with a good quality of entry information.

Primary Healthcare

8.8 Clinics. The satellite clinical area houses all clinical and consultation activity, medical equipment, medicines storage and dispensing activity. The current arrangements do not allow for the full breadth of clinical activity to be provided. However specialised clinic and chronic disease management ( CDM) clinics were evident. Clinics for diabetes, cardiology, hypertension, vaccination were nurse led, with asthma and epilepsy being medically led. Some of these are delivered on an ad hoc basis or were in the early stages of development.

8.9Referral Process. The prisoner referral process is an outdated sick list and self referral system. There was no appointment system in place and prisoners could only access healthcare through an officer. The current process lacks confidentiality and provides only ad hoc access to specialised services. A comprehensive self referral and appointment system should be put in place.

8.10 Vulnerable Prisoners. Rule 94 and vulnerable prisoners were well looked after and relationships with operations staff were good in this respect.

8.11Doctors. Medical services are provided by a private contractor, MEDACS. There is continuity in the provision of doctors from the practice. Out of hours call outs run at about one or two per month with telephone advice at one or two calls per week. The doctors felt that they had to wait an unreasonable amount of time for prisoners to attend the Health Centre and an efficient appointment system would enhance and increase the clinical service provision.

Mental Health Services

8.12 Mental Health services were under considerable strain at the time of inspection. No nurse led service was being provided. No enhanced service was being provided other than by the counselling service. No identified clinic time was available for mental health services other than the psychiatrist's clinic.

8.13 The SPS employs a counsellor one day a week specifically for the provision of mental health support services. This service offers a person centred approach and the counsellor's case load is normally around 16 - 20 patients. The provision of specialised counselling services works well.

Other Services

8.14 Blood Borne Virus. Blood Borne Virus Services are provided in house by the substance misuse nurse and all pre and post counselling, testing and blood monitoring is led by the nurses. Follow up and specialised consultant care is provided by an in reach team from NHS Dumfries and Galloway. One clinic is held every six to eight weeks depending on demand.

8.15Dentist. Dental Services are provided by a dentist, dental nurse and dental hygienist. The operation of a 'toothache list' under the reporting sick system ensures very minimal waiting times. At least one full session of clinical dental time is spent on emergencies which would not be classed as emergencies in the community. This has resulted in a zero waiting list for new patients but a waiting list for dental treatment of 11 months. A dental appointment system should be introduced which prioritises appointments by need and addresses the waiting list.

8.16 Podiatry. Podiatry is provided as an in reach service by the local NHS Health Board. Clinics are normally held every six to eight weeks. Demand is low and the waiting time is generally only six weeks.

Pharmacy and Medication

8.17 Facilities. There was no dedicated pharmacy area at the time of inspection. However the storage and dispensing of medications were compliant with statutory and professional regulations. A limited amount of over the counter medications was available as well as paracetamol in the Halls.

8.18 Services. Pharmacy services are provided by Lloyd's pharmacy and are supplied directly from a local branch. Staff report a good working relationship with minimal delivery problems and a quick resolution to those that do arise.

8.19 Pharmacist. A pharmacist visits monthly and carries out audit and assurance checks on processes, storage and Controlled Drug compliance. Controlled Drug registers were in good order and the observed medication process was compliant with Nursing and Midwifery Council medicine standards.

8.20Dispensing. The process for dispensing medications takes too long. The issuing of medication starts at 08.00 hrs, breaks for the doctor's surgery, and starts again when the doctor is finished. It is completed at approximately 11.00 hrs. Most of the nurse's time is spent waiting for prisoners. There is an ad hoc process of attendance by prisoners depending on staff bringing them when they can. The process for dispensing medications should be more efficient.


8.21 Services. Substance Misuse Services are provided by one substance misuse nurse from the Healthcare team and an Enhanced Addictions Casework Service ( EACS). The EACS element of the service is provided by Phoenix Futures. There is one Phoenix Futures manager, one senior case worker, one part-time case worker and administrative support. The Phoenix Futures manager has monthly review meetings with the contract manager who is the Head of Offender Outcomes. All prisoners are seen in the Links Centre either for assessment as part of treatment support, or to provide the motivational element of the recovery programme. Continuity of this service is provided by additions services in the community. Joint delivery of smoking cessation and harm reduction sessions is also carried out within this area. The current arrangements appear to be working well with good relationships and joint working between the two service providers.

8.22 Addictions Strategy. There is a Local Addiction strategy in place and quarterly Addiction Strategy Review Groups are held. A Substance Misuse Multidisciplinary Team meeting is in place and is well attended.

8.23 Links with the Community. The prison is well represented at regional Alcohol and Drug Partnerships ( ADP). There was strong evidence of partnership working at a strategic level between the prison and the community with the joint drafting of short-term prisoner pathways for prisoners entering prison and returning to the community.

8.24 Resources. The prison has made a successful bid for safer communities money from the ADP and was successful in securing a counsellor for 2.5 days a week for the Substance Misuse Service. Referrals are taken from all sources and the counsellor carries a case load of about 10 at any one time.

8.25 Methadone. At the time of inspection no statistical evidence was available but based on the observed numbers at the time of inspection approximately 30 prisoners were taking methadone, five or six of whom were long term prisoners. Six or seven prisoners were on a reducing dose of methadone at any one time.

8.26 Prescriptions. All prisoners who are admitted to the prison on a community prescription for treatment are continued on their treatment once this is confirmed with their community prescriber. New prescriptions are rarely commenced.



Appropriate steps are taken to ensure that prisoners are reintegrated safely into the community and where possible into a situation less likely to lead to further crime.

9.1 The Integrated Case Management processes work very well. A number of prisoners have been assessed as requiring intensive programmes to address serious offending behaviour, but the prison does not run these programmes and there are difficulties in accessing them in other prisons. Progression for the majority of long-term sex offenders is difficult. The prison has developed an impressive range of contacts with community agencies.

Integrated Case Management

9.2 Levels. Integrated Case Management operates in Dumfries at Standard and Enhanced levels. Standard procedures allow for prisoners serving four years or less to have their needs assessed through the core screen process. This is then developed into a Community Integration Plan ( CIP) which takes account of activity and learning needs. The Links Centre coordinates CIPs with Hall staff completing reviews whenever they are due.

9.3 Processes. Core screen for the majority of the LTP Protection prisoners is carried out at another establishment before transfer to Dumfries. However, for prisoners sent to Dumfries direct from courts (local short and long term convicted prisoners), core screening is carried out by staff at Dumfries. The enhanced procedures allow for all prisoners serving sentences of over four years and all statutory offenders, to participate in multidisciplinary meetings to review risk and needs and develop strategies to reduce the risk of re-offending and risk of causing harm on release. There are 11 Hall staff trained and involved in completing risk and needs assessments for LTPs. A total of 143 risk and needs assessments were completed in the last year.

9.4 Assessments. Assessments are generally completed within timescales: out of the 143 that were completed only three were late.

9.5 Personal Officers. The ICM office allocates personal officers to LTPs and ensures that monthly contact sheets are completed and logged on PR2.

9.6 Information. The ICM coordinator also liaises with the parole clerk to ensure that all relevant information is obtained from other prisons, agencies and trial judges. This ensures that tribunals and pre release arrangements operate effectively.

9.7 Communication. Communication between Peterhead and Dumfries (the two main centres for sex offenders) is good.

9.8 Case Conferences. The administration of ICM case conferences is also good. There is a list generated eight weeks before the due date for individuals' case conferences. Submissions are then sought from the addictions service, psychology, FLMs, Chaplains and both internal and external social workers.

9.9 Police and the sex offender liaison officers are also involved in pre release case conferences.

9.10 There is an ongoing effort being made to involve family members in the ICM process. They are invited to the case conference and there is a sound mechanism in place to ensure that their appointment would be suitable. There were 25 case conferences held with family members present last year.

9.11 There is an average of 13.5 case conferences per month. One FLM oversees an Officer and two administrative assistants who manage the establishment target for case conferences occurring within timescales, 94% of all case conferences were held on time in the last year.

9.12 The Personal Officer Scheme is well integrated with ICM and residential officers have a sound understanding of the work that needs to be carried out with standard and enhanced cases. In the last year Personal Officers attended 45% of the ICM case conferences.

9.13 Case conferences are chaired by an officer and there is good attendance by Community Based Social Work ( CBSW), who attended 99% of the conferences held in the last year.

9.14Video Conferencing. The establishment is proactive in using video conferencing for prisoners originating from all areas of Scotland, 41% of case conferences involved video conferencing last year. This is an area of good practice.

9.15 Recording. A sample checked on PR2 confirmed that the ICM documents are logged appropriately.

Risk Management Group and Multi-disciplinary Progression Management Group

9.16 Links. There is a close link between ICM, RMG and MDPMG although there are issues with the operation of the latter two of these processes.

9.17 The RMG sits monthly at the same time as the MDPMG. Although it is aligned to the ICM process it was observed that it is not very much different from the MDPMG. The ICM directs prisoners into the RMG but observations of the meetings concluded that the RMG discusses issues along the same lines as the MDPMG.

9.18There needs to be a fresh look at how the two meetings run and some separation achieved. It is not necessary for instance to have the Deputy Governor chair the RMG. This is because the RMG should work with prisoners on issues before they are referred to an MDPMG meeting or (if progression isn't possible) to enhance plans for release by contributing to the pre release case conference.

9.19 Referrals. Referrals for the RMG include those with persistent challenging behaviour, those who don't fit in for 'normal' programme delivery, Orders for Lifelong Restriction ( OLR) and longer term Rule 94 cases.

9.20 OLR and MAPPA. At the time of the inspection there was one prisoner held under the conditions of OLR. There were no Rule 94s but all of the LTP population are subject to MAPPA supervision requirements.

9.21Training. When interviewing panel members it was clear that none of them had benefited from guidance or training on RMG/ MDPMG. There were issues discussed that demonstrated a lack of understanding in some areas that would not only have been addressed by training but should also be guided by a national sex offender strategy. The same situation was also highlighted in the HMCIP report on HMP Peterhead published in September 2010. It is recommended again that the SPS develops a national sex offender strategy.

9.22Processes and Standards. No files were taken to the RMG/ MDPMG meeting. This was a major consideration in the investigations, assurance review and government response after high profile absconds from the Open Estate. It also featured in HMCIP's report 'Review of the Arrangements for Progressing Prisoners from Closed to Open Conditions' (published in February 2011). Up to date guidance was issued by the SPS in January 2011 but some of the panel members had not read this. It is recommended that the processes for the RMG and MDPMG meetings are reviewed and brought up to the required standards.

9.23 Progression. There are some frustrations around the lack of progression for the LTPs who do present significant challenges due to the nature of their offences and a general reluctance to engage in programme work.

Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements

9.24 Levels. Between 1 April 2010 and 31 March 2011, the prison managed 9 Level 1, 64 Level 2 and 9 Level 3 Prisoners subject to Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements ( MAPPA). MAPPA Level 1 means ordinary risk management. This is the level within which most offenders are managed. It is appropriate in cases where the risks posed by the offender can be managed by one or two agencies, for example, the police and criminal justice social work staff, without the significant involvement of other agencies. It will, however, involve appropriate information sharing with other agencies as necessary. MAPPA Level 2 involves local inter-agency risk management. This level requires active and significant involvement of several agencies but where either the level of risk or complexity of the case is not so great as to require a referral to level 3. There will be regular MAPPA meetings about the offender. Level 3 is utilised when the offender is assessed as high or very high risk of serious harm or in exceptional circumstances, due to the likelihood of media scrutiny or public interest. Again there will be regular multi-agency meetings about the offender.

9.25 Audit. A recent comprehensive external audit of the prison's MAPPA processes was positive and confirmed the robustness of local arrangements.

9.26 Liaison. Relationships between the prison and the community MAPPA co-ordinators were described as very productive and collaborative. The prison's ICM case co-ordinator manages the MAPPA process, and representatives from the prison attend Level 3 case conferences in the community and Level 2 meetings by invitation.

9.27 Resources. As with parole, ICM and MAPPA functions require to be properly resourced in order to ensure that each element of the processes are fully aligned. This is particularly important for the Dumfries team given the volume of the complexity of the cases with which it is dealing i.e. a largely non compliant long term sex offender group.

Home Detention Curfew

9.28 Numbers. At the time of the inspection there were no prisoners on HDC.

9.29 Eligibility. The system for identifying prisoners who are eligible for HDC is robust and fair. An initial list of those 16 weeks away from eligibility date is drawn from PR2 every week. Statutory exclusions are sifted out and any high or medium supervision prisoners are reassessed.

9.30 Communication. There is good communication with prisoners and all internal partners are kept informed about the start of the process. An extra check is made to ensure that the prisoner is content for the family to be involved and to have information sent out to them.

9.31 Processes. Once the initial part of the process is completed a Unit Manager should sign to sanction entering into the assessment of home circumstances by CBSW. This part of the process is not always carried out. If there is no significant information the assessment is sent out to the CBSW. On return the assessment is checked by the Deputy Governor.

9.32Housing. There is an area of good practice between the CAB and housing authorities as tenancies are often held open at the early stages of HDC assessment in order for candidates to be able to return to their home address if they get it.

9.33Preparation. When a prisoner is granted a HDC a lot of effort is put into preparing them for it. This includes an information booklet for families, prepared in collaboration with Families Outside. Attention is also paid to issues such as addictions, employment and housing. There is also a comprehensive guide from Serco. Preparation for release for prisoners on HDC is an area of good practice.


9.34 Caseloads. At the time of inspection the prison carried a parole caseload of 123, 70 of whom were long term sex offenders cases and of that number, 31 were Life sentence prisoners. The latter group comprises, for the most part, offenders who refuse to participate in sex offender and other relevant interventions either because they are in denial over their offences or because they see no need to modify their behaviour.

9.35Staffing. Each-long term prisoner has a Personal Officer. These members of staff are allocated a small group of prisoners in whom they take a particular interest and on whom they prepare reports for individual case management purposes. There is also a group of eight residential officers whose secondary duty is that of caseworker. These officers are trained in risk and needs assessments and are competent to complete SA07 risk assessments for sex offenders. They are an integral and important part of the prisoner case management process and are an area of good practice.

9.36 A residential First Line Manager has responsibility for overseeing the parole process. He is also the ICM Manager, the Early Release Liaison Officer, the Lifer Liaison Officer, the MAPPA co-ordinator and one of three managers who take the SPS lead in Parole Board Tribunal hearings. There is an average of some 25 Tribunal hearings each year. It is to his considerable credit and to that of his small support team, that all parole timescales are met.

9.37Workload. There is, however, a cost to the huge workload placed on this manager in that he cannot also reasonably spend adequate time on his Residential Management role. This is not a sustainable position. It is recommended, given the complexity and level of potential risk presented by the long term-sex offender population, that the parole and prisoner case management functions are properly resourced. The present situation has not been helped by recent significant staffing problems within the social work department and by limited psychology provision.

Interventions to Address Offending Behaviour

9.38 Staffing. The programmes team comprises two full-time officers and one relief member of staff for the Constructs programme.

9.39 Facilities. The programmes are run in a large dedicated programmes room which can be split into two if required. The team can also access other rooms for group work and meetings.

9.40 Programmes Run. In the year April 2010-2011 the following programmes were run:

Targets Completions
Constructs (for LTPs) 8 10
Constructs (for STPs) 8 7
First Steps (for LTPs) 8 87
First Steps (for STPs) 8 9
Relationships (for LTPs) 8 10
Relationships (for STPs) 8 9
48 53

9.41 Assessed and Waiting. The following have been assessed for the following programmes and were waiting to participate:

Violence Prevention Programme ( VPP) 4 protections
Controlling Anger Regulating Emotions ( CARE) 9 protections
Good Lives 5 protections

9.42 Resource and Progression Constraints. Dumfries cannot run VPP, CARE and Good Lives because of resource constraints. Other prisons are unlikely to accept the prisoners assessed for these for a variety of reasons including the fact that they may have been troublesome in the past. They are therefore stuck in Dumfries and cannot progress. The prison has produced a paper outlining the problems and a number of options. This was submitted to SPSHQ in the latter part of 2010 but no response had been received at the time of the inspection.

9.43Unmet Need. VPP, CARE and Good Lives are intensive programmes aimed at serious issues and if prisoners have been assessed as requiring them, they should receive them. It is recommended that ways are found to progress prisoners who have been assessed as requiring the Violence Prevention Programme and the Good Lives Programme so that they can receive them.

Constructs is a general offending programme designed for use in the community and in prison.

First Steps addresses addictions issues.

Relationships addresses interpersonal skills.

TheViolence Prevention Programme is designed specifically for offenders at highest risk of future re-offending.

Controlling Anger Regulating Emotions is designed specifically for prisoners who experience difficulties in managing negative emotions.

Good Lives is targeted at prisoners who have committed sex offences and who have been assessed as medium or above risk.

Community Partnerships

9.44Links with the Community. Dumfries has developed excellent links with community based organisations. The following organisations are particularly active in the prison and work from the well established Links Centre:

Dumfries and Galloway Citizens Advise Bureau deals with housing and benefits issues. A member of the CAB is based full time in the Links Centre and sees prisoners on a one-to-one basis. The Service maintains contact with the prisoner after liberation, if required or requested.

Dumfries Council has a member of staff based full time in the Links Centre who provides adult learning and literacy support and 'Toe-by-Toe' mentoring.

Routes Out Of Prison ( ROOP) provides resettlement support through two community-based peer mentors. They support prisoners attending after liberation.

APEX works from the Links Centre and provides an employability service and supports the pre-release and independent living staff regime in 'E' Hall.

JobcentrePlus works from the Links Centre on a weekly basis and deals with employment issues.

Phoenix Futures are also based in the Links Centre and provide advice and support on addiction issues.

9.45 Other agencies providing support include Alcoholics Anonymous, The Samaritans and Breathing Space.

9.46 Issues. The main issues for long-term prisoners are progressing to 'Top Ends' or to the Open Estate. Very few are liberated from Dumfries and consequently most of the work involves short-term prisoners where the main issues are housing, benefits, debt, employment and addictions.

9.47 Links Centre. Overall, the Links Centre is providing an excellent service for prisoners.

Preparation for Release

Short- Term Prisoners

9.48 Agency Information Sessions. A rolling programme is provided for STPs being prepared for release. Within the last six weeks of their sentence it is possible for individuals to benefit from information sessions from the following agencies:

  • Motherwell College
  • Dumfries and Galloway College
  • Barony College
  • Apex
  • Routes Out of Prison
  • Breathing Space
  • Enhanced Addictions Casework Services
  • Catering department

9.49 There are also regular prisoner forums to discuss improvements which can be made to the programme.

9.50 Community Integration Plans. Community Integration Plans ( CIPs) are central to the process as staff pick up on referrals regarding housing, benefits, employability skills, addictions etc. The CIPs drive individual work for prisoners from early in their sentence to preparation for release. Areas covered in these interventions include:

  • Interview with JobcentrePlus
  • Relapse prevention
  • Drug awareness
  • Employment counsellor
  • Citizen's Advice Bureau

9.51Pre Release Programmes. The pre release programme is a positive initiative but attendance is low with only 20% of potential attendees signing up for the programme. The short-term prisoner pre-release programme should be promoted more effectively.

Long-Term Prisoners

9.52 Ideally LTPs should progress to open conditions prior to release to be tested in the community. However, progression is an issue for the type of prisoner held at Dumfries. Nevertheless, there is a good pre release programme for LTPs which is delivered over a two week period by hall officers. It is targeted at LTP prisoners who are to be released within the next two to three months. Staff created the presentation in collaboration with other agencies.

9.53 Outside agencies such as CBSW and the police are involved in delivering the programme. Included in the package are:

  • Budgeting (delivered by CAB)
  • Accommodation
  • Employment training
  • Addictions
  • Supervision by CBSW
  • License conditions and recalls (delivered by the police)

9.54 The pre release programme for long-term prisoners is an area of good practice.


10.1 A good succession planning process ensures that new Listeners are trained in good time to fill anticipated vacancies ( Listeners).

10.2 A high proportion of staff on night duty are first aid trained ( Procedures).

10.3 Information to support transitional and post training of officers is available through the sharepoint site. ( Staffing).

10.4 The arrangements for dealing with unmarked privileged correspondence ( Privileged Correspondence).

10.5 The inclusion of both short-term and remand prisoners in educational activities ( The Learning Centre).

10.6 The BICS programme ( Work Parties).

10.7 The use of video conferencing for ICM Case Conferences ( Video Conferencing).

10.8 The Citizens Advice Bureau and housing authorities liaise to ensure that tenancies are often held open in the early stages of Home Detention Curfew assessment ( Housing).

10.9 Preparation for release from prisoners on Home Detention Curfew ( Preparation).

10.10 A group of residential officers are trained in risk and assessment and can complete SA07 risk assessment for sex offenders as part of the parole process ( Staffing).

10.11 The long-term prisoner pre-release programme ( Pre-Release Programme).


For SPS Headquarters

11.1 The SPS should develop a national sex offender strategy ( Training).

11.2 Ways should be found to progress prisoners who have been assessed as requiring the Violence Prevention Programme and the Good Lives Programme so that they can receive them ( Unmet Need).

For the Establishment

11.3 The security fence around the sports pitch should be improved to allow prisoners to use this pitch and allow more prisoners to access the garden ( Exercise Areas)

11.4 The reception area should be re-designed to facilitate a proper reception process ( Reception Area).

11.5 The role of the Family Contact Officer should be given a higher priority ( Family Contact Officers).

11.6 Ways should be found to support officers who have to deal with complaints and requests under Freedom of Information legislation from Dumfries prisoners ( Support Staff).

11.7 The processes for the Risk Management Group and Multi Disciplinary Progression Management Group meeting should be reviewed and brought up to the required standards ( Processes and Standards).

11.8 Given the complexity and level of potential risk presented by the long-term sex offender population, the parole and prisoner case management functions should be properly resourced ( Workload).


For the Establishment

12.1 Complaint forms should be readily available in the Halls ( Central Living/Recreation Area, Information displayed on notice boards, Complaint forms were not readily available and Complaint Forms).

12.2 The cells in 'A' Hall should be redecorated ( Twelve cells).

12.3 Infection control signage should be displayed in the shower area in the Halls ( There are four shower areas and There are two showers).

12.4 Forms to access a Listener should be readily accessed in 'A' Hall ( Listener Scheme box).

12.5 The notice boards in 'B' Hall should provide information about services in the prison ( notice boards was limited).

12.6 The toilet and shower area in 'D' Hall should be upgraded as a matter of urgency ( The toilet and shower area).

12.7 The conditions is 'D' Hall should be upgraded ( Overall conditions in 'D' Hall).

12.8 There should be sufficient space to store personal items in the dormitories in 'E' Hall ( Capacity and Purpose).

12.9 There should be a chair for each prisoner in the dormitories in 'E' Hall ( Capacity and Purpose).

12.10 The single cell in 'E' Hall should be upgraded ( Conditions).

12.11 Ethnic minority prisoners should be made aware that they can order specific stock through sundry purchases ( Canteen).

12.12 The reasons for the upward trend in minor prisoner-on-prisoner acts of violence should be examined ( minor prisoner-on-prisoner acts).

12.13 The prison's anti-bullying strategy should be used more frequently to address inter-prisoner bullying and intimidation ( anti-bullying strategy).

12.14 A Unit Manager should check the completed supervision allocation forms for untried and short-term convicted prisoners as part of the first night process ( Untried and STP convicted PSS forms).

12.15 Once the supervision and review process is completed, supervision levels should be verified by a Unit Manager and not solely the Deputy Governor ( The Deputy Governor).

12.16 Notices in a range of foreign languages should be on display in Reception and information should be readily available to all foreign language prisoners who do not understand English ( Notices in a range of foreign languages).

12.17 Interviews in Reception should take place in a private, calm environment out of view and hearing of other prisoners ( Interviews in Reception).

12.18 Remand prisoners should be allowed to wear their own clothes, if they are suitable, on entry into the prison ( Clothing, cash and personal property).

12.19 The store rooms for prisoners' property should be fit for purpose ( Prisoners' property is stored in two property rooms).

12.20 Prisoners should be offered a shower as soon as possible after escort handover ( area containing showers and small cubicles).

12.21 All prisoners should be searched as soon as possible after escort handover ( area containing showers and small cubicles).

12.22 A record of senior management property checks should be maintained ( random property check by senior managers).

12.23 Consideration should be given to including agencies and senior management in the induction process ( induction process).

12.24 Consideration should be given to introducing a family induction session ( induction process).

12.25 Foreign national prisoners who do not speak English should have ongoing reviews with an interpreter ( interpreter.).

12.26 All ACT2 care documents should be available to the ACT2 care co-ordinator for audit purposes prior to being filed with the healthcare record ( ACT2Care documentation).

12.27 There should be more role specific and refresher training, particularly in terms of conditioning, given to staff who are dealing with long-term sex offenders ( Training and management information which identifies training delivered and training weaknesses).

12.28 There should be more multi cultural events held in the prison ( Interpreting Services).

12.29 Equality and Diversity awareness sessions for staff should be considered ( Awareness).

12.30 Cells for disabled prisoners should be fit for purpose ( Cells).

12.31 The reasons for the visits room regularly being only half full during visit sessions should be examined ( Visits Room).

12.32 All staff should be trained in child protection issues ( Family Events).

12.33 Disciplinary records should be available from PR2 if a prisoner is found guilty in the Orderly Room ( Paperwork).

12.34 The quality of responses to prisoners' complaints should be monitored (Processes).

12.35 The built-in furniture in the Segregation Unit should be replaced ( Segregation Unit).

12.36 The cells in the Segregation Unit should be modified to take them to the standard of classification as 'safer cells' ( Segregation Unit).

12.37 The Segregation Unit should be staffed at all times of the day when prisoners are located there ( Staffing).

12.38 Daily narratives should be routinely maintained on prisoners in the Segregation Unit and written guidance should be readily available for staff in relation to the routine and regime for prisoners on Rules ( Regime).

12.39 The accommodation in the Learning Centre should be refreshed and refurbished ( Staffing and Resources).

12.40 More use should be made of posters and displays to support and stimulate learning ( Staffing and Resources).

12.41 Links between the work being carried out in different areas of LSE within the prison should be consistently effective ( Support).

12.42 The process of Individual Learning Plans and subject learning plans should involve prisoners in influencing and taking ownership of their own learning and development ( Learning Plans).

12.43 Opportunities for prisoners to reflect openly on their learning experiences and on their progress over the course of a session should be developed ( Interactions).

12.44 Use of IT in teaching and learning should be reviewed and developed ( Resources).

12.45 Quality improvement processes in LSE require greater attention and stronger leadership ( Quality Assurance).

12.46 Prisoners should be searched prior to seeing the nurse on admission ( Admission Processes).

12.47 A comprehensive self referral and appointment system for accessing healthcare should be put in place ( Referral Process and Doctors).

12.48 A dental appointment system should be introduced which prioritises appointments by need and addresses the waiting list (Dentist)

12.49 The process for dispensing medication should be more efficient ( Dispensing).

12.50 The prison should review how its Risk Management Group and the Multidisciplinary Progression Management Groups run with a view to some separation ( Risk Management Group).

12.51 The short-term prisoner pre-release programme should be promoted more effectively ( Pre Release Programmes).


Sources of Evidence

Written material and statistics received from the prison prior to Inspection

Governor's briefing

SPS Prisoner Survey

Prison Records

Prison background material

Discussions with prisoners

Discussions with prisoners' families

Focus groups with prisoners

Interviews with prisoners

Interviews with prison staff

Focus groups with staff



Inspection Team

Hugh Monro HM Chief Inspector

Kate Donegan Deputy Chief Inspector

Margaret Brown Deputy Chief Inspector designate

David McAllister Assistant Chief Inspector

Mick Armstrong Inspector

Dawn Ashworth Associate Inspector

Carol Stewart Associate Healthcare Inspector

John Bowditch Education Adviser

Peter McNaughton Education Adviser

Juliet Fraser Education Adviser (observer)