HM Inspectorate of Prisons: Report on HMP Kilmarnock: Inspection 17-21 September and 3 December 2007

Prison - Full Inspection Report

Executive Summary

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Note to the Scottish Ministers










Good Practice


Action Ponits

ANNEX 1 Sources of Evidence

ANNEX 2 Inspection Team

Note to The Scottish Ministers

The Scottish Ministers

In accordance with my terms of reference as HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland, I forward a report of a full inspection carried out at HMP Kilmarnock between 17-21 September and 3 December 2007.

Six recommendations and a number of other points for action are made.

ANDREW R C McLELLAN HM Chief Inspector of Prisons signature

HM Chief Inspector of Prisons

December 2007


1.1 In its early years after opening in 1999 HMP Kilmarnock was protected from overcrowding. It is now the fourth most overcrowded prison in Scotland. There are 500 cells: on the first day of inspection there were 635 prisoners living there. On the first day of the last full inspection in October 2004 there were 568 prisoners living in the prison. The harm done by overcrowding, so often described in inspection reports on other prisons, can be seen throughout this report.

1.2 Many prisoners share cells. Some prisoners prefer not to be alone; but for many it is a stressful experience to be locked in a small space night after night, week after week, with a stranger who might well have a violent past. The lack of privacy is almost complete; cells are cramped; often there is not enough furniture, although more furniture would mean even less space. The accommodation is beginning to show signs of wear and tear, although there is a good programme of cell decoration as soon as cells become empty. The prison is clean.

1.3 Kilmarnock has always been able to offer its prisoners much more time out of cell than SPS prisons. Some prisoners are now being locked up for considerably longer periods during the day than before. Short term prisoners, young adults on remand, and prisoners on protection have the longest time locked in their cells, as they nearly always do in every prison. There can be no doubt that the reduction of time out of cell in recent times in Kilmarnock is a consequence in part at least of overcrowding. It always is.

1.4 On the other hand, and despite overcrowding, this report shows that Kilmarnock is a safer prison than once it was. There has been no serious violence upon members of staff since June 2004. Prisoner-on-prisoner violence has shown a steep decline since 2003 (despite one very serious incident in June 2006). Prisoners and staff alike said throughout the inspection that they felt safe.

1.5 Various explanations can be given for the decline in violence. Perhaps the most important may be a very noticeable change in the way staff engage with prisoners. In previous inspections it might have been possible to see prison staff keeping themselves within their own staff areas with little contact with prisoners: in this inspection it was clear that there has been a marked shift towards more and more positive interaction between staff and prisoners. The more staff know prisoners and the more prisoners know staff the more possible it is to create the conditions which lead to safer prisons.

1.6 One of the most important initiatives of the SPS in the last few years for the reduction of re-offending has been the introduction of Integrated Case Management. The process is not well developed in Kilmarnock; unless it improves prisoners will not properly be prepared for release. If prisoners are not properly prepared for release they are more likely to reoffend and everyone suffers as a result. The report indicates that the various elements of the process are carried out in isolation from each other within Kilmarnock; there is little responsibility for ensuring that agreed interventions have been carried out. The personal officer is not involved at key stages of the process.

1.7 Two aspects of the life of the prisoner take up a very great deal of time. One is the movement of prisoners through reception. In one extreme case the process took six hours. It is particularly important that prisoners at risk of self-harm or suicide should move more quickly through reception. The arrangements for prisoners visitors are most stringent. There is always a balance to be struck between security and humaneness in the treatment of visitors. The procedures in Kilmarnock are more directed towards security: it is obviously good that steps be taken to keep drugs and weapons out of prison, but the security entry process is not supported by facilities which make visiting easy. The consequence is - and this was confirmed by many prisoners and visitors - that visitors might be deterred from visiting. Family contact is a very important aspect of the reduction of reoffending: it matters very much that families should find it as easy as possible to visit prisoners.

1.8 In workshops good things are happening and purposeful activity is being carried out; but not enough prisoners have access to these areas. Prisoners having not nearly enough useful opportunities to do rehabilitating work is a classic mark of an overcrowded prison.



2.1 Kilmarnock holds untried, convicted short-term and convicted long-term male prisoners. On the first day of inspection 635 prisoners were unlocked. There are 500 cells. From June 2007 the numbers have varied between 638 and 650.

2.2 On 14 September 2007 the Kilmarnock prisoner population was as follows:





Untried Young Offenders




Sentenced Young Offenders


Life Recalls


Awaiting Deportation


Short-term prisoners

High supervision level


Medium supervision level


Low supervision level


Long-term prisoners

High supervision level


Medium supervision level


Low supervision level


2.3 In the year January to December 2007 Kilmarnock had 222 prisoners subject to a Home Detention Curfew. Thirty five have been recalled to custody. No prisoners were on HDC on the first day of inspection, although 12 had been approved in September.

2.4 There has been one child under the age of 16 held in the establishment since the last inspection. He was admitted on 30 May 2006 and transferred to Polmont on 1 June 2006.

Accommodation Areas

2.5 The prison has two houseblocks each with four wings. Each wing is self contained with its own servery, dining area, laundry room, recreation facilities and external exercise yard. There are two floors in each wing. Access to the wings is through electronic gates. The gates are controlled from a "bubble" area in the centre of each houseblock. All cells have electric power sockets and a toilet cubicle. During the inspection the communal areas in the residential wings were littered with cigarette ends. Smoking indoors is only permitted in the confines of a prisoner's cell. Steps should be taken to ensure compliance with 'The Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Act 2005'.

Houseblock 1 (Afton House)

2.6 Houseblock 1 consists of 'A', 'B', 'C' and 'D' wings. It holds mostly long-term prisoners, although there are some short-term prisoners dispersed throughout the wings.

2.7 'A' wing has 64 cells, all of which can hold two prisoners. 'B' wing has 62 cells of which 10 can hold two prisoners. 'C' wing has 64 single cells. 'D' wing has 62 single cells. 'C' wing tends to hold the majority of the life sentence prisoners. 'D' wing is being used for mostly low supervision prisoners and there are plans to develop this as an enhanced regime.

2.8 The accommodation areas were generally clean and tidy, and communal areas were also uncluttered and tidy. After the movement of prisoners in the morning the passmen clean the areas and all other prisoners are locked up. The fact that many prisoners are locked in their cells means that in practice there is little cleaning required in the communal areas.

2.9 The standard of the cells was mixed. There is a cell refurbishment programme currently taking place which allows two cells at a time to be decorated. Some of the posters were inappropriate. Posters in some cells covered most of the walls and there were other items such as flags which could be viewed as inflammatory. These should be removed.

2.10 The recreation room has a TV, half size snooker table and dart board. There is an iron and an ironing board. The recreation room also contains nine newly purchased seats and a table. It was clean and freshly decorated.

2.11 Prisoners have keys to their own cells and there is a system in place to ensure that any lost keys are replaced quickly. Prisoners have a wash hand basin within their cell for cleaning their plates and cutlery: no prisoners took up the opportunity to have their utensils washed by the pantry passmen despite these areas being clean and tidy and the passmen able to carry out this task.

2.12 The cells in general are small and cramped and have too much in them. This adds significantly to the risk of fire. All cells have in cell sanitation and materials were readily available for maintaining cleanliness. The atmosphere was good with most prisoners preferring to remain within their cells during recreation either by themselves or with a few other prisoners.

2.13 The surrounding area of the hall which was used for "time in the fresh air" was cleaned daily and was tidy.

Houseblock 2 ('Doon' House)

2.14 Houseblock 2 consists of 'E', 'F', 'G' and 'H' wings. It holds short-term and remand prisoners, as well as prisoners on protection and those spending their first night in custody. The houseblock capacity is 399. There were 375 prisoners living there on the first day of inspection (with an additional three being held in the health centre). The houseblock operates a basic, standard and enhanced regime. Privileges, articles allowed, access to the canteen and access to visits are determined by the various regimes.

2.15 Only prisoners on an enhanced regime, and the passmen are allowed out of their cells all day. Prisoners not at work or education can be locked in their cells for significant parts of the day. It is recommended that ways should be found to allow prisoners, particularly short-term prisoners, young adults and prisoners on protection more time out of their cells.

2.16 Prisoners in each wing have access to evening activities, either within the chapel or within the gymnasium. They also have access to the canteen. There are sufficient showers within each of the wings. Communal areas were in the process of being redecorated and each wing employs a prisoner to do this.

2.17 Passmen are also employed to carry out communal cleaning tasks; do the laundry; work in the food servery; or carry out general maintenance.

2.18 Cells were reasonably clean, although cleaning materials were not readily available. This should be addressed. A number of double capacity cells did not have any chairs, or only one for two prisoners. This should be addressed. Prisoners complained about a lack of availability of new mattresses and pillows, although they praised the facilities for cleaning bedding.

2.19 Despite a regular maintenance programme a number of cells are in need of decoration. Many have no curtain rails or curtains. Window covers were adapted from pieces of fabric and held in place by milk cartons or parcel tape. This should be addressed.

2.20 The disabled cell in 'G' wing was in a very poor state of repair and had minimum comforts. Although the cell has a wider than normal door, it also has a wooden stop bar which prevents a wheelchair user from carrying anything while manoeuvring over the step. The disabled cell in 'G' wing should be redecorated and made more accessible.

2.21 A number of cells had posters and flags in areas not designated for these items. This should be addressed. The storage space in cells was adequate. Each prisoner has a privacy key to his cell. There are no dedicated "no smoking cells".

2.22 Houseblock 2 does not have a progression system in place. After spending time in the First Night in Custody Centre ('G' wing) prisoners are allocated another wing, depending on space available. There is no structured approach as to how long a prisoner spends within 'G' wing following admission. The First Night in Custody Centre concept is good, however work requires to be done on processes and protocols.

2.23 'H' wing is a dedicated protection facility. There are 62 cells: 32 are double and 30 are single, giving a capacity of 94.

2.24 Cells are an adequate size, and the windows allow in adequate light, and open wide enough to let in fresh air.

Exercise Areas

2.25 Each residential wing has its own exercise yard (eight in total). All of the exercise yards are spacious enough to allow prisoners good access to the open air every day. Although some litter is thrown from cell windows into the yard, they were all clean and tidy during the inspection. The yards are regularly cleaned by the Environmental Party.

2.26 Exercise occurs in all areas between 13.00 and 14.00hrs every day. This does, however, clash with lunch. If prisoners are last in the queue for their meal it could limit the amount of time they have available to exercise. Wet weather clothing is available.

2.27 Prisoners in the Segregation Area have access to two small exercise yards, which are separated by a high fence.

2.28 The Health Centre has one large exercise area which has seating and some pot plants. The area is aesthetically pleasing and has a large screened fence separating it from the football field.

2.29 During the summer months and good weather additional exercise is put on in the evenings in each of the wings.


2.30 The kitchen is centrally located and food is transported in heated trolleys to the residential areas. The kitchen is relatively small, but functional. Nine new heated trolleys had recently been purchased. The prison also has a 'training kitchen' adjacent to the main kitchen. Prisoners working there are able to obtain SVQs. The 'training kitchen' is an area of good practice. The kitchens currently employ 19 prisoners, with 12-15 working on any particular day.

2.31 The catering budget is £2.10 per prisoner per day, compared with the £1.57 guidance in SPS establishments. Meal times are appropriate: 08.00 for breakfast, 12.30 lunch and 17.30 evening meal. The menus are varied and dietary needs are catered for. Most meat and all chicken is Halal. Prisoners indicate their menu choice weekly in writing.

2.32 A range of catering initiatives are available including theme nights (Chinese, Italian, etc), Burns Supper and Sportsman's Dinner. Consideration was being given to a family lunch on a Sunday and something extra for lifers. Initial steps are being taken to produce folders with food names in different languages, and also in pictures, for the benefit of prisoners whose first language is not English.

2.33 Inspectors tasted a number of meals in the kitchen and at the point of serving. The quality and quantity of the food was variable. It was still sufficiently hot in the halls on most occasions, although on one visit it was cold and unappetising. Forms exist for prisoners to provide feedback about food; there are food focus groups in each hall; and catering staff are available in halls at mealtimes to take verbal comments. The PIAC is another opportunity to make suggestions. Staff are provided with the same food as prisoners.


2.34 There is one shop within each of the accommodation areas. These are well stocked and the stock is altered with the help of the PIACs. Prisoners are given a full explanation of canteen facilities during their induction. There are sundry purchases available which allow prisoners to purchase items for family birthdays etc. Both shops also hold a good variety of cards, covering a wide range of topics. Other items can be purchased from selected high street stores.

2.35 Remand prisoners can access the shop three times a week spending a total of £50. Convicted prisoners have access twice a week and are escorted to the shop where they select their items from display shelves. Prisoners have good vision of what items were available and the interaction between the prisoners and the canteen staff is very good. There was a feeling of wanting to deliver a good service to the prisoners.

2.36 There is also in place a procedure for prisoners who arrive in Kilmarnock outwith shop opening times to access funds to use the telephone and buy tobacco.

Clothing and Laundry

2.37 Each wing has its own laundry, managed by a prisoner with no staff involvement. Each prisoner is issued with a laundry bag and they can access the laundry on a daily basis. There is also a larger laundry which services the health centre, workshops and gymnasium.

2.38 There was only one complaint made about the laundry service between January 1 and August 31. The Inspectorate heard no complaints. Overall, the arrangements for laundering clothes and bedding are very good.

2.39 Kilmarnock also provides a recycling clothing programme which enables the prison to offer clothing which is no longer required to those that may need it. There is also an opportunity for prisoners to request a Prisoner Loan Scheme of up to £100 to purchase clothing - repayable at £4 per week. Prisoners are encouraged to wear their own clothes, although a full range of prison issue clothing is also available.

2.40 There is a lack of pillows within the accommodation areas. Some are also dirty and should be changed.


Escapes, Absconds and Physical Security

3.1 There have been no escapes since the last inspection.

Supervision Levels

3.2 The Integrated Case Management ( ICM) manager co-ordinates the supervision level review process and signs off the first supervision level following admission. This is completed within 72 hours.

3.3 A supervision review board is held every Thursday and 8 to 10 cases are discussed each week. The board consists of the ICM manager, ICM co-ordinator, and representatives from education, security, psychology and healthcare. The prisoner can make a submission and is also invited to attend the review. The supervision review process is linked to ICM and the prisoner's response to reducing his risk.

3.4 Following the review the SPS Prisoner Record System ( PR2) is updated by the ICM co-ordinator. The supervision level functionality on PR2 automatically sets a review date of 12 months but this can be manually re-set to a shorter time period if the board agrees to an early review.

3.5 A study of the supervision level records, both paper and electronic, show them to be very detailed, and that reviews occur within agreed timescales. The process is very robust.

Escort Handover Procedures

3.6 Monthly meetings take place between the Head of Operations, Reception Supervisors and Reliance Custodial Services ( RCS). These meetings address any outstanding issues or concerns and are a useful way of ensuring the smooth running of the escorting process. The meetings are not minuted. Relationships between the various parties were described as very good.

3.7 The Personal Escort Record ( PER) is completed for every arrival and departure. The PERs contained detailed and relevant information.

3.8 Several escorts were observed. All prisoners were told where they were going, approximately how long the journey would take and what processes they would go through during RCS transport and in reception when they arrived. However, they were not offered advice on safety procedures and this should be addressed. The procedure for leaving Kilmarnock includes a strip search and handcuffing between the prison reception and the van. Handcuffs are removed when the security catch on the cubicle in the van is opened, even though the prisoner is still within the prison's secure perimeter. One of the escorts observed took place over lunch and all seven prisoners on this escort were provided with a packed lunch. Vans were clean and tidy.

Admission and Induction Procedures

3.9 A recently formed Safer Custody Group has responsibility for reception, induction, anti-bullying, suicide risk management and violence reduction. This group is new and at the time of the inspection had not fully integrated all of its policies.


3.10 The reception area has a desk with a holding room on either side of it. Warrants are checked and prisoners identified at this desk before moving to one of the holding rooms. One holding room is for mainstream prisoners and the other is for prisoners who indicate that they wish protection. Sometimes a decision is made to place a prisoner in a single holding room beyond the search area if, for example, a risk assessment advises this.

3.11 There is a searching area within which there is a work surface where staff complete prisoner property cards. Searching is carried out behind a portable shoulder high screen. Also within this area is a " BOSS" chair which detects metal objects which may be secreted within a prisoner's body. There are three shower cubicles.

3.12 There are also two communal holding rooms and one single holding room. There are two interview rooms, one of which is used by medical staff.

3.13 Prisoners are brought into reception by the escort contractor one at a time. Once they have been identified they are placed in one of the two holding rooms. At the work surface within the search area, staff open the sealed property and cash bags, count the money and record the property and cash on the relevant cards. This part of the process is carried out without the prisoner being present. It is recommended that prisoners are present when their property is opened and cash checked in reception.

3.14 The prisoner is then called into the search area where staff explain what property and cash has been recorded on the cards. During the strip searching process the prisoner's clothing is recorded on their property card. A prisoner may be allowed to retain his footwear if this is considered appropriate i.e. no steel toe caps or metal strips. During the strip search he is only partially screened. He cannot be seen through the window separating the staff from the main reception area but he could be seen by someone passing or standing in the doorway of the area. Better screening arrangements should be introduced.

3.15 Prisoners are not encouraged to shower at this point as that would slow the process of moving through reception to complete the documentation. At the admission desk an officer inputs a prisoner's details, including a photograph, on the computerised record system. During this process the officer also completes a cell sharing risk assessment and conducts a suicide risk assessment. The two risk assessments are carried out in full view of prisoners in the holding rooms or who are signing their cards in the search area. This is inappropriate, particularly where someone may be in a distressed state. It is recommended that risk assessments are carried out in private in reception.

3.16 The nurse assessment is carried out in a dedicated room, although this is not completely private because the door is kept open to allow custody staff to supervise. Ways should be sought to afford greater privacy during the nurse assessment. The nurse will also complete a suicide risk assessment. Most admissions to Kilmarnock are located in the First Night in Custody Centre.

3.17 The property store is no longer able to cope with the increased number of prisoners. At the time of inspection, funding had been approved to install a multi-rack storage system which will allow more effective use of existing space.

3.18 The reception layout and the processes applied do not allow for a significant number of prisoners to move through quickly, as the area is set up to allow only one prisoner at a time to be processed. Consequently, prisoners can be held for a significant length of time in reception following admission. Records viewed by inspectors indicated that the shortest wait was 25 minutes and the longest wait was six hours. Six hours is excessive. Procedures should be reviewed to ensure a more efficient and speedy throughput of prisoners in reception. There did not seem to be a procedure whereby a prisoner at risk of suicide or self-harm could be accelerated through the process and quickly located in the residential area. This should be addressed. It is recommended that prisoners, particularly prisoners at risk of suicide or self-harm, should be passed through reception more efficiently and quickly.

3.19 Each of the holding rooms has a television, but there are very few notices. Notices providing information for new prisoners should be displayed. There is an opportunity to play induction information via the TV channel.

3.20 Prisoners who are located in reception during mid-day or evening mealtimes are given a hot meal and a drink. Observed staff interaction with the prisoners was always appropriate.


3.21 All new mainstream prisoners are located in the First Night in Custody Centre ( FNC). New protection prisoners are located in the protection wing. Five prisoners are employed in the FNC as 'Peer Induction Prisoners'. One of these prisoners is known as a 'Signposter'. This is a long term prisoner who has an office within the wing and issues induction information and provides first night information from a prisoner's perspective. This is an area of good practice. A new prisoner admitted to the FNC is given an admission kit and then sees the 'Signposter'. Prisoners remain in this area until they complete their induction, and in some cases much longer.

3.22 First Night Centres help support prisoners through their first night. Kilmarnock fails to get maximum benefit from their FNC because new prisoners are spread around the wing - amongst prisoners who may have been there for some time. Greater benefit would be achieved if all new admissions were grouped together in one section of the wing. This would make identification easier, particularly by the night patrol staff.

3.23 In addition to the wing staff there is a dedicated induction team. Induction takes place in the room formerly used for recreation. There is seating for 20 prisoners. This has reduced the recreation space available to that wing. The main wing notices are also in this room making them inaccessible to the majority of prisoners. Induction takes place over five half days and it is planned that prisoners will move to another location within the prison on completion of induction. The reality however is that many of the prisoners stay on the wing much longer. There appears to be no criteria for this, apart from the availability of accommodation in other areas of the prison. As well as staff input to the induction programme there is peer information supplied by two trained prisoners. The screening tool is completed within 72 hours - but not for remand prisoners. This tool assists staff to identify the needs of prisoners on entry to custody, and it provides information on important issues such as disability, religion and culture. The information collected by this means is very relevant to a prisoner's welfare. The screening tool should be extended to remand prisoners.

3.24 Over the course of induction there is input from staff in addictions, psychology, healthcare and education. The process is comprehensive and covers the full range of safety, routines and opportunities within the prison.

3.25 Protection prisoners receive one half-day induction on a Monday. This only covers the basics and a protection prisoner who is admitted on a Monday evening will not receive induction for nearly a week. Induction for protection prisoners should be available more often that once per week and should be comparable to that given to mainstream prisoners.

Suicide Risk Management

3.26 The suicide risk management strategy is known as "High Risk Assessment and Teamwork" ( HRAT). There are three levels. Level 1 is the highest and those on that level may be subject to constant supervision. Level 2 has a minimum of four observations per hour and Level 3 prisoners are supervised at least once every 30 minutes.

3.27 On the second day of inspection only three prisoners were subject to HRAT with one on Level 2 and two on Level 3. Two prisoners were located in the health centre and one was located in one of the residential wings. The average daily numbers on HRAT for the two months prior to the inspection was five in July and four in August. A daily management information sheet is produced which includes the names of those on HRAT, their location and the date of their next case conference. This is an area of good practice. Between April and August this year there have been Level 1 watches for 22 days with 17 of those days attributed to one prisoner with a long history of self harm. Some prisoners have been on Level 3 watches for between 29 and 39 days which appears excessive. Outwith this group the average is five days.

3.28 The HRAT Strategy Group has recently been subsumed by the "Safer Custody Group". The HRAT Strategy Group used to meet every two months and minutes indicate good attendance at the meetings. The Safer Custody meetings have been held on a regular basis since May 2007, and attendance at these meetings has also been good. The minutes to date have focused on the setting up of the induction wing. The meetings should cover the wider aspects of safer custody including suicide risk management, anti-bullying and admission and induction procedures.

3.29 A suicide risk assessment is carried out by the reception officer and a nurse on all new admissions. There is no risk assessment undertaken by reception staff when a prisoner returns from court even when individual circumstances have changed. Suicide risk assessments should be carried out on all prisoners who leave the establishment for court and who subsequently return.

3.30 There are a number of posters in the establishment indicating a Listener Scheme, but this has not been functional for some time. It was reported that the Samaritans were unable to provide resources to the prison to support the Listener Scheme. Inspectors were told that there were six prisoners who had volunteered for Listener training but this could not be facilitated by the local Samaritans. In order to mitigate the impact of the failure to provide a Listener scheme, plans are in place to train a number of prisoners as 'Befrienders' who will then support vulnerable peers. There are potential risks in such a strategy. Befrienders do not benefit from the type of training designed specifically to deal with people in distress. Listeners have the benefit of support and de-briefing process from the Samaritans which would not be available to Befrienders. If Befrienders are deployed to do some of the work previously carried out by Listeners then a support mechanism needs to be in place to support them following a call and this needs to be available immediately the need arises. Every effort should be made to re-engage with the local Samaritans so that a Listeners Scheme can be reintroduced.

3.31 A study of open and closed HRAT documentation indicates that the process is being followed, with detailed assessments and logical care plans based on available resources in place. Some prisoners are placed on HRAT, not because they are assessed as a current risk, but because of a Director's Order. This Order states that someone who returns to prison in less than six months from liberation and who was on HRAT on their previous sentence should automatically be considered a risk. Such policy instructions may be counter productive in that staff may be led to consider that not all prisoners on HRAT require the level of support indicated in the documentation. The continued value of the Director's Order should be reviewed.

3.32 The HRAT documentation is not held by the staff who are responsible for interacting with and supervising the prisoner, with the potential that not all supervising staff will know the case details and therefore may not be aware of the risk factors. If it remains the view of Kilmarnock management that the HRAT documentation should not be in the wing where the prisoner is located then a summary of the care plan and risk factors should be included in the observation paperwork.

3.33 Suicide management procedures were initiated on 462 occasions in the period 1/4/06 to 31/3/07. In the period 1/4/07 to 31/8/07 the procedures were initiated 161 times and in this same period two prisoners were subject to Level 1 constant supervision. There were two deaths in custody in the period 1/4/06 to 31/3/07 and the last suicide was on 29/10/06. The number of prisoners who are perceived to be at risk is slightly higher than in comparable establishments.

3.34 Supervision regimes, especially those at the higher level are focused on isolation and prevention rather than positive interaction and stimulation. Prisoners on all levels of HRAT should have regimes which stimulate and address identified risk factors. No structured day care facilities are available for vulnerable prisoners and those on HRAT. This should be considered.


3.35 There has been a significant reduction in violent incidents in the past few years. There has been no serious violence on staff since 2004-05. Prisoner-on-prisoner violence has seen a steep decline year-on-year since 2002-03 when prisoner-on-prisoner violence peaked at 16. Numbers the following year dropped to nine and reduced to a low of three in 2006-07. There has been one extremely serious incident of prisoner-on-prisoner violence in the past year.

3.36 Significant resources have been deployed to address the problem of violence in the prison. All incidents of violence are analysed in great detail and action plans developed from the analysis. Improved intelligence gathering and dissemination including links with the police has helped identify enemies and keep them apart.

3.37 All new staff now receive "de-escalation" training and there are plans to extend this to all existing staff. Prisoners report feeling safe. The average number of monthly Control and Restraint removals has increased since 2005 by one each year to an average monthly total of 13 for the first eight months of 2007. This is high compared to Perth (a similar establishment), Barlinnie (a much larger establishment), and Polmont (a potentially very volatile population). An analysis of the number of Control and Restraint removals as a ratio of the number of prisoners shows:









3.38 Planned Control and Restraint removals are videoed and plastic handcuffs have been used four times out of the past 100 removals. All allegations of assault are reported to the police for investigation.

Night Duty

3.39 There is a comprehensive policy for managing the nightshift within Kilmarnock. Night patrols are in place and actively practiced. Night staff projected a competent knowledge of what to do in the event of an emergency. Job descriptions are in place for all postholders.

3.40 There are regular night visits by senior management and a 'Night Visit Assistant Director Checklist' which is completed after these visits. This is an area of good practice.

3.41 All night duty staff are trained in First Aid and a nurse is part of the night shift complement.



4.1 Relationships between staff and prisoners are very good. This was observed in all areas of the prison and in PIAC meetings, and also described in prisoner focus groups and staff meetings. Ninety five percent of prisoners reported that relationships were OK or better in the SPS Prisoner Survey.

4.2 Staff wear name badges and address prisoners by their first name. No insulting nicknames were used.

Equality and Diversity

4.3 Eight foreign national prisoners were living in Kilmarnock on the first day of inspection. There were also two prisoners with identified physical special needs - one required a wheelchair, the other crutches.

4.4 The chaplain, who is a senior manager, visits foreign nationals within 24 hours of admission. The First Night in Custody Centre identifies needs and makes referrals. The "Signposter" prisoner also identifies some initial information and explains the induction process. Local policies are available to staff, and a Race Relations Group and a Foreign National Policy are in place. A Safer Custody Meeting takes place and there is a Diversity Group. There are notices in different languages in Reception.

4.5 There are no custody officers identified as Equality and Diversity Officers and it appears that the establishment responds in a reactive manner to foreign nationals who do not speak English as a first language, and to prisoners with other disabilities or special needs. No action plans or impact assessments were available. There was no use made of an equality questionnaire for prisoners nor of any policy which might provide a focus for the Diversity Group. It is recommended that a proactive approach to matters of equality and diversity is adopted.


4.6 Prisoners are searched prior to all movement within the prison, and also following specific intelligence led information; prior to entering and leaving the Visit Room; and prior to leaving the Reception area. The searching of prisoners is conducted in a thorough, sensitive and appropriate manner. Rub Down Searches and walk through metal detector portals are used in an attempt to prevent the movement of contraband around the establishment.

4.7 There were no recorded complaints about the searching process.


Family Contact

5.1 Arrangements for maintaining family contact are, in general, good. Prisoners are usually able to exceed their visit entitlement if there is spare capacity in the visits room. Bonding visits are available for prisoners on an enhanced regime if they have not been on a closed visit, been subject to a disciplinary report and have not tested positive in a Mandatory Drug Test for three months or more. A free weekend mini bus service is available from Glasgow City Centre to the prison. This is provided by the charity "The Happy Bus".

5.2 The visitor check in centre is located in a dedicated building in the car park, outside the main prison. This is an excellent facility. It is comfortable and warm, and contains a range of information about the prison. A DVD showing the visits process runs continuously in the check in area. Secure lockers are available for visitors' personal property. The Lighthouse Foundation operates from the check in centre.

5.3 After checking in, visitors make their way to the main prison. The security arrangements for all people entering the prison are very stringent and include removing outer garments, footwear, and metal items before passing through an x-ray machine. Visitors are not allowed to wear scarves or head covering. The security procedure occurs in a small area, which means that the process is slow. There is also no space for people with mobility problems to sit and remove footwear and outer garments. A random sample of visitors are also given a rub down search. These arrangements are contained in a visits information leaflet which is readily available but there is no guidance for staff regarding religious head covering such as that worn by nuns and Muslim women. However, several visitors and prisoners expressed concern that the arrangements were excessive and were not always carried out appropriately and that the attitude of some staff was patronising and demeaning. Prisoners agreed that the procedures were necessary but complained about the way in which it was happening. The level of security may deter people from visiting the prison. Family contact is an important aspect of the reduction of re-offending: it matters very much that families should find it as easy as possible to visit prisoners. Resources must be available to ensure that this level of security does not damage family contact.

5.4 Prisoners also raised serious concerns about the booking system. Convicted prisoners fill out a visit application form and this is passed to a member of staff in the "bubble" area of the hall. This is processed and prisoners informed if their visit has been approved. However, prisoners claimed that the system was not working and that slips went missing or they were not told if they had a visit or not. This issue had been raised with PIAC several times and should be resolved.

The Visits Room

5.5 The visits room is large and well decorated. Supervision of sessions was unobtrusive, with only two or three officers present at each session. A good balance was in place between privacy and security. All categories of prisoners take their visits together and this did not appear to have caused any major problems.

5.6 The canteen in the visits room provides an excellent service. There is a children's play area available but it is not supervised. Ways should be found to make the best use of the children's play area.


5.7 Information leaflets and noticeboards are readily available and easily accessed. The checking in building has a wide range of information, as does the waiting area within the prison. A Family Contact Development Officer ( FCDO) system is in place, but visitors spoken to were not aware of the system or the officers involved. The FCDO system should be reinvigorated.


5.8 There are sufficient telephones in the halls to allow prisoners reasonable access.

5.9 PIAC meetings are recorded and shown via cell televisions at 12.30pm on the Friday following the meeting. This coincides with lunch and exercise, with the consequence that many prisoners do not see it. A more suitable time should be sought for showing the video.


Legal Rights

6.1 The prison has detailed procedural and systems material in place in relation to prisoners' legal rights. There have been no European Court of Human Rights cases brought against the prison and no foreign national prisoners have requested Consulate assistance. There have been no difficulties with court attendance in terms of clothing and presentation: a fund is available to help to clothe a prisoner who has inadequate personal clothing for court.

6.2 Legal visits take place daily. Correspondence from courts is given to prisoners for retention in their cells. This can sometimes cause problems if the police deliver papers close to the time limit, when the prisoner may have already moved to another prison.

6.3 Arrangements for the opening of privileged mail are appropriate.

Management of Disciplinary Proceedings

6.4 The Orderly Room is located within the Segregation Unit. The room, which is also used for the storage of files and a photocopier, is very cramped. Despite the limitations of the room the adjudications observed were carried out in an appropriate manner.

6.5 Adjudications used information that was made available to them through prisoners' narratives, particularly to evidence what steps had been taken prior to the prisoner attending the Orderly Room. The adjudicator's style was one of respect for the individual, not only in the way he addressed the prisoner but in the way he sought to ensure that the prisoner was clear as to what was happening. However, this was hampered by the seating arrangements. The seating was obtrusive and oppressive with the prisoner's chair being jammed against the table ensuring he could not move. On one occasion the two staff seated behind the prisoner had their feet behind the leg of the prisoner's chair. The seating arrangements should be improved.

6.6 All prisoners were asked if they were clear about appealing adjudications prior to leaving the Orderly Room.

6.7 It seems to be a practice that all prisoners receive their report paperwork on the morning of the adjudication, due to the nightshift staff preparing this paperwork. On checking timescales none were found to be outwith the two hour timescale required, but it would be useful if prisoners could receive their Orderly Room report paperwork the day before the adjudication takes place.

Religious Observance

6.8 Most prisoners are designated Church of Scotland or Roman Catholic. There were also five Muslim and four Buddhist prisoners being held in Kilmarnock at the time of inspection. A full-time Chaplain had recently been appointed and was due to take up the post soon. There are no difficulties with prisoners being able to see a chaplain from any faith if required. Prisoners said that they had no problem accessing a chaplain.

6.9 There is a chapel and adjacent multi faith room. The chapel is a comfortable and pleasant facility which is used for a range of events including staff meetings. However, the chapel could be used more for pastoral events such as individual counselling of prisoners in traumatic circumstances such as a bereavement. The Church of Scotland Service takes place on a Monday evening and Roman Catholic Mass on a Thursday evening.

Prisoner Complaints Procedure

6.10 Most complaints made in Kilmarnock relate to missing property, limited opportunities for transfer to the Open Estate and the fact that prisoners and their visitors are not allowed to smoke in the visits area. Most complaints are dealt with verbally but there has been a problem with a lack of systems to record complaints and show how they have been dealt with. This has improved since the introduction of PR2. Ultimately there is a direct route to the Prisons Complaints Commissioner if a prisoner feels he has not received adequate redress within Kilmarnock. The Controller is also involved in overseeing the complaints system and monitoring its performance.

Management of Segregation

6.11 The Segregation Unit is known as the Arran Unit. There are fourteen ordinary cells with in-cell power and sanitation. The toilets are not enclosed despite the prisoners having to dine there. Toilets in all cells should be enclosed. There are beds but no table or chairs in the cells. There are a further two cells which are ligature reduced and are sometimes used to hold prisoners on HRAT. These cells have no sanitation and prisoners sleep on a mattress on a raised concrete plinth. These cells have CCTV and an integrated drainage system for ease of cleaning if there is a 'dirty protest'. When these two cells are occupied prisoners are given a disposable chamber pot and wipes for hand cleaning.

6.12 There is an office which doubles as the Orderly Room, a meeting room and a storage area for prisoner files. There is a communal holding room with a pay telephone and a smaller holding room. In the middle of the unit is a small servery from which meals are served and dishes washed. Opposite this is the staff office equipped with workstations and computers. There is also an ablutions area with a toilet and shower.

6.13 At the time of the inspection there were 11 prisoners living in the unit. All prisoners were subject to Rule 94. This means that permission must be obtained for prisoners to be held in segregation, and for the first 72 hours this can be obtained from the SPS controller. Beyond that, permission must be sought from Scottish Ministers. This permission must be renewed every month. One of the prisoners had been in the unit for five months and another for three months.

6.14 A study of the paperwork showed that appropriate permission had been given for holding all prisoners living there. Case conferences were held regularly and minuted. However, resulting care plans did not always reflect what was minuted or discussed at the case conference and there was no obvious reference to a mental health assessment, particularly where prisoners had been in the unit for a long time. The unit is visited daily by a nurse and a senior manager. Prisoners who are held in segregation for three months or more should have a regular, formal, mental health assessment.

6.15 Regime is dependent on an individual prisoner's response. At the most basic level a prisoner is permitted one hour exercise in the open air, access to the telephone and one visit per week. Some prisoners are permitted access to the gymnasium and have a TV in their cell. One prisoner is allowed to attend the learning centre. Others in the unit may have in-cell education which is supplied and supervised by a member of the Learning Centre.


Learning, Skills and Employability

Introduction and Context

7.1 The Adult Learning Centre ( ALC) Manager has responsibility for education in the ALC and the Assistant Director Prison Enterprises and Services has responsibility for training in the workshops. All Learning, Skills and Employability ( LSE) provision within the prison is delivered by staff employed by the prison.

Staffing and Resources

7.2 Adult Learning Centre staff are well-qualified and offer a high level of support to prisoners. A team of six experienced teaching staff support learning in both the ALC and the workshops. There are four workshops within the prison for woodwork, textiles, welding and assembly. The prison has capacity for 275 places in the workshops with an average of 250 places taken up at the time of the visit.

7.3 Accommodation in the ALC, library and workshops is of a good standard and well-equipped, bright and clean. The ALC houses eight classrooms including two well-equipped computer rooms and an art room. However some classrooms in the ALC are utilised for a variety of regular meetings for induction, smoking cessation, alcohol support and individual care management and this creates pressure on accommodation for regular classes. The physical education facilities and equipment are of a good standard and were well-utilised by the prison population.

7.4 Almost half of the instructors in the workshops have relevant trade backgrounds. Staff in the workshops recognise that the range and level of programmes and progression opportunities are insufficient and had considered developments of new programmes to meet learner needs. Continual Professional Development ( CPD) opportunities allow them to gain new skills in areas of provision. However, trade served instructors have limited opportunities to develop programmes relevant to the needs of industry and the prison population.

7.5 The prison workshops have contracts with external customers including constructing timber sheds, assembling nuts and bolts and fabricating skips and benches. The textiles workshop has internal contracts in the prison and prepares prison uniforms and linen.

Access to LSE Provision

7.6 Prisoners have effective access to the range of provision through the induction programme. Courses and workshop programmes are advertised on notice boards in the halls. Prisoners stated that word-of-mouth and personal recommendations from other prisoners already enrolled on courses and programmes were one of the main ways to find out about LSE opportunities. Many prisoners also self-referred by applying for a place on the programmes in the workshops. However, more than a few prisoners complained that access to ALC courses and the workshops of their choice was limited. Remand and protection prisoners have good access to the ALC and physical education facilities. This is an example of good practice.

Assessment of Need

7.7 All prisoners have their learning needs assessed on entry to the prison. All new prisoners are required to complete an alerting tool questionnaire ( ALERT) during their induction process. Adult Learning Centre staff deploy the ALERT tool to assess prisoner learning needs and prepare an Individual Learning Plan ( ILP) for each prisoner. This short questionnaire is used to assess basic literacy and numeracy needs.

7.8 Prisoner aspirations for education or vocational training are outlined in the ILP. Prisoners can self-refer for courses or training by speaking to staff on the wings or approaching staff in the various departments.

Delivery of Learning

7.9 All learning is self-directed and supported effectively by instructors and tutors where required. Prisoners in education courses work independently through prepared booklets and ask for support when required. In the workshops prisoners work together in teams. Peer-to-peer support procedures are effective and highly valued by the prisoners and the staff. Adult Learning Centre staff link assessments in numeracy and literacy skills to specific prisoner activity in the workshops, making the activity more relevant. This is an area of good practice. A peripatetic education staff member links well with other departments to meet the needs of prisoners.

7.10 However, the lack of teaching plans and limited direct teaching does not enhance the overall learning experience. Teaching plans are rarely utilised to plan learning and teaching approaches and this has led to an over-reliance on peer tutors.

7.11 In the workshops the lack of industry level programmes and related progression opportunities diminish the learning experience for prisoners which leads to boredom and in some cases dropping out of courses.

Prisoners' Learning Experiences

7.12 The ALC co-ordinator and tutors have developed a welcoming and supportive learning environment. The ALC is spacious, bright and attractive. Classrooms are well organised and well utilised for the range of learning opportunities on offer. An Art room provides ample work space and areas to display completed work. Two rooms are equipped with a number of computers and support the work in Information, Communications and Technology ( ICT) well.

7.13 Prisoners within the ALC were positive about their experiences in LSE. They were enthusiastic about the support and encouragement they had received from ALC staff. However, although prisoners had opportunities to raise issues in prisoner forums there had been limited progress on developing links with employers and preparing courses which were related to employer requirements. Many prisoners were unclear as to what further opportunities would be available on completion of their course. The prisoners in the workshops felt the courses did not prepare them well for future employment opportunities and would be of little use to them on liberation.


7.14 The majority of learners enrolled on courses were achieving their coursework. In physical education and workshop SVQ courses achievement rates were high. A number of prisoners have been successful in achieving qualifications in such areas as health and safety and British Institute of Cleaning Services ( BICS). However, in the ALC there is little statistical data available to demonstrate achievement and attainment of targets.

7.15 Prisoners spoke very positively about their personal achievements, although there were no extension activities or next steps to allow prisoners to build on their new skills. A limited range of SVQs were offered but there were no City and Guilds or SQA awards to demonstrate candidates work readiness. Opportunities were missed to provide higher level certification in welding, textiles and joinery. A few courses, such as creative design techniques and art lessons, displayed work of a high quality.

Ethos and Values

7.16 Overall, relationships between staff and prisoners are positive. Prisoners work co-operatively with each other and with ALC tutors. There is a purposeful atmosphere in classes and workshops. Staff in the ALC recognise and celebrate the importance of prisoners' educational achievements. The two awards events that the ALC has arranged had enabled prisoners to celebrate their achievement but there were no plans to extend this on a systematic basis in the ALC or introduce it to physical education and the workshops.

7.17 Courses in the workshops and in physical education do not have a clear focus on improving potential employment opportunities for prisoners on their release. There is very limited involvement from further education colleges and employers on delivering appropriate and relevant vocational qualifications.

Quality Assurance

7.18 Staff do not systematically deploy formal self-evaluation procedures to inform quality improvement plans. Informal discussions lead to improvement but there is no evidence of formal meetings or minutes relevant to a quality improvement agenda. As a result no action plans with appropriate timescales to review and monitor progress are available. There is no overall strategic approach to LSE provision and to quality assurance. Staff do not participate in peer observation procedures or share good practice in learning and teaching approaches.


7.19 Much effective learning takes place although this is primarily as a result of peer-to-peer support. More direct teaching activities would ensure that prisoners were achieving their learning targets and would enhance the learning experience. The narrow range of certificated learning, skills and employability courses does not meet the needs of prisoners wishing to improve their basic and vocational skills or prepare them for finding employment on liberation. The introduction of self-evaluation and quality improvement procedures would help establish improvement plans and deliver a more strategic view of LSE opportunities, linking learning and teaching approaches with a better ranges of levels and types of courses.


7.20 The library is well-appointed, comfortable and houses a good stock of fiction and reference books. It provides a positive learning environment.

Other Out of Cell Activities

7.21 Regular, planned social activities take place in the prison. During the inspection, a 'Sportsman's Dinner' was held. Other events include concerts, Highland Games, Burns Nights, a Martial Arts Display, a Boxing Display, staff vs prisoner football matches and an Employability Fair.

7.22 Physical education is provided in one good sized games hall and a small but well equipped fitness and weights area. There is good access to a full sized football pitch for outside activities. Access to leisure based physical activities in the Gymnasium is very good and there is a full PE programme available every evening. There is a Youth Club for prisoners under the age of 21. Each wing has a designated Activities Officer.

7.23 Newspapers are available on each of the wings (one newspaper for every ten prisoners). Additionally, families and prisoners can order reading materials from a local newsagent. A prison newspaper, "The Jaily Record" is also published.

7.24 Each wing is allocated £25 which is normally spent on prizes for in-wing activities. Prizes and games are chosen by PIAC representatives in liaison with the duty officers.


Health Services

8.1 Healthcare provision has improved since the last inspection.

8.2 Staff numbers and the skills mix within the healthcare team are good and the inclusion of two healthcare assistants means that Registered Nurse time is used appropriately. Access for prisoners to all healthcare professionals - Nurses, Doctor, Dentist, Psychiatrist, and Allied Health Professionals (Physiotherapist, Podiatrist & Optician) - is at least as good as in the community.

8.3 One particularly innovative measure is the three times weekly visit of a physiotherapist to the prison. This has been introduced as a precursor to reducing the prescribing of routine pain medication. This is an area of good practice.

8.4 The layout of the current health centre is not ideal. Space is cramped in the consulting areas while the 'in-patient' facility takes up space that could be much better used. The possibility of converting the in-patient area into a learning zone for activities such as life-skills, health promotion and harm reduction was raised during the inspection.

8.5 In common with most prisons, Kilmarnock operates a triage system for determining who a prisoner sees in relation to his healthcare needs, and when. Nurses are based in the residential areas, see prisoners on a daily basis and can refer prisoners direct to colleagues working in addictions, mental health and with blood borne virus issues. Nurses can also dispense 'over the counter' medicines at triage.

8.6 The healthcare team's Mental Health staff are used well, rarely being involved in general care. The RMNs see all prisoners at reception and screen them for mental health problems. Prisoners are then seen by medical staff within 24 hours. All prisoners go to the First Night in Custody Centre and the staff there are also able to pick up on and alert healthcare staff to any issues they notice. There are plans to introduce Cognitive Behavioural Therapy sessions and also pilot Neuroelectric therapy for addictions should SPS agree.

8.7 The provision of 'specialist' clinics in Kilmarnock is good, with well-man clinics run three to four times a year. There are more frequent clinics for chronic disease management, blood borne virus, cardiac (as necessary), diabetes, wound care, addictions (weekly) and the RMNs running several sessions each week.

8.8 Prisoners with a Learning Difficulty are seen on a one-to-one basis by a member of the education staff who liaises closely with the healthcare team over any relevant issues.

8.9 At any one time, approximately one third of the prisoner population in Kilmarnock will be on a methadone maintenance programme: this is similar to most other Scottish prisons. Around 10% of that number will subsequently start on a reduction programme and come off methadone whilst in Kilmarnock. Issues raised about healthcare at the weekly prisoner focus groups are almost all related to access to subutex (prisoners can not presently be started on this at Kilmarnock), lack of detoxification opportunities and a lack of aftercare and maintenance for those who have come off drugs.


8.10 The substance misuse team consists of a senior case worker and three case workers for drugs and two for alcohol, the latter funded through the Action Team. There were some difficulties with staffing last year when two case workers left to take up promoted posts. Workers commit to undertaking counselling qualifications.

8.11 The healthcare team also have an addictions nurse who works very closely with the addictions team, and the good working relationships were evident.

8.12 Prisoners can be referred to the addictions team or can self-refer. The self-referral form has a tear-off slip at the bottom, which is returned to the prisoner within 48 hours to acknowledge its receipt. The team works to a deadline of ten days between referral and initial assessment. There have been waiting lists for drug awareness intervention in the past, but not at the moment.

8.13 The addictions team do not tend to jointly work cases with prison social workers and social workers are not involved in developing or delivering group work programmes. These are both missed opportunities in terms of the holistic perspective that social work can bring to the underlying and ongoing factors in substance misuse, and also because of the 'Hidden Harm' obligations. It is important that everyone's awareness is raised, including prisoners, regarding the impact and procedural implications of parental substance misuse. There also appeared to be difficulties for local prisoners obtaining a throughcare service from or through social work in the community.

8.14 The team attend senior management or working groups along with social work as part of a larger group but do not have any regular scheduled meetings to discuss interface or development issues.


Integrated Case Management

9.1 Integrated Case Management ( ICM) procedures have two levels: standard and enhanced. The enhanced procedures allow for all prisoners serving sentences of four years or more and all sex offenders to be involved in meetings to review their progress and agree an action plan to reduce identified risk of re-offending and harm in the community. A case conference must be held within the first six months of sentence and thereafter annually. Standard procedures apply to short-term prisoners and those outwith the categories outlined above. All prisoners as they approach liberation will have a Community Integration Plan developed based on individual need. A pre release case conference will be held within three months of a prisoner's Earliest Date of Liberation ( EDL).

9.2 Integrated Case Management should focus on risk and link in with the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements ( MAPPA). At the time of the inspection nine prisoners were subject to MAPPA. The senior psychologist attends community MAPPA meetings.

9.3 There are five full-time ICM co-ordinators who are responsible for the operation of the process, including conducting assessments of risk, chairing case conferences and updating the prisoner record system ( PR2). This makes the system overly paper based because many staff do not have access to PR2. The process starts with the core screen document which is completed for convicted prisoners in the First Night in Custody Centre by induction staff.

9.4 A risk and needs assessment is conducted by an ICM co-ordinator between three and six months following the start of the sentence. There is no structured risk assessment tool used for this purpose. A potential consequence of this is that not all prisoners may get the same level of assessment in Kilmarnock or have the same structured assessment they might receive in an SPS establishment. A structured risk assessment tool should be developed for ICM co-ordinators.

9.5 Psychologists conduct assessments using the HCR20 tool. This assessment does not include interviews with the prisoners. The information is collected entirely via file reviews.

9.6 An ICM co-ordinator chairs case conferences which should be attended by the prisoner, the prison based social worker, community based social worker and any other staff who have been working with the prisoner. There is the facility for families to be involved in the case conference but this has only happened in three of the 331 case conferences in the past year. Prisoners, when asked about family involvement, claimed not to know that this could happen.

9.7 There is a personal officer scheme in operation throughout the establishment. Personal officers should write up a weekly narrative on each of their prisoners and additionally have a monthly meeting, following which there should be a written summary and action points. A review of the paperwork showed that the majority of weekly and monthly reports were entered on the files on time. The information contained therein and the managerial oversight of the process varied considerably. There was no evidence that the weekly narrative or monthly summary was linked to the ICM risk factors or care plans. Very few monthly summaries were signed by the prisoner suggesting that he was either not present at, or not interested in, the process. Narratives and monthly reports should be linked to the ICM process and training should be developed to help staff and managers achieve this.

9.8 Inspectors observed four case conferences. All were well attended with representation from prison based social work, healthcare, Apex and education, as well as the ICM co-ordinator and the prisoner. A community based social worker was present at two of the meetings. Detailed papers were tabled. These covered a range of issues including resettlement, social care, substance misuse, responsivity, offending behaviour, mental health, violence and employment. The prisoners were only given sight of the dossier when they entered the case conference. The content of the dossier is sometimes discussed briefly with the prisoner ahead of the meeting but this is inadequate to allow him to prepare properly. The community based social worker had not had a meeting with one of his clients prior to the conference. There is no facility in Kilmarnock for video links at ICM case conferences. Prisoners should be given a copy of their dossier ahead of their ICM case conference.

9.9 Chairing multi-disciplinary meetings where there is a large range of information requires an ability to lead effective analysis of the information contained within the reports and summarise the discussion to obtain consensus on an action plan. Many staff do not have these specific skills. This should be addressed.

9.10 Inspection of the PR2 ICM functionality showed that records were up to date. Integrated Case Management should feed directly into the risk management process. Case conference minutes identify high risk factors but there was no evidence to show that consideration had been given to referring the case to the Risk Management Group ( RMG). A case appears to arrive at the RMG despite the ICM process and not as a consequence of it.

9.11 On the surface ICM appears to be ticking all the boxes. Closer examination however shows that the system is not joined up. Various participants in the process appear to be carrying out their role in isolation. No one appears to have responsibility for monitoring the process and ensuring that agreed interventions have been carried out. The personal officer, for example, does not regularly assess progress on reducing risk in weekly or monthly reports and is not involved in the case conferencing process. It is recommended that greater emphasis is placed on linking individual aspects of the ICM process and on monitoring outcomes.

Interventions to Address Offending Behaviour

9.12 The psychology department is responsible for the delivery of offending behaviour programmes. Accredited programmes include Problem Solving Skills and Anger Management. Haven (Hostility and Violence end Now) is not accredited and as a consequence prisoners are reluctant to sign up for the programme as it is not recognised by other organisations in terms of progression. The target for programmes and approved activities was exceeded by 13.5% in 2006-07.

9.13 There are two dedicated programmes rooms. One of the rooms is well equipped with soft furnishing, tables and chairs. There is also a TV/Video, flip chart and white board. This room can hold a maximum of 12 prisoners per group. The other room is much more spartan and uninviting. There are no posters and no information regarding programmes or pre-release information displayed in any of the two rooms.

9.14 The Violence Prevention Programme ( VPP) is not delivered at Kilmarnock. This can cause some problems in that prisoners whose offences, past and present, indicate a need for the programme have to be transferred to another establishment for assessment. This assessment can have a waiting list of several months and at the completion of the full assessment the prisoner may not after all require the programme or be suitable for it. This can be a source of great frustration for prisoners waiting to progress to Open or Top End conditions. If Kilmarnock is not required to deliver the VPP it would still be beneficial if the in-depth assessment could be carried out there.


9.15 Internal progression is achieved through the Incentives and Earned Privileges Scheme ( IEP). The levels are Basic, Standard and Enhanced. All prisoners are admitted to the prison on Standard and a favourable response will gain promotion to Enhanced. Unfavourable responses will eventually result in a reduction to Basic. Visits, regime and items in use are dependent on which level a prisoner is on as follows:



1 hour per week


5 hours per month


12 hours per month plus bonding visits on Wednesday morning.

Regime unlock


10 hours per day


12 hours per day


14 hours per day

9.16 Two warnings resulting from unsatisfactory behaviour lead to a reduction in level and a serious offence will lead to an automatic reduction. One wing has been designated as an enhanced regime.

9.17 External progression is to national top end, open establishment or Home Detention Curfew ( HDC). Progression to open or top end conditions is initiated by the prisoner whose application is then passed to the appropriate establishment for consideration.

9.18 HDC is started at induction and the paperwork is raised through the resettlement co-ordinator. Responsibility for signing off the completed paperwork lies with the SPS Controller at Kilmarnock.

Partner Organisations

9.19 Kilmarnock has built up a network of partner organisations. Apex has a full time presence in the Links Centre. They co-ordinate the pre-release activities. Job Centre Plus have a daily presence as does the 'Simon Community' who deal with housing issues.

9.20 The Lighthouse Foundation has been operating for some time from the visitors check in centre. The service they provide extends to the families of addicts. They meet regularly with families in the visit centre. This work continues in the community. The Prince's Trust has a link with the prison but this appears to be on an irregular basis. There are very good links with the Charity "The Happy Bus" who provide transport from Glasgow to the prison on a Saturday and Sunday.

9.21 The prison runs a number of charity functions throughout the year. These include a Burns Supper facilitated by a local Burns Club and Sportsmen's dinners. Prisoners purchase tickets for these events and the money goes to a pre-determined charity. Profits from the visits room canteen are given to the children's hospice ' CHAS'. The prison recently hosted a conference in partnership with the local Community Justice Authority looking at the needs of the families of prisoners in the area.

Preparation for Release

9.22 The Links Centre provides a service for all pre-release prisoners. There is no explicit focus on prisoners on remand, who can sometimes be discharged at court without any preparation at all. Standard pre-release programmes include inputs from a range of specialisms including healthcare and APEX (who have 400 referrals per annum). Pre-release issues are also highlighted in the First Night in Custody Centre, and during induction.

9.23 The ICM process is also intended to ensure that proper sentence planning and reintegration processes are in place.

9.24 There are no pre-release home leaves from Kilmarnock. Ninety five percent of liberations are short-term prisoners, from the local area, who do not qualify for home leave.

9.25 A significant proportion of offending behaviour programmes are not completed within prison due to pressure on accredited programme delivery. They therefore must be undertaken in the community post-release.


10.1 The prisoner "Signposter" in induction (paragraph 3.21).

10.2 The 'training kitchen' (paragraph 2.30).

10.3 A daily management information sheet is produced which includes the names subject to the suicide risk management strategy, their location and the date of their next case conference (paragraph 3.27).

10.4 A 'Night Visit Assistant Director Checklist' is completed after night visits by senior management (paragraph 3.40).

10.5 Remand and protection prisoners have good access to the Adult Learning Centre and physical education facilities (paragraph 7.6).

10.6 Adult Learning Centre staff link assessments in numeracy and literacy skills to specific prisoner activity in the workshops, making the activity more relevant (paragraph 7.9).

10.7 The three times weekly visit of a physiotherapist as a precursor to reducing the prescribing of routine pain medication (paragraph 8.3).


11.1 Ways should be found to allow prisoners, particularly short-term prisoners, young adults and prisoners on protection, more time out of their cells (paragraph 2.15).

11.2 Prisoners should be present when their property is opened and cash checked in reception (paragraph 3.13).

11.3 Risk assessments should be carried out in private in reception (paragraph 3.15).

11.4 Prisoners, particularly prisoners at risk of suicide or self-harm, should be passed through reception more efficiently and quickly (paragraph 3.18).

11.5 A proactive approach to matters of equality and diversity should be adopted (paragraph 4.5).

11.6 Greater emphasis should be placed on linking individual aspects of the Integrated Case Management process and on monitoring outcomes (paragraph 9.11).


12.1 Steps should be taken to ensure compliance with 'The Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Act 2005 (paragraph 2.5).

12.2 Inappropriate posters and flags should be removed from cell walls (paragraph 2.9 and 2.21).

12.3 Materials for cleaning cells in Houseblock 2 should be readily available (paragraph 2.18).

12.4 All cells in Houseblock 2 should have sufficient chairs for prisoners living there (paragraph 2.18).

12.5 A number of cells in Houseblock 2 should be redecorated and all cells should have curtains (paragraph 2.19).

12.6 The disabled cell in 'G' wing in Houseblock 2 should be redecorated and made more accessible (paragraph 2.20).

12.7 Work requires to be done on processes and protocols for the First Night in Custody Centre (paragraph 2.22).

12.8 Dirty pillows should be replaced (paragraph 2.40).

12.9 Prisoners under escort should be offered advice on safety procedures (paragraph 3.8).

12.10 Better screening arrangements during strip searches in reception should be introduced (paragraph 3.14).

12.11 Greater privacy during the nurse assessment in reception should be given (paragraph 3.16).

12.12 Notices providing information for new prisoners should be displayed in reception (paragraph 3.19).

12.13 Consideration should be given to dedicating cells to first night prisoners in the First Night in Custody Centre to make identification easier (paragraph 3.22).

12.14 The induction screening tool should be extended to remand prisoners (paragraph 3.23).

12.15 Induction for protection prisoners should be available more often than once per week and should be comparable to that given to mainstream prisoners (paragraph 3.25).

12.16 Suicide risk assessments should be carried out on all prisoners who leave the establishment and who subsequently return (paragraph 3.29).

12.17 Any "Befrienders" Scheme should have a well defined mechanism in place to ensure that the Befrienders who may need support after a call receive it (paragraph 3.30).

12.18 Every effort should be made to re-engage with the local Samaritans so that a Listeners Scheme can be reintroduced (paragraph 3.30).

12.19 The continued value of the Director's Order relating to returning prisoners being placed on HRAT should be reviewed (paragraph 3.31).

12.20 If the HRAT documentation is not held in the wing where the prisoner is located then a copy of the care plan and risk factors should be included in the observation paperwork (paragraph 3.32).

12.21 Consideration should be given to the introduction of structured day care facilities for vulnerable prisoners and those on HRAT (paragraph 3.34).

12.22 Resources should be available to ensure that the level of security in place does not damage family contact (paragraph 5.3).

12.23 The problems associated with the visits booking system should be resolved (paragraph 5.4).

12.24 Ways should be found to make the best use of the children's play area in the visits room (paragraph 5.6).

12.25 The FCDO system should be reinvigorated (paragraph 5.7).

12.26 A more suitable time should be sought for showing the PIAC videos (paragraph 5.9).

12.27 The seating arrangements in the Orderly room should be improved (paragraph 6.5).

12.28 Prisoners should receive their Orderly Room report paperwork the day before the adjudication takes place (paragraph 6.7).

12.29 Toilets in all cells should be enclosed (paragraph 6.11).

12.30 Prisoners who are held in segregation for three months or more should have a regular, formal, mental health assessment (paragraph 6.14).

12.31 Trade served instructors in the workshops have limited opportunities to develop programmes relevant to the needs of industry and the prison population (paragraph 7.4).

12.32 Teaching plans are rarely utilised to plan learning and teaching approaches and this has led to an over-reliance on peer tutors (paragraph 7.10).

12.33 In the workshops the lack of industry level programmes and related progression opportunities diminish the learning experience for prisoners (paragraph 7.11).

12.34 There has been limited progress on developing links with employers and preparing courses which are related to employer requirements (paragraph 7.13).

12.35 There are no extension activities or next steps to allow prisoners to build on new skills acquired in the Adult Learning Centre and in the workshops (paragraph 7.15).

12.36 Staff should deploy formal self-evaluation procedures to inform quality improvement plans (paragraph 7.18).

12.37 The need for the 'in-patient' facility in the health centre should be reviewed (paragraph 8.4).

12.38 The addictions team should jointly work cases with prison social workers (paragraph 8.13).

12.39 Integrated Case Management staff should have greater access to the SPS Prisoner Records System ( PR2), to allow records to be updated and interventions to be completed (paragraph 9.3).

12.40 A structured risk assessment tool should be developed for ICM co-ordinators (paragraph 9.4).

12.41 Prisoner narratives and monthly reports should be linked to the ICM process and training developed to help staff and managers achieve this (paragraph 9.7).

12.42 Prisoners should be given a copy of their dossier ahead of their ICM case conference (paragraph 9.8).

12.43 Staff chairing ICM meetings should have the skills required to do so (paragraph 9.9).

12.44 Kilmarnock should carry out the in-depth assessments for the Violence Prevention Programme, even though it is not required to deliver the programme itself (paragraph 9.14).


Sources of Evidence

Written material and statistics received from the prison prior to Inspection

Prison's self-assessment

Director'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

Andrew R C McLellan

HM Chief Inspector of Prisons

John T McCaig

HM Deputy Chief Inspector

David McAllister

HM Assistant Chief Inspector

Stewart MacFarlane

Acting Inspector

Jan Clark

Associate Inspector

Karen Norrie

Associate Inspector

Peter Connelly

Education Adviser

Lesley Brown

Education Adviser

Rhona Hotchkiss

Healthcare Adviser

Social Work Inspection Agency

Addictions and Social Work Adviser

Tom McGonigle

Guest Inspector