Report on HMP Barlinnie - Full Inspection 23-31 May 2011

Prison - Full Inspection Report

Executive Summary

ISBN 978 1 78045 463 4
DPPAS 12118

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Note to The Scottish Ministers

Key Facts











Action Points

Annex 1 Sources of Evidence

Annex 2 Inspection Team/a>

The Scottish Ministers

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 Barlinnie between 23 and 31 May 2011.

Eight recommendations and a number of other points for action are made. The report highlights 18 areas of good practice.

Hugh Monro CBE signature

Hugh Monro CBE
HM Chief Inspector of Prisons

August 2011

Key Facts


HMP Barlinnie is located in the North East of Glasgow, four miles from the city centre.


The prison holds all categories of prisoner except females, although its main purpose is to hold remand and short-term prisoners from the West of Scotland Courts.


Barlinnie was built between 1882 and 1897. It was extended in 1967. It has housed the 'Barlinnie Special Unit' and is the largest prison in Scotland. 'D' Hall was refurbished in 1997 and re-opened in January 1998. Letham Hall opened in 1996.

Design Capacity


Population on First Day of Inspection



Barlinnie has six Halls, 'A', 'B', 'C', 'D', 'E' and 'Letham'. Apart from Letham the Halls are a 'traditional' Victorian Gallery style design. The 'D' Hall refurbishment compartmentalised that Hall into four two storey units.

Last Inspected

The last full inspection was carried out in August 2006.

1. Overview

Setting the Scene

1.1 Barlinnie is by far the largest prison in Scotland, holding some 1500 prisoners, nearly 20% of Scotland's prisoners. It has to cope with about 20,000 prisoner movements a year. It takes short term prisoners from prisons all over Scotland, thus allowing smaller prisons, such as Inverness, to manage numbers more easily. It welcomes and processes around 7,300 family visitors each month of which 1107 are children. By any standards this is an extremely busy prison.

1.2 Barlinnie is the archetypal Victorian-built prison with many of its buildings dating from the late 19 th Century. Some areas, such as 'D' Hall, have been refurbished and Letham Hall dates from 1996. Importantly 'slopping out' ended here, transforming the prison, before the Inspectorate's previous inspection in 2006. However, many areas, including aspects of the residential halls are still woefully out-of-date (as an example of this, some basic needs, such as access to showers, are more accessible in the Segregation Unit than in residential halls). Reception, the Health Centre, the gyms and the Learning Centre are the most obvious buildings which need to be re-built as a matter of priority. It is my view that these buildings put the safety of staff and prisoners at risk. In the light of Low Moss opening in 2012, I recommend that the SPS reviews the long-term future of Barlinnie and then plans and implements the re-development of the prison as soon as possible.

1.3 Nevertheless, this is one of the most positive reports I have written as Chief Inspector. Barlinnie is well led and the staff have a good understanding of what they are required to do. Given the number of 'moving parts', the prison runs efficiently and effectively. Consequently, this report highlights many areas of Good Practice and I hope many of them will be adopted elsewhere.

1.4 Staff embrace change and are not afraid to lead the way in innovative practice. The First Night in Custody Centre and the Day Care Unit are two examples of areas which lead the way in caring for prisoners. Staff at all levels and in all areas work together to provide an effective and safe prison. There is still much to be improved in Barlinnie and this report also highlights those areas.

Inspection of Barlinnie

1.5 The large numbers that Barlinnie has to cope with impact most obviously on a hard-pressed Reception. Monday nights are particularly hectic with up to 100 admissions after a weekend, a figure well above what other Scottish prisons have to deal with. The Reception area has been criticised by the Inspectorate for some years, with the small holding cubicles and the building as a whole just not fit for purpose. This is something which should have been addressed many years ago and the SPS is at risk of ignoring repeated advice to improve Reception (both the 2003 and 2006 Inspectorate reports gave guidance in the strongest possible terms, including reference to a report in 2004 by The Committee for the Prevention of Torture). My report recommends that a new Reception facility should be created as I do not feel that improvement or refurbishment is either realistic or desirable (Paragraph 3.23). However there are some small and sensible steps that should be taken now to improve the use of the cubicles and this area will be re-inspected before the end of the financial year. I was pleased to note, however that staff make a positive effort to treat prisoners decently (paragraph 3.23).

1.6 The First Night in Custody Centre ( FNIC) is in stark contrast to Reception, indeed it is well known as the 'best practice' first night induction area in the SPS. Its level of integration with other areas of the prison and the way that staff treat non-English speakers are impressive.

1.7 A growing area of concern in my reports is the numbers of untried prisoners held on remand. This is a particular concern in Barlinnie; at the time of the 2006 report there were 460 and there were still 461 during this inspection. Remand prisoners do not have access to work parties or vocational training (paragraph 7.4) and can spend long periods locked in cells. If so many prisoners are to be held on remand then adequate access to activities must be provided. This is another area which I will re-inspect.

1.8 Access to activities is also insufficiently good, although many of the work places are of high quality. As is our practice, the Inspectorate looked carefully at the prisoner population at specific times during the inspection; on average 70.4% of the population are locked in cells instead of being on purposeful activity (paragraph 7.31). Worse still, long-term prisoners are denied access to work while awaiting transfer to a long-term prison. This situation is simply not good enough. This report recommends that such prisoners should be transferred much more speedily and whilst they are waiting for transfer they should have access to interventions and work (paragraph 9.22).

1.9 Family access is taken seriously and I was impressed by the Positive Parenting Programme and the efforts to encourage families to visit as much as possible (paragraph 5.6). I would however like to see Family Contact Officers focusing more on the families than on the prisoners (paragraph 5.4). It is good news that 22% of ICM case conferences include family representation (paragraph 9.6) which is above the SPS average. I would also like to see visitor waiting times reduced considerably. I went through the visiting process with one group of visitors and we were delayed by over 20 minutes. Staff did not inform the group what the problem was and whether their visit could or would be extended. Some families were stressed because they had commitments elsewhere. There are occasions why delays may occur, but good passage of information would have solved many of the group's anxieties.

1.10 I have been stressing the considerable benefits of Prisoner Visitor Centres for some time. It is good news that there are considerable local efforts, led by local congregations and community groups who see the real need to create a Visitor Centre near to Barlinnie with the support of the Governor and Families Outside. I commend these efforts and hope that such a Centre can be set up soon.

1.11 Healthcare is in good hands at Barlinnie which is a great testament to the staff given the very poor standard of the Health Centre itself (paragraph 8.4). Mental Health is a considerable challenge at Barlinnie and I congratulate staff on the way that this challenge is met. Nevertheless I suggest the size of the mental health team is enlarged (paragraph 8.17).

1.12 There were six suicides in 2010 and two between January and May 2011. This is something which I will continue to monitor.

1.13 I was impressed by the reintegration processes at Barlinnie where Integrated Case Management and the various systems to progress prisoners back in to communities works well. There is no Personal Officer scheme in operation, but an alternative system using selected and trained case co-ordinators may provide the solution for Barlinnie. Whilst this is outwith recognised SPS policy and indeed my own urgings to introduce and train Personal Officers, I can see the considerable merits of the Barlinnie scheme. This is firstly because suitable officers have been specifically selected for this scheme and secondly because a bespoke training course has been designed to fit the training need. I look forward to reviewing how this scheme develops and supports progression and the ICM process. (Paragraph 9.3).


1.14 In summary, Barlinnie is a prison facing considerable challenges and facing them well. There are many areas for improvement and these are set out in Chapters 11 and 12. It is my view that the biggest issue for Barlinnie is how it is set for the future. It is in great need of re-development and this needs to be looked at as a matter of priority in the light of the opening of Low Moss in 2012.

2. Conditions


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 accommodation is clean, and the basic necessities are met. The food at the points of serving is not as good as at the point of cooking. Some of the clothing issued to prisoners, particularly denim trousers, needs to be improved.


2.2 The Prison. Barlinnie is Scotland's largest prison and services Europe's largest court (Glasgow Sheriff Court).

2.3 The prison has a design capacity of 1019, and on the first day of inspection held 1477 prisoners. There are six main residential areas and a Segregation Unit. The main Halls each hold between 275 and 350 prisoners. There is also a Segregation Unit which is a Scotland-wide resource.

2.4 Prisoners Held. Barlinnie holds adult male remand prisoners awaiting trial; adult male convicted prisoners sentenced to up to 4 years; around 120 sex offenders; up to 90 long-term prisoners who are awaiting dispersal to a long-term establishment following sentencing or who have been returned to prison following a breach of a licence condition; and up to 13 individuals being held in segregation who may be from any establishment in Scotland.

2.5 On the first day of inspection the prisoner population was as follows:

Sentenced Adults 938
Untried Adults 461
Convicted Awaiting Sentence 65
Recalled Life Prisoners 6
Prisoners Awaiting Deportation 6
Sentenced Young Offenders 1
Total 1477

2.6 Overcrowding affects the daily running of the prison.

Accommodation Areas

'A' Hall

2.7 Prisoners Held. On the day of inspection 'A' Hall held 282 prisoners. The Hall is made up of a mix of long and short-term convicted prisoners and overspill remand prisoners from 'C' Hall.

2.8 Facilities. There are 187 cells over four floors. A staff office on each floor allows prisoners access to various paperwork such as complaint forms and visits information.

2.9 The bottom floor contains the Hall manager's office along with the main staff desk which also acts as the first point of contact when entering the Hall. There is also an interview room and a healthcare room. Also located on the bottom floor are four anti-ligature cells and a cell for disabled prisoners.

2.10 Showers are located on every floor with six on the bottom and eight on the others. Also located on each of the upper floors are exercise rooms fitted with cardiovascular equipment.

2.11 An adequate number of telephones are located on each floor, all of which have noise reducing hoods.

2.12 Recreation is provided in a separate area accessed via a small corridor. Facilities for recreation are adequate. Telephones are also available in this area.

2.13 Conditions. The cells in 'A' Hall have a toilet cubicle, separate sink, shelf unit, table and power point with a television and kettle. There are bunk beds in each cell and two small lockable safes.

2.14 Cell windows are small and covered with a grille. Some prisoners try to improvise a curtain from towels or pillow covers. Light and ventilation from the windows are poor.

2.15 The overall standard of the cells in terms of maintenance and decor is basic. Although it is evident that staff monitor the state of general repair for each cell, guideline interpretation for poster location and poster content was variable. The communal areas are brighter and in better condition.

2.16 Of concern was the availability of cell cleaning time. Although cleaning equipment is in place both inside and outside the cells, prisoners have different views about when they are able to properly clean their cells. Some said they thought they could clean every day while others complained they only got the chance once a week. This confusion was the same for access to showers. When asked, staff said the routine was for cell cleaning every day, but this was very much affected by numbers.

2.17 The exercise area is beside the Hall and is large enough to accommodate all exercise sessions. All prisoners in 'A' Hall are offered a period of one hour per day time in the fresh air. There was no weatherproof clothing available when the weather was bad.

'B' Hall

2.18 Prisoners Held. 'B' Hall has 180 cells over four floors. On the first day of inspection 'B' Hall held 283 prisoners. The Hall holds short-term prisoners, and a small number of long-term prisoners awaiting transfer to a long-term prison.

2.19 Facilities. Each level has four distinct 'sections' with 12 cells in each section. There are six 'safer cells' all located on the ground floor. There is one cell for use by prisoners with a disability, again located on the ground floor level.

2.20 At the end of each accommodation level there are recently refurbished shower facilities. The shower facilities on levels two and three have been made slightly smaller to allow for a small multi-gym facility to be set up. Prisoners are given access to a shower once every two days. They should have access to a shower every day. The exceptions to this are those prisoners who attend work or have had access to the multi-gym. They are offered a shower every day.

2.21 Conditions. The standard of accommodation in 'B' Hall is acceptable. Communal areas including showers and serving facilities are clean and free from obstruction. Décor in the communal areas is of a good standard and ventilation is adequate.

2.22 Each cell has a toilet and electric power. The cells are well decorated and free from graffiti. Posters in the cells are generally limited to the poster boards provided and images are generally not such as to cause offence to others. There are safety rails on top bunks and a secure means by which prisoners can access these bunks. There are personal safes in all cells. All prisoners have a chair and a television. Light, ventilation, fixtures and furniture in the cells are adequate. Mattresses are in good condition and there is a regular laundry service for all clothing and bedding items. There is a sink with hot and cold water in each cell. Prisoners are afforded the opportunity to sweep out and clean their cell every day. Cleaning materials are provided.

2.23 There are 15 telephones in the Hall spread over the four floors. Access to the telephones is adequate and provided on an as requested basis. Prisoners seemed content regarding access although reported that the telephone hoods did not block out noise, making it difficult to conduct a conversation.

2.24 Recreation is facilitated in the 'Activity Centre' which is a purpose made facility adjacent to the Hall. The area is clean and in good repair. Equipment in the area is in very good condition and there were no waiting times for prisoners to play pool, snooker, table tennis and football.

2.25 All prisoners in 'B' Hall are offered a period of one hour per day time in the fresh air. The exercise area is located to the side of the Hall. The facility is clean and free from obstruction and is adequately supervised by staff. There are shelters for staff. During the period of the inspection the weather was bad, but prisoners were not issued with weatherproof jackets. Weatherproof clothing should be offered to prisoners who attend exercise during bad weather.

2.26 If a prisoner does not have a work activity or is not involved in any other out of Hall activity, then he can expect to spend long periods of time locked in his cell. Consideration should be given to increasing out of cell time on purposeful activity for prisoners in 'B' Hall.

2.27 Complaint forms were readily available in the Hall.

'C' Hall

2.28 Prisoners Held. On the first day of inspection 'C' Hall held 284 remand prisoners in 190 cells on four floors. The configuration of the Hall and the conditions are the same as in 'A' Hall.

2.29 Safer Cells. Also located on the bottom floor are six 'safer cells'. These cells are deemed safer because they have been altered with consideration to ligature points. However, they have little in the way of comfort due to a lack of furniture, power and ventilation. None of the cells have high mounted corner mirrors to assist in the observation of prisoners, nor was there evidence of the use of 'electronic pegging' as proof of observation, particularly important given the importance yet poor specification of these cells. It is recommended that the 'safer cells' in 'C' Hall are upgraded to full 'anti-ligature cells'.

'D' Hall

2.30 Prisoners Held. 'D' Hall was one of the first halls to be upgraded in the prison. The Hall is divided into four separate units which allows for a mixture of regimes. On the first day of inspection the Hall held 234 prisoners. The Hall holds a mix of long-term and short-term prisoners, sex offenders and vulnerable prisoners with mental health issues.

2.31 Conditions. Each of the four units was clean and bright with both levels in each unit providing good access to showers. Prisoners in all four units can access the showers every day. The communal ablution areas are well laid out with soap dispensers and hand towels.

2.32 Each cell has a toilet and electric power. The cells are well decorated and free from graffiti. Posters in the cells are generally limited to the poster boards provided and poster images are generally not such as to cause offence to others. There are safety rails on top bunks and a secure means by which prisoners can access these bunks. There are personal safes in all cells. All prisoners have a chair and a television. Light and ventilation are fully compliant with the recognised standards. Fixtures and furniture in the cells are adequate.

2.33 Prisoner notices were available and up-to-date. Complaint forms were readily available.

2.34 At the time of the inspection one of the lower units held sex offenders and some prisoners who were vulnerable due to the nature of their offence. The adjacent High Dependency Unit ( HDU) held prisoners who were deemed to have a 'high dependency' relating to a number of factors including drugs, alcohol and poor metal health. The upper units held mainstream prisoners serving short-term sentences. Approximately 50% of short-term prisoners held had access to work.

2.35 Prisoners who are not working or accessing other activities can spend long times locked in their cell.

2.36 Access to recreation in 'D' Hall is facilitated in each of the units. There are pool and table tennis tables located on the lower floor of each unit. Prisoners receive between 30 and 45 minutes recreation each evening.

2.37 When not at recreation prisoners are locked in their cells. The reason given was to ensure the numbers at recreation at any one time were manageable. These arrangements mean that some prisoners in 'D' Hall can spend long periods locked in their cells. Consideration should be given to increasing out of cell time and access to activities for all prisoners in 'D' Hall.

2.38 All prisoners in 'D' Hall are offered a period of one hour each day time in the fresh air. The exercise area is located to the side of the Hall. Exercise periods are adequately supervised. There are shelters for staff. During the period of the inspection the weather was bad, but prisoners were not issued with weatherproof jackets. Weatherpoof clothing should be issued to prisoners who attend exercise during bad weather.

2.39 The exercise facility was free from obstruction. However, at the time of inspection the area below the cell windows was littered with food waste and other items.

'E' Hall

2.40 Prisoners Held. On the first day of inspection 'E' Hall held 252 prisoners in 175 cells on four floors. This was a mix of prisoners who had been admitted to the prison that day on the top floor and protection prisoners on the other floors.

2.41 First Night in Custody Centre. The top floor of 'E' Hall is the First Night in Custody Centre (see paragraphs 3.21-3.24). This particular area was very well run and clean.

2.42 Conditions. The rest of the Hall shared the same characteristics as the other Halls but, overall, 'E' Hall was cleaner and in better condition.

Letham Hall

2.43 Prisoners Held and Conditions. Letham Hall is a prefabricated Hall which opened in 1996. It currently holds low supervision prisoners. The Hall has 76 cells over two floors. There were 131 prisoners being held in the Hall on the first day of inspection. There are three sections on each floor. There are no in cell sanitation facilities, although there is good provision of, and access to, ablution areas in each section throughout the day and night. Letham Hall provides open access for all prisoners to all Hall facilities during the day. During the Night Patrol period, grille gates separate each section allowing staff to patrol the Hall and prisoners to access the showers and toilets. The lower centre section of Letham Hall has toilet facilities suitable for prisoners with a disability.

2.44 Cell windows are adequate and allow a good quality of ventilation and light, although prisoners complained that at times the heating was excessive. Prisoners can hang curtains in their cells. Having open access to sanitation during the night means that there are no toilets required in the cells. Cells are therefore slightly bigger than those in other Halls, allowing more space to move about. The cells were clean.

2.45 Mattresses are in good condition and there is a regular laundry service for all clothing and bedding items.

2.46 There is a good fitness room, and a room which provides prisoners with the opportunity to play various games including snooker, pool and table tennis. There is also a television in this area.

2.47 The is an adequate number of telephones in the Hall, and prisoners can access one of these at any time. Although not to the same extent as in other Halls, prisoners expressed concerns about the unsuitability of the hoods in blocking out background noise.

2.48 The exercise area is at the front of the Hall and can be accessed at any time of the day. The area is clean, spacious and free from obstruction. There is a minimal requirement of supervision of prisoners in this area.

2.49 Letham Hall has two classrooms and two interview rooms both of which are used by internal and external service providers on a regular basis.

2.50 The Hall is busy and the length of time prisoners choose to spend in their cells is up to them. With the Hall being busy there is a lot of movement in all areas throughout the day and night. As a result, and despite efforts to keep the Hall clean, the fabric is becoming worn, especially in the showers and toilet areas. Communal areas in Letham Hall should be refurbished.

2.51 Criteria for Letham. Amongst other criteria, prisoners deemed suitable to be held in Letham Hall must be of low supervision and 'fit for work'. However, there are several prisoners in other Halls who have been assessed as low supervision, but who are unfit for work due to a disability or infirmity. These prisoners would be deemed unsuitable for transfer to Letham Hall despite there being facilities for them. The criteria for access to Letham Hall should be reviewed with a view to allowing the transfer of prisoners with a disability.

2.52 Prisoners in Letham Hall have a greater control over their daily lives than prisoners in other areas of the prison. There is less need for prisoners to approach staff and as a result less interaction between prisoners and staff. During the inspection prisoners expressed frustration regarding what they described as an environment where 'downgrade' was used as a negative incentive to comply. More positive staff/prisoner interaction should be encouraged in Letham Hall.


2.53 Staffing. The kitchen is staffed by 10 catering officers, one stock controller and two catering managers. It employs 50 prisoners, with around 37 working at any one time. Given that the prisoners working in the kitchen are serving short sentences there is no opportunity provided to gain formal qualifications. However, two prisoners had recently been offered jobs with local hotels. The kitchen has achieved a Healthy Living Award and the two managers were awarded a Butler Trust for their work.

2.54 The Kitchen. The kitchen is large and meets the needs of the prisoner population.

2.55 The Menu. The menu works on a three weekly cycle and prisoners make their choice one week in advance. Winter and summer menus are in place. A separate menu for Muslim prisoners also works on a three weekly basis. The menus cater for all special diets including diabetic, vegan, vegetarian and gluten free. A choice of fruit is available for most meals. A food focus group meets four times each year.

2.56 Meal Times. Food preparation begins at 06:30 and breakfast is served at 07:00 hrs, lunch at around 12:00 hrs and an evening meal at 17:00 hrs. These arrangements are in place seven days a week.

2.57 The food is transported to the Halls in heated trolleys and is kept in these trolleys for as short a time as possible. Although the food does deteriorate somewhat it is still of a good quality when prisoners receive it.

2.58 Overall, the catering arrangements work very well.


2.59 The arrangements for prisoners' canteen are 'bag and tag'. Prisoners have access to the canteen twice a week. The system is flexible and allows for canteen to be provided for new admissions and prisoners returning from court. There is also an 'advance' service provided for prisoners admitted on Friday's and Saturday's.

2.60 The canteen is well stocked, clean and well organised. Orders are processed individually and checked against the canteen sheet completed by the prisoner.

2.61 Evidence was provided of a regular review of canteen prices. During the inspection all canteen items were priced at a level on or below the recommended retail prices. It was accepted that some items would be less expensive in some local shops and some more expensive. There was nevertheless a perception amongst prisoners that canteen prices were high.

2.62 Each Hall has been provided with a booklet describing all canteen items on offer. There are colour pictures of each item and the name of each product listed in 10 different languages. The booklet was introduced to ensure better access to canteen services for foreign national prisoners and prisoners with literacy issues. The canteen booklet is an item of good practice.

Clothing and Laundry

2.63 Equipment. The laundry has benefited from investment in equipment since the last inspection. Several new machines have been installed and all machines were working.

2.64 Staffing. There are two Laundry officers on duty at any one time and the service is overseen by the Facilities First Line Manager. Staff had been trained and they were knowledgeable regarding the process.

2.65 The laundry employs two groups of 25 protection prisoners on an 'early', 'late' and 'long' shift basis Monday to Friday. All prisoners are given an induction followed by 40 hours workplace training. Although the work carried out offers access to valuable work experience there are no formal qualifications offered to prisoners working in the laundry.

2.66 Access. There is a fairly robust process for the issue and return of laundry items. Each prisoner receives a full kit including two tops, a sweatshirt and one pair of denims. Underwear and socks are sent to the laundry in personalised washable laundry bags. They are sealed by the prisoner before being sent to the laundry. Laundry staff provided examples where bags are over-filled or poorly secured. In such instances these bags may open in the wash or drying process. Any open bags would be refilled and resealed before returning to the halls. Once washed and sorted the laundry is placed in trolleys in a passageway outside the laundry waiting to be collected and delivered.

2.67 However, there had been several complaints from the Halls regarding missing items. The handling of laundry being returned to two Halls was observed during the inspection. In both Halls 'passmen' were left to their own devices when sorting out and returning the small laundry bags to the prisoners. This part of the process was not supervised and was open to abuse. The process of returning small laundry bags to the Halls should be reviewed.

2.68 Condition of Clothing. Prisoners are issued with only one pair of denim trousers. These are exchanged on a weekly basis. Prisoners could wear the same trousers for a week including when attending work and visits. Often replacement denims were either ill-fitting or had unreliable 'velcro' fastenings (instead of zips), which prisoners found to be embarrassing as they would not remain fastened. Consequently, where possible, prisoners reported holding onto a pair of denims which fitted them and were in a decent condition rather than engage in the laundry process, choosing to wash these in the sink in their cell and drying them on the pipes. This should stop and prisoners should be provided with decent denim trousers.

3. Safety


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

3.1 The prison is safe in terms of levels of violence and appropriate steps are taken to protect prisoners from harming themselves. The First Night in Custody Centre is an excellent initiative and arrangements for induction are very good. However, the 'safer cells' are not up to standard and the prison needs a new Reception facility.

Security and Safety

3.2 Escapes. There have been no escapes or absconds in the last year.

3.3 Physical and Dynamic Security. Improvements to front end security since the last inspection were noted, including improved identification measures and searching procedures. However, illicit items continue to be introduced by being thrown over the fence. During the year 2010-11, a total of 58 mobile telephones, 17 SIM cards and 28 chargers were found. Over the same period, staff found 390g of illicit drugs in powder or resin form, 1,078 in tablets and 175 ml in liquids.

3.4 Barlinnie does not have the services of a dedicated Police Liaison Officer, although there is evidence of successful joint security operations between prison staff and the local police.

3.5 No local Incident Management Training took place during the last year and at the time of inspection none was planned. This should be addressed.

3.6 Violence. Between 1 April 2010 and 31 March 2011 there were two serious prisoner-on-staff assaults and five minor assaults. In the same period there were 50 serious prisoner-on-prisoner assaults and eight minor assaults. There were two acts of concerted indiscipline. Three weapons were found at the point of entry into the prison in Reception.

3.7 Responses from the last SPS Prisoner Survey indicated that 80% of prisoners who responded said that they felt safe in Barlinnie. A separate study carried out by the psychology team showed that of 316 participants, 24% reported that they had been the victim of some sort of violence, 15% had committed an act of violence and 41% had witnessed violence. The study reported that violence was more likely to occur in areas where there is less surveillance from CCTV. CCTV coverage should be upgraded as soon as possible.

Supervision levels

3.8 Allocation of Supervision Levels. The process in place to allocate supervision levels is 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. A quality audit of the documentation is conducted by the Residential Unit Manager.

3.9 In discussion with the Residential Unit Manager issues were raised about the current national process for assessing supervision levels, particularly in relation to remand prisoners. National consultation is ongoing relating to the Prisoner Supervision System.

Escort Handover Procedures

3.10 All prisoners are brought into Reception by Escort staff for prison staff to check warrants and take possession of cash and property. Reception staff check warrants diligently.

Admission Procedures

3.11 Searching. On admission to the prison, prisoners should be searched at the point of entry and asked to sit on the BOSS chair (a detector for internally secreted illicit items). This did not happen when inspectors observed the process. This and other security issues were relayed to the Governor prior to the inspection team leaving the establishment.

3.12 Information. There were notices to aid the identification of prisoners speaking a foreign language in Reception but no translated information notices. Staff demonstrated knowledge about what to do when someone came in who did not speak English. Despite the shortfall in the provision of foreign nationals language posters there are robust arrangements for identifying the language spoken by foreign nationals and subsequent interpretation facilities. Language line is also available.

3.13 The Reception Area. The Reception area itself is a large and very busy area and has to cope with some 20,000 prisoner movements a year. It serves the largest court in Europe, as well as many other courts on a daily basis. Prisoners are held in cubicles once the warrant had been checked. These are very small and are not suitable to hold people for any length of time. Even at quiet times inspectors observed prisoners being held in these cubicles for over an hour. The cubicles have seats but have inadequate ventilation; they are too small; smell of body odour; and have graffiti in them. There are no notices on display or any other reading material. These shortcomings should be addressed.

3.14 The Reception Process. After being held in a cubicle the prisoner is then interviewed. He is taken to a small interview room adjacent to the Health Centre. Personal details are added to the computerised Prisoner Records System ( PR2). The ACT2Care interview also takes place here. Although the interviews take place in suitable rooms the doors are left open. This means that the privacy gained by having interview rooms is lost. Interview room doors should be kept closed when conducting sensitive interviews in Reception.

3.15 After this interview a medical interview takes place.

3.16 The prisoner then returns to Reception where clothing is removed and a strip search takes place. There are at least four prisoners and two staff in the area where this takes place. This process needs to be reviewed along with the other security processes which were relayed to the Governor during the inspection.

3.17 Personal property is checked in the presence of the prisoner and added to their property card, which the prisoner signs. Prisoners are only allowed to retain a limited amount of their own clothing.

3.18 Valuable property is put into a sealed bag and stored in cabinets in a secure room. The packets in which valuable property is placed are sealed and logged appropriately.

3.19 Strip searches are not carried out until after the whole reception process has been completed. All prisoners should be searched via the BOSS chair and a strip search as soon as possible after escort handover.

3.20 Prisoners are not offered a shower. Prisoners should be offered a shower during the reception process.

3.21 Access for disabled prisoners is good and prisoners can be accommodated throughout the process.

3.22 Inspectors were informed that random property checks are carried out by senior managers but there is no record of these. A record of senior management property checks should be maintained.

3.23 Two newly admitted prisoners were 'tracked' by inspectors during the week. Feedback from them suggests that they found the admission process acceptable in relation to staff attitudes and understanding, but felt that the physical conditions, particularly the cubicles, were poor. They felt that they were kept well informed and had no issues about personal safety.

3.24 Overall, despite the physical conditions, staff make a real effort to treat prisoners decently. However, given the poor physical conditions and the large number of prisoner movements, it is recommended that a new Reception facility is created as a matter of priority.

First Night in the Prison

3.25 First Night in Custody Centre. There is an excellent First Night in Custody Centre ( FNIC) in Barlinnie. All admission prisoners are located on this floor ('E' Hall - level 4) after they have been through Reception. They stay there until the next afternoon and are then moved to other Halls.

3.26 Non-English speakers are very well treated, with the use of interpreters and translated induction information available in numerous languages. There are several DVDs in different languages along with a TV and DVD player for prisoners to use in their cells. This is an area of good practice. There is also a small library in the FNIC which has foreign language books and DVDs.

3.27 An informative DVD is piped through a channel of the in cell televisions in the FNIC. The prisoners 'tracked' by inspectors said that this was particularly useful in getting to know the routine and entitlements. Comprehensive information is given regarding visits, telephones, medical services and food. All new admissions spoken to expressed confidence in the knowledge that they gained within the first 24 hours.

3.28 Overall, a dedicated team of staff in the FNIC settle prisoners in and take great care to ensure that any vulnerable individuals are well catered for. They complete a 'first night checklist'. This includes the delivery of an information booklet, description of fire and medical procedures and how to access the Listeners Scheme. The FNIC custody is respected throughout the prison, integrates well with all other areas and is an example of good practice.

Induction Procedures

3.29 All new prisoners are seen by Links Centre staff as soon as possible, and usually within 24 hours. A full induction is also delivered, in the Links Centre, within 72 hours. This consists of local and national information. The PowerPoint presentation used for this is of a particularly high standard and is an area of good practice.

3.30 The Integrated Case Management ( ICM) consent form is explained and signed during induction. Both kinds of ICM (standard and enhanced) and the processes are explained.

3.31 There are documents with Frequently asked Questions and common phrases translated into nine different languages. This is a helpful way of communicating with those who do not speak English and is an example of good practice.

3.32 Feedback from the two 'tracked' prisoners suggests that the induction process is very effective in helping them to learn about the prison and settle into the regime. It includes information on progression, property allowed in possession, work allocations, wages, laundry, etc. The programme is very well thought out.


3.33 All new prisoners are assigned 'high' supervision level. This is reassessed within 72 hours. Supervision levels are reviewed after a minimum of six months but no more than 12 months in custody. This is in line with national standards and timescales.

3.34 Assignment of a 'low' supervision level is the main criteria for progression to 'Letham' Hall where prisoners can access enhanced visits as well as other benefits including access to work. Progression and regression are also dependent upon other factors including conduct in custody or a change in sentence.

3.35 Prisoners in 'Letham' Hall have greater opportunities to access work and other activities. The number of prisoners attending out of cell/hall activities was low during the inspection. Staff in most Halls did not appear to promote or encourage prisoners to engage in purposeful activities such as education and work as a means to realise progress both within the prison and on a personal basis.

3.36 Progression to the Open Estate is not dependent upon progression to Letham Hall. All prisoners who meet the required criteria will be considered for progression to the Open Estate.

Suicide Risk Management

3.37 Compliance with ACT2Care The prison operates the ACT2Care policy. At the time of inspection there were six prisoners subject to the policy.

3.38 Refresher training for staff is being undertaken: the compliance rate is 86% and 95% of staff had undertaken the core training.

3.39 Suicides. There were six suicides in 2010 and two between January and May 2011. There were 35 episodes of self-harm in 2010, which is a similar number to the previous four years. The Inspectorate will continue to monitor this.

3.40 Processes. An ACT group is in place, chaired by the Deputy Governor. This meets bi-monthly.

3.41 There is an abundance of statistical information kept. Audits are undertaken weekly of the ACT process, paperwork, assessments, quality of information recorded and care planning. This is an area of good practice.

3.42 Listeners. There are seven trained Listeners who are managed by an Officer co-ordinator. They are selected from Letham Hall as low supervision levels are required. Officers have some influence in the selection process. Inspectors met with the Listeners who reported that the number of calls was relatively low but they felt able to access prisoners to give help and support.

3.43 There are regular meetings with representatives from the Samaritans, and the Listeners reported that they felt supported by them. There is a duty rota and each Listener is on call for a third of a day at a time. Promotion of the scheme is very good and there is an information session in both the FNIC and induction programme.

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

Night Duty

3.45 Staffing. During the inspection the night staff compliment was one FLM and 14 officers. This was one more than the usual compliment because overcrowding meant that there was a higher number of prisoners being held in Letham Hall. This level of staffing was an agreed contingency in response to increased prisoner numbers. Some operations staff work night duty as part of their normal rostered duties, although the FLM posts and 21 of the night shift officers are permanent. Barlinnie is the only SPS prison to also have a nurse on duty during the night shift.

3.46 Procedures. Emergency orders were available for scrutiny. These are comprehensive and include contingency plans. All of the night staff who were asked were able to identify that they are held electronically on the SPS Sharepoint website and were able to demonstrate how to access them.

3.47 There is a low proportion of first aid trained staff on night duties - four out of the 21 permanent staff. All permanent night duty staff should hold a first aid qualification.

3.48 The night shift is visited at least once a month by senior managers and visits are logged on the night patrol report sheets. All areas have access to sanitation during the night.

3.49 All staff were able to answer questions about what to do in different kinds of emergency situations. Good management of emergency situations was demonstrated (as two occurred during the night shift that was inspected).

Staff Training and Development

3.50 Staffing. The training department is overseen by the HR manager and consists of a staff training FLM and an assistant. Instructors from different parts of the prison deliver all of the core training.

3.51 Training. There is a training 'Action Plan' in place which lays out priorities behind the provision of staff training. This plan is derived from the development plans that form part of the staff appraisal system.

3.52 The establishment is meeting most of its targets for core competency training. Core competency training is delivered via a mix of e-learning, classroom and simulation. Of particular concern is the small number of night staff who are first aid trained (see paragraph 3.47).

3.53 Training is discussed at FLM meetings and Training Committee meetings. However, there had not been a Training Committee meeting for nine months prior to the inspection. Training Committee meetings should be held on a regular basis.

3.54 Barlinnie is proactive in providing training for its staff with regard to taking up new posts, particularly on promotion. The establishment provides robust induction programmes for new members of staff and for recent promotees. There is a lot of interest and participation in management development courses. Feedback from newly promoted 'D' Band officers and managers was very positive about the support and learning that had been afforded to them. Development training is an area of good practice. Specialised training is also good. Of particular note is the training that was delivered to staff who work in the Day Care Centre and also 'safe to say' training to guide staff on how to cope and react when prisoners disclose a history of child abuse.

3.55 However, there is no child protection training delivered to staff in the SPS generally. There are at least five establishments housing large numbers of sex offenders (Barlinnie, Peterhead, Glenochil, Dumfries and Edinburgh). This and the estate-wide daily contact with children through visits means that staff should be able to recognise child protection concerns in order to report them to the appropriate area. At Barlinnie they are not trained for this. It is recommended that child protection training is provided by SPS.

Health and Safety

3.56 Staffing. Barlinnie has a well-qualified and experienced Health and Safety Officer who is supported by a full-time administrator. The H&S Officer also delivers fire awareness training to staff. Managers are also trained in managing safely. Core H&S courses for staff are delivered through e-Learning.

3.57 Staff are also competent in fire evaluation and cell fire protocols. All staff who were questioned were aware of their responsibilities in this area and in the area of health and safety. The most recent inspection of fire safety found only three items of housekeeping issues to be a concern.

3.58 Compliance. Health and Safety audits are carried out every month by FLMs and Unit Managers are timetabled to carry out an audit every quarter. These are supplemented by regular 'walk rounds' by the Governor and Partnership Liaison Representative. Audits are routinely followed up with action plans which are created and monitored by the H&S Officer.

3.59 Health and Safety is well established and integral to working practices.

4. Respect


Prisoners are treated with respect by staff.

4.1 Relationships between staff and prisoners are good.


4.2 Staffing and Prisoners. Despite the pressures of a constantly fluctuating and overcrowded population staff act professionally, usually call prisoners by their first name or prefix their surname with Mr.

4.3 Feedback. Feedback from prisoner groups and observations by inspectors also indicate that relationships are good. The last three SPS Prisoner Surveys indicate that between 86% and 91% of prisoners get on well or very well with staff.

4.4 Feedback from new staff as well as prisoners confirmed that staff members are approachable and are helpful.

4.5 Complaints. Out of 1,475 complaints last year only 40 were connected with relationships.

Equality and Diversity

4.6 Processes. An Equality and Diversity Committee meeting is held quarterly. This is attended by the Governor, senior management team and a prisoner representative. The minutes of these meetings are available on the local SharePoint site.

4.7 Staffing. On the day of inspection there were no dedicated equality and diversity staff identified but plans were in place to recruit three from each Hall. A unit manager and Links Centre staff currently co-ordinate activity to ensure standards are met.

4.8 Matters concerning foreign nationality, disability, race relations, gender issues and specific ethnic needs are currently being monitored by the manager responsible for equality and diversity standards.

4.9 Information. All of the important induction, health, regime and visits information booklets were available in at least three different languages. During induction, prisoners are also given information about Prison Rules, how to make a complaint and how to make a request in at least three different languages. There is also a FAQ handout available. Translators are available if required.

4.10 Complaints. Racial discrimination is governed by national policy and there were no racial complaints for the year so far.

4.11 Services. The library stocks foreign language books. Foreign national input is encouraged for the setting of meal plans via the equality and diversity committee.

4.12 Special Care. The bottom floor of most Halls is used for prisoners who need special care. A cell for disabled prisoners is also located on the bottom floor of each Hall.

4.13 None of the prisoners located in any of the disabled cells understood what a Personal Evacuation Plan was, nor did any of the staff questioned. Personal evacuation plans should become standard practice for disabled prisoners.


Staff & Official Visitors

4.14 Phase 1 of a series of proposed improvements to staff and official visitor searching procedures had been in place for just over a month at the time of inspection. These particular changes involved the introduction of additional front-end security measures which included the re-location of the x-ray equipment; the redeployment of some staff to the vestibule to operate x-ray equipment during peak staff flow periods; the requirement for staff to remove their outer garments and present their identification cards on every occasion they enter the establishment; and for one in ten members of staff or official visitors to be subject to a rub down search or a wand. The rub-down search area is appropriate and staff undertaking the search were seen to be respectful. Small lockable, wall mounted receptacles have also been installed within the vestibule area in which visitors may leave their mobile telephones. The records examined showed an increase in the number of staff and official visitor searches from 55 in January this year to 180 during the period 1 st to 23 rd May 2011. The staff searching policy is on display and is also widely available on the local SharePoint site.

Prisoners' Visitors

4.15 All prisoners' visitors are subject to a rub-down search. These searches were observed taking place both outside and inside the visit rooms but in all cases, in full view of other visitors. This practice should be discontinued. Overall the standard of prisoners' visitors searching observed was poor. Arrangements are in place for fuller searches to take place by the Police in a more appropriate area should it be necessary. An ION scanner is in place but no longer used to detect if visitors have been in contact with drugs prior to presenting at the establishment for a visit.


4.16 Searching of prisoners prior to movement between different areas of the prison takes place and all searches of this nature which were observed were carried out respectfully. Area searching observed was conducted in a methodical manner. Staff reported that when the prisoner population increases, the regime takes longer to operate and that, in turn has a negative impact on the quality of some processes including searching.

5. Contact


Good contact with family and friends is maintained.

5.1 The quality of visits is good and the visits room is an excellent facility. However, visitors sometimes have to wait too long between booking in for a visit and the visit starting. Great care is taken to bring families into the prison for specially designed events and good links with community based organisations help facilitate this.

Family Strategy

5.2 Strategy. The prison uses a modified version of the SPS Good Practice Guidance to help focus its work:

1. Children and families are 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 lean, comfortable and provide a good visiting experience.

4. The prison should consult with local transport providers, CJA's 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 service.

12. Staff should be trained on the rights and needs of children.

13. The prison should organise family day and events.

5.3 A Children and Families Strategy Group is in place and this supports the SPS Strategy.

Family Contact

5.4 Family Contact Officers. At the time of inspection there were two full-time Family Contact Officers in post. One was leaving this post on promotion and plans were in place to recruit another two. Once the three officers are in place there are plans to provide cover 08.00 hrs-20.00 hrs seven days a week. The FCOs share an office with induction staff but have their own computer and a dedicated telephone number, with answering machine. Every effort is made to pick up calls on a regular basis. The number of calls and referrals have increased recently, partly reflecting the high prisoner numbers. The FCOs tend to get a lot of enquiries from prisoners and should move to a greater focus on families.

5.5 Information. A wide range of information is available. An admission information pack provides details of visiting times, how to book a visit, services available etc. The FCOs meet all prisoners the morning after admission and provide sessions at the Family Induction the following week. Families Outside also provide information during induction. The FCOs also provide a separate induction session for prisoners who have been sent to prison for the first time.

5.6 Family Involvement. Efforts are made to bring families into the prison as much as possible. Special events are held, particularly at Halloween and Christmas. Excellent links have been made with the Mitchell Library who provide arts and crafts type events for prisoners and their families, focusing particularly on children. Families Outside are also very involved with the prison. The prison also runs the Positive Parenting Programme which is a national project normally run in the community. Barlinnie is the only prison participating and this an area of good practice. Twenty two percent of ICM Case Conferences in the past year had family member representation (see also paragraph 9.6).

5.7 Enhanced Visits. Enhanced visits are available to prisoners in Letham Hall and bonding visits are also available every fortnight for prisoners who meet the criteria.

5.8 Visits Room. There are two visits rooms. The main room is bright and spacious and provides a pleasant environment. However, it can be cold. Toy Box provides a children's facility 37 hrs a week. The waiting room is also fit for purpose and has a good range of information available. The time between booking in for a visit and the visit starting is still too long (this was reported in the previous inspection report). For example, Inspectors reported a significant delay to one particular visit. This caused anxiety which could have been allayed by verbal updates from staff. Visit staff should make more effort to update visitors on changes or delays to visits. As it stands, visitors can wait up to 20 minutes. It is recommended that the time between visitors booking in for a visit and the visit starting should be reduced. A second, smaller visits room is located in the prison and has to be accessed by a long corridor. This room is used for Bonding and Enhanced visits.

5.9 Feedback. The prison has also carried out a visitors survey which is in general positive about the arrangements. Families said that they were well treated by the majority of staff. However, they also commented that having to produce a photographic ID could cause problems as not everyone had one. Visitors also said that they were kept waiting too long (see also paragraph 5.8) and that if they were a few minutes late they were not allowed in to the visit room. They also felt that the car park was too small.

5.10 Letters, Telephones and Emails. Prisoners can send as many letters as they can afford and there are telephones in the Halls. Prisoners have access to:

6. Entitlements


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 limited use of Rule 94 to segregate prisoners. The complaints process is accessible, fair and transparent.

Legal Entitlements

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

6.3 Privileged Correspondence. The procedure for handling Privileged Correspondence is robust. This includes a system for dealing with mail that is suspected to be legal correspondence but is not marked as such. Staff give the prisoner these letters to open in front of them. If the mail is found to be from a legal representative the officer informs the FLM who passes details to the Governor's secretary who writes to the lawyer concerned. There are very few complaints from prisoners about legal correspondence (eight in the last year).

6.4 Information. Copies of the Prison Rules are available in the library. Human rights literature and legal text books are also available.

6.5 Visiting Committee. Access to the Visiting Committee is via a Hall request. This seems to be operating effectively and members of staff were found to have good knowledge about the Committee.

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 observed all staff were seated and the hearings were conducted in a relaxed, non-confrontational manner. The procedure is conducted on a rota basis by the unit managers.

6.8 Processes. The adjudicators ensured that the prisoner understood the charges, had enough time to prepare a defence and was ready for the hearing. All were offered a pen and paper to take notes. None were offered a copy of the Prison Rules or offered assistance.

6.9 Paperwork. Disciplinary paperwork to record hearings is completed effectively and the quality of evidence that was observed by inspectors was up to standard.

6.10 Decisions. The process followed and the reasons for decisions and awards were understood by prisoners.

6.11 Complaints. Complaint forms are readily available in all of the Halls and all prisoners were advised that they could use a CP4 if they wished to appeal against the result of an disciplinary hearing. There were only 62 appeals last year and 55 the year before: this is very low but can be attributed to the short-term nature of the population.

Religious Observance

6.12 Staffing. Barlinnie has one full-time and several part-time Chaplains. The non-denominational Minister works full-time with colleagues who work in a part-time capacity - four Church of Scotland Ministers, four Roman Catholic Priests and one Roman Catholic Sister. There are regular visits from an Imam who is also the SPS Muslim advisor. The prison has no difficulty in sourcing a service from most denominations.

6.13 Links with the Community. Many visitors come into the prison and good links with the community have been developed. An innovative project called 'Faith in Throughcare' helps former prisoners with the transition from custody to the community. This is an area of good practice.

6.14 Links with the Prison. Inspectors' observations, and staff and prisoner feedback suggests that the Chaplains are well integrated into the running of the prison. They visit the Halls every day, deliver information at induction and have a good communication system amongst themselves which ensures continuity of service.

6.15 Services. Both the Roman Catholic and Church of Scotland services take place at the same time on a Sunday morning. There is generally good attendance with over 60 prisoners attending each service. Musicians and visiting Ministers are often involved in the services. They also hold family services about twice a year and are open to prisoners who attend chapel regularly and their family members. One held shortly after the inspection had 150 prisoners and visitors present. This is an area of good practice.

6.16 Meetings. The Chaplaincy Team attends the Multi-Disciplinary Mental Health Team meetings, the Equality and Diversity meetings and ACT2Care Case Conferences (when required). They also input information to ICM Case Conferences if they have a close working relationship with the prisoner.

6.17 The team is also very committed to helping the community and prison establish a Visitor's Centre near to the prison.

6.18 There is a good relationship with the senior management team. The Chaplains feel well supported and are able to access managers whenever this is necessary.

Visiting Committee

6.19 The Visiting Committee commented that Barlinnie is a well-run prison with positive relations between staff and prisoners; the Committee receives excellent co-operation from staff at all levels. There were 14 prisoners who requested to see VC members in the last year. Given the extent of overcrowding in the prison this seems to be a relatively small number.

6.20 The Committee has a particular concern about access to activities for untried prisoners and they have welcomed the Governor's initiative to put physical fitness facilities into the Halls. Nevertheless, there is still a shortfall in access for such prisoners.

6.21 The VC welcomes the initiative by local community leaders to try to start up a Prisoner Visitor Centre for families visiting Barlinnie and is supportive of the attempts by the Governor to help this community effort.

6.22 Overall the VC considers the prison to be a well-run prison which copes well with overcrowding, old buildings and facilities.

Prisoner Complaints Procedure

6.23 Complaint Forms. Complaint forms are easy to access in the Halls. Once a complaint has been raised, it is entered onto PR2. This allows monitoring of timescales for CP1 forms but not the quality of responses.

6.24 Processes. The Compliance Manager receives copies of all complaints and co-ordinates the Internal Complaints Committee ( ICC). This Manager also links with the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.

6.25 In 2010-11 there were 1,492 CPs:

CP1 (general complaint) 461
CP2 (confidential access to Governor) 254
CP3 (medical) 771
CP4 (Appeal - Orderly Room decision) 6

6.26 Compared to other recently inspected SPS establishments (proportionally) complaints at Barlinnie are substantially lower:

Glenochil had 1,029 CPs/population of 668 = 1.54 per prisoner

Peterhead had 600 CPs/population of 299 - 2.00 per prisoner

Dumfries had 762 CPs/population of 206 = 3.69 per prisoner

Barlinnie had 1,492 CPs/population of 1,477 = 1.01 per prisoner.

6.27 Complaints are audited by the Deputy Governor on a regular basis. Results are fed back through Unit Managers and FLMs. This is an area of good practice.

6.28 The ICC meets every Tuesday and Thursday. The Chair of the Committee is rotated, on a rota which includes Unit Managers and the Chaplain. The Chair is assisted by two additional members from other disciplines. There should be more independent representation on the Independent Complaints Committee.

6.29 The responses to CP1s, CP2s and CP3s are consistently within time limits. If they are late it is usually because further investigation is needed. A holding response is issued in these cases. However, CP4s are consistently answered late even given the small number of these. The reason for this is that the Orderly Room paperwork is not automatically made available to the ICC. Orderly Room paperwork should be considered as a matter of course.

6.30 A review of paperwork indicates that prisoner complaints are given careful consideration and detailed reasons are given for the decisions. The responses from Hall staff are very good. There is an appropriate balance between complaints which are upheld and complaints which are not.

Management of Segregation

6.31 Segregation Unit. The Segregation Unit is located in a central position in the prison. The Unit is a single storey building with a design capacity of 17. Seven prisoners were being held on the first day of inspection. Two cells do not have integral sanitation and were being used as storage space at the time of inspection.

6.32 Conditions. All prisoners in segregation are offered an hour in 'fresh air' each day and have access to a shower every day. Although the communal area between the cells lacks natural light, the cells themselves have a window which allows light and adequate ventilation. Mattresses are in good condition and there is a regular laundry service for all clothing and bedding items. The laundry system is regular and reliable. There is a sink with hot and cold running water in each cell. Prisoners are afforded the opportunity to sweep out and clean their cell every day. Cleaning materials are provided.

6.33 Prisoners are given access to a fitness room on a rotational basis. There are televisions in the cells although these have a protective glass screen fitted, which makes it extremely difficult for prisoners to watch whilst sitting or lying on the bed. This was also the case if sitting directly in front of the television. Prisoners either stand or sit on the back of their chair in order to watch the television. Visibility of television screens in the cells in the Segregation Unit should be reviewed.

6.34 Staff facilities including the office, shower, toilet and cooking facilities are good.

6.35 Documentation. Documentation was examined (including PR2) and authority to hold prisoners under various 'Rule' conditions was in order.

6.36 Relationships. Staff interaction with prisoners was good and a review of casework files indicated that staff challenged prisoners appropriately in order to encourage them to return to the mainstream prison system. Prisoners described relationships with staff as positive and supportive.

6.37 New Approach. At the time of inspection, staff in the Segregation Unit were piloting a new approach for prisoners who were being held as much for their own protection as for discipline issues. The 'Refuse to Return to Circulation' approach appeared to be working well with evidence of staff challenging the prisoner's perception of the risk he will face if returned to mainstream.

7. Activities


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

7.1 A good range of educational and vocational activity is available and the quality of provision is very good. However, there is very little available for long-term prisoners. The Learning Centre and the gym are not fit for purpose, and the Activity Centre is unattractive.


7.2 The Contract. The contract to deliver education in the prison is held by Motherwell College. The College's target for offender learner hours is 40,000 per annum but the Learning Centre usually exceeds this target. The provision is managed by a Learning Centre manager and a team of staff. SPS delivers a range of vocational training programmes and work parties. These are taught by full-time prison officer instructors in the production sheds and workshops. Out of cell activities are delivered by SPS staff with the main activities being delivered in the activity centre and the gymnasiums.

Access to Learning, Skills and Employability Provision

7.3 Induction Tool. On arrival at the prison and during their induction process, prisoners undertake an SPS induction tool to gauge their level of skills in literacy and numeracy and to help ascertain which programmes they may wish to enrol on. Education staff from the Learning Centre visit all admissions serving six months and over within a week of admission and carry out the assessment. Prisoners serving six months and over have been identified as the priority group in relation to education provision.

7.4 Strategic Input and Access. The Learning Centre manager has little input at strategic level to discuss the impact education classes can make to help prepare prisoners for release. There is a clear need to join up education with the broader work of the prison in the workshops and elsewhere. Promotion of education classes in the Halls is poor. At the time of the visit there was an insufficient number of posters advertising classes. Staff from the Learning Centre have recently commenced weekly visits to every newly convicted prisoner to promote their programmes and to ascertain the educational needs of the prisoners. However, long-term prisoners, remand prisoners and convicted prisoners serving less than four months have no access to education classes. Also, remand prisoners do not have access to work parties or vocational training. At the time of the visit there were 461 remand prisoners out of a total population of 1477.

7.5 Information. Convicted prisoners receive a visit from a member of the Learning Centre staff in their Hall and receive a prospectus for the classes in the Learning Centre. There is a good range of programmes in the Learning Centre but, due to operational reasons, spaces for prisoners in the Learning Centre are limited to 28. To overcome this, Learning Centre staff deliver learning in the residential areas and in the Day Care Centre.

7.6 Awareness. During induction, prisoners are made aware of the types of vocational programmes and work party duties they can embark on. There is a good range of opportunities for work and vocational training. These include jobs in the production shed for joinery and metal work and work party duties in industrial cleaning, hairdressing, recycling, gardening, kitchen and laundry. Protection prisoners have sole access to work in the laundry and metal work shed. Vocational training programmes are available in construction and fork-lift truck programmes. However, these programmes are limited to ten prisoners in each construction class and only two in the fork-lift truck course. Most programmes have waiting lists.

7.7 Opportunities. Attendance by prisoners on work party duties or in vocational training at education classes does not affect their work payment for their other jobs. However, there are no full-time opportunities within the Learning Centre. Payment for attendance at education classes is limited to a maximum of £3 per week as opposed to a rate of between £8.40 to £12 in work party and vocational training duties. Prisoners receive a bonus for gaining certification in their programmes of study.

7.8 Access. Prisoners have access to a limited range of out of cell activities. The most prominent of these activities is the provision of physical education classes. Prisoners have good access to the gymnasiums each week and there are sessions solely for protection prisoners. There is a reduced capacity for physical education classes at weekends but the prison has recently trained 15 sports and games officers who will assist physical education staff to deliver programmes in each of the prison gymnasiums. However, the conditions in, and fabric of, the main gymnasium are poor. Prisoners currently cannot shower in the gym and have to change into their clothing to return to their Hall for a shower after exercise.

7.9 Library. The prison library is based within the activity centre. Prisoners have access to pool and snooker tables, telephones and the library. The library is open between Monday and Friday with a late evening opening on Thursday. The library has over 12,000 books and a good range of DVD's in stock. The library has an agreement with Glasgow City Council to borrow an additional 500 books through the council library system . However, in more than a few cases, the stock of books is dated and the library space could be brightened up to make it a more attractive setting.

Assessment Of Need

7.10 Assessment. On induction to the prison, all prisoners have the opportunity to have their literacy and numeracy skills assessed using an SPS Alerting Tool. This aims to identify prisoner literacy and numeracy support requirements. However, this tool has been in use for some years and does not capture sufficiently the full range of additional educational needs that prisoners may have, such as dyslexia. Prisoners who have additional needs rely on SPS staff to identify their requirements and refer them to the Learning Centre. Learning Centre staff take effective steps to support prisoners with additional support requirements and pitch learning at a level appropriate to their needs.

7.11 Learning Centre staff have started to explore opportunities for supporting prisoners in vocational training areas who have difficulties in their learning related to core skills. Plans are in place to contextualise learning in numeracy and literacy. Within workshops prisoners are supported effectively by their peers in the same class. Additional support to prisoners is offered through the 'toe by toe' initiative which is co-ordinated by SPS Learning Centre staff.

7.12 For prisoners on the National Progression Award in Construction there are opportunities to extend their skills when they complete their course. Where time allows, staff train prisoners on laying laminate flooring, fitting out a kitchen and laying decking and monoblocking pathways. These activities help to develop prisoners' vocational skills and help them gain self-confidence and offer a range of skills to potential employers. This is an area of good practice.

7.13 Staff in vocational training programmes recognise the need for new programmes which are relevant to prisoner needs and have identified new areas for development. An SPS officer will shortly complete a college barbering course which will allow the prison to offer a course in hairdressing.

Delivery Of Learning

7.14 The Learning Environment. The learning environment in the Learning Centre and in the workshops is very relaxed and purposeful. There are very good relations between staff and prisoners and this helps to create a positive and supportive learning experience. Almost all staff in the Learning Centre are teacher trained and this is reflected in the high quality planning and delivery of activities. Staff in the workshops are time served in their specific areas and work hard to challenge prisoners to develop their employability skills in terms of time management, working with others and leading and participating in tasks.

7.15 Staff are flexible in their approach to providing appropriate levels of support and challenge for prisoners. There is a limited number of classrooms in the Learning Centre but the accommodation is suitable for the activities it offers. Staff also offer programmes in residential areas. Attendance at these sessions is higher than those within the Learning Centre.

7.16 Gymnasium. Staff in the gym are experienced and qualified to deliver their programmes. Staff are flexible in ensuring that most prisoners have access to physical education during the week. The gym is well utilised and is busy throughout the week. However, it is limited in the range of programmes and activities that can be offered there.

Prisoner Learning Experience

7.17 Range of Provision. An appropriate range of classes is available in basic literacy, numeracy, modern studies, art, ICT, creative writing, mathematics, English language and communication. Most prisoners are making good progress in these classes and in the programmes in the workshops. Learning experiences for prisoners have been extended through the addition of programmes such as theatre studies and poetry writing. These activities have been very successful and staff in the Learning Centre have gained a well deserved reputation in the community for delivering high quality creative activities. Learning Centre staff arrange bespoke events each year. There are visits from authors and theatre groups and prisoners have published poetry and short stories as a result of their studies. An effective creative writing class, which combines art work and writing a story, results in prisoners producing a book for their children which is presented at a family bonding session.

7.18 A number of prisoners who had signed up for education classes complained that they missed out on the opportunity because Hall staff failed to unlock their cells to allow them to participate.

7.19 Day Care Centre. The Day Care Centre offers prisoners with mental health issues activities in relaxation, yoga, theatre studies and 'Heartstart'. These programmes are effective in helping prisoners develop self confidence and improve their motivation to participate in further activities.

7.20 Work Experience. On a few occasions prisoners have worked with SPS staff on charitable events but these are not widespread.


7.21 Progression Opportunities. There are good progression opportunities for prisoners who are working on the National Progression Award in Construction across Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework ( SCQF) levels 4 and 5. Prisoners within metalwork are making items for displaying plants and sculptures to be displayed around the estate. Other items are being sent out to support the work of charity and voluntary organisations. Prisoners helped staff to prepare a replica of the giant horse displayed on the M8 motorway which will be displayed within the prison grounds.

7.22 Prisoners in the Learning Centre are making good progress in units in English and mathematics from Access Level 2. There is good provision for non-English speaking prisoners. Prisoners following these courses are making satisfactory progress. Prisoners in the Learning Centre are involved in a range of creative writing courses such as the Father's Day Story. These activities help to keep prisoners motivated to develop their writing skills and to gain in self-confidence.

7.23 Physical Education. Prisoners have good access to physical education opportunities. While the facilities are small given the size of the prisoner population and in need of significant upgrade and redecoration, the resources within the facilities for weight training and cardio vascular exercise are in good order. There are no showers for prisoners in the gym areas but they are all provided with clean kit on arrival for their sessions. Staff have plans to enhance the capacity for greater prisoner engagement within the physical education environment. This has been taken forward successfully with the training of a team of 15 SPS staff as 'games and sports' officers who supervise an increased number of fitness training and football activity sessions leading to an enhanced number of prisoners involved and active in physical education. Staff are involved in a prison wide health promotion committee to target health issues in a joined up fashion.

7.24 Certification. Prisoners have been successful in achieving additional certification in food handling, fork-lift driving, industrial cleaning and a construction skills scheme a part of their work in the vocational training units and the work parties. A few prisoners have completed 'European Computer Driving Licence' ( ECDL) within the last year.

7.25 Resources. Prisoners show commitment and motivation during their activities and they actively develop good levels of skills and knowledge. In the worksheds, prisoners develop employability skills and work well with other prisoners in teams or independently. There are good resources in the workshops. Prisoners make good use of a range of modern equipment such as electric saws and welding equipment. Staff have maintained older machinery to good order and these machines work effectively. These facilities help to provide a good working environment and prisoners gain skills in using the machinery.

Ethos and Values

7.26 Discipline is good and there is mutual respect between prisoners and staff. Prisoners appreciate the approach that staff take to making learning more contextualised, relevant and theme based where prisoners can move across different classes during their time in education or training. However, in a few cases, prisoners are unclear about what they are learning and how to track their achievements across these different thematic and project based experiences.

7.27 Out of cell activities are narrow in range and limited in number. There are few opportunities for prisoners to engage in creative arts activities such as music, drama or art. Occasionally additional events are organised for prisoners such as the comedy workshop and cartoon drawing but these are not regular features.

Quality Assurance

7.28 Learning Centre staff utilise quality assurance procedures developed by Motherwell College. There are robust approaches is place to quality assure the learning experience for prisoners. Staff have prepared a robust quality assurance report which identifies successes and areas for development with appropriate action plans. Prisoner questionnaires are used to gauge prisoner engagement with particular areas of their courses. This approach could be extended to the vocational training units. There is not yet a clear approach to the sharing of good practice within the Learning Centre and vocational training areas.


7.29 The programme of work and training helps to develop existing skills of prisoners and to provide them with new ones. The programme also includes a range of training opportunities that are relevant to the current labour market. Most prisoners have regular access to education, with the exception of LTPs, remand prisoners and prisoners serving less than four months. The education programme allows for some creativity and self-development courses. Courses in art, drama and creative writing could usefully be extended to the out of cell activities programme in evening and weekends.

7.30 Prisoners can be transferred in the middle of educational or vocational courses or just before they are due to sit a qualification. Education classes are rarely cancelled and when they are the prisoners are given a reason. Physical education appropriate to age and ability is available to all prisoners regularly.

7.31 We conducted a census at 15:00 on 25 May 2011 and again at 10:00 on 26 May 2011. The results showed that on average there are 70.4% of the population locked in their cells instead of being at an activity. This is equivalent to about 996 prisoners on a daily basis, the average population being around the 1,420 mark. The number of prisoners counted as being on an activity includes hall passmen. Excessive overcrowding is no doubt having an influence on the accessibility of constructive activity. Of particular concern is the automatic barring of LTPs from work opportunities (see paragraph 9.22). It is recommended that Management considers alternative methods for a greater number of prisoners to access purposeful activity.

8. Healthcare


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 A Primary Healthcare Service is being delivered which is equivalent to that in the community. An excellent Day Care Centre has been created for prisoners with high dependency needs. A comprehensive addictions service is being delivered. The Health Centre itself is not fit for purpose.

Admission Processes

8.2 Admission Processes. On admission to the prison all prisoners receive a physical, mental health, addictions and ACT2Care assessment in the Health Centre. All prisoners are asked if they have any health issues and are given a healthcare information booklet. Escort staff also provide the doctor and nurse with a report which details relevant healthcare information about the prisoner.

8.3 Healthcare admission processes work well.

Physical Environment

8.4 The Health Centre. The Health Centre provides a mainly administration function as the majority of care is provided in rooms within the Halls and in the Addictions Unit. This is because the design of the Health Centre does not lend itself to providing a full service. It consists of administration rooms, a kitchen, toilet, nurses station, healthcare records storage area, meeting room, changing area, waiting room, consultation room, dental surgery, treatment room, pharmacy and a selection of rooms for the healthcare teams and the doctor.

8.5 The healthcare rooms within the Halls are decorated and equipped to a high standard. They were very clean and Infection Control Audits are carried out on a weekly basis.

The Day Care Unit

8.6 Day Care Unit. Above the Health Centre is a Day Care Unit. This consists of an activity room; a computer room; a room used for playing pool and doing jigsaws; a therapy room; and a clinic. The majority of prisoners attending the Day Care Unit are from the High Dependency Unit, although it is available to all prisoners. The majority of referrals come from the Mental Health Team. The unit is staffed by three officers who have completed the necessary training.

8.7 There is a variety of services on offer within the unit: relaxation, yoga, heart start training, basic first aid, drama, crafts, exercises, education sessions, head massage and computer work. There is also a good selection of external agencies who provide these services. These include Therapet, HOPE, Theatre Nemo, Lifeline and The Shannon Trust.

8.8 The Day Care Unit is an area of good practice.

Healthcare Team

8.9 Staffing. The Healthcare Team comprises a Healthcare Manager, four Clinical Managers and 24 Primary Care Nurses, three Mental Health Nurses, nine Addiction Nurses, two Healthcare Assistants, two Pharmacy Assistants, and three Filing Clerks. There is presently one vacancy for a Primary Care Nurse and one Filing Clerk.

8.10 Nursing cover is available 24 hours each day: the only SPS prison to provide this.

8.11 Staff have accessed Continuous Professional Development which has allowed an expansion of the services on offer.

Primary Healthcare

8.12 The Service. A Primary Healthcare Service is being delivered which is equivalent to that in the community.

8.13 Clinics. A variety of clinics are available: Well Persons, Sexual Health, BBV, Asthma, Diabetes, Tissue Viability, Chronic Disease Management and Smoking Cessation. These clinics are well attended and staff are fully trained to deliver them.

8.14 The 'Well Person Clinic' is a new initiative replicating the 'Keep Well Service' provided in the community. This clinic provides a holistic healthcare screening for prisoners with follow up and ongoing referrals in place. A nurse delivers this clinic on a full-time basis. The service is advertised throughout the prison. On average, 40 patients are seen every week. This is an area of good practice.

8.15 Medical Services. Medical Services are provided by MEDACS. Three doctors provide a service seven days a week.

8.16 Emergencies. Emergency cases are seen on the same day and an appointments system is in place for all others. Prisoners are seen in the Healthcare rooms within the Halls or in the Addictions Centre.

Mental Health Services

8.17 Staffing. There is one full-time and two part-time Mental Health Nurses in post. All three are Registered Mental Nurses. The majority of their work is crisis intervention and referral to other agencies. Due to the limited resource in the teams, there is no capacity to do intense mental health work. There are on average 50 referrals to the team each week. In 2010, 23 prisoners were sectioned under The Mental Health Care and Treatment (Scotland) Act 2003. Between January-May 2011 there were 14. Given the number of prisoners with mental health problems consideration should be given to increasing the size of the Mental Health Team.

8.18 Medical provision for mental health is provided by four psychiatrists from the Rowenbank Clinic. They provide a service on Tuesday and Friday mornings.

8.19 A Multidisciplinary Mental Health Team ( MDMHT) met once a week until recently. However, the structure has been changed and the meetings are now incorporated within the RMG meeting. This should be reviewed.

Other Services

8.20 Dentist. A dentist and dental nurse provide five sessions each week, Monday to Friday. On average 70 patients are seen each week. Waiting times are between 8-10 weeks. Prisoners regularly complained to inspectors about these waiting times. There is no dental hygienist in place.

8.21 The dental suite lacks space and necessary equipment. Treatment of patients and decontamination are undertaken within the same room. This should be addressed.

8.22 Optician and Podiatrist. The optician attends fortnightly and sees 12 patients. There is no waiting list, although it was noted that some prisoners received new reading glasses from the Chaplains. The podiatrist also attends fortnightly and sees 12 patients and there is no waiting list.

Pharmacy and Medication

8.23 Service. The pharmacy service is provided by Lloyds Pharmacy. A pharmacist is on site 25 hours each week. The Contract covers advice on storage of medicines; administration and handling of drugs; and reviews of pharmacy financial reports.

8.24 Dispensing. All medications are administered in the Halls or in the Addiction Nurses' Unit. At the time of inspections there were 751 prisoners receiving supervised medications, including 403 on methadone.

8.25 Storage. Medicines are stored and administered in line with current legislation.


8.26 Services. The Addictions Service is delivered by three different teams: Additions Nurses, Additions Officers and Phoenix Futures who have a close working relationship.

8.27 Dispensing. Additions Nurses administer methadone and Subutex on a daily basis. This takes two Addiction Nurses and two Health Care Assistants the majority of the day. They also deliver a fortnightly Addictions Clinic, a BBV clinic and a Dual Diagnosis Clinic. All prescriptions for methadone are confirmed with the community prescriber before being initiated within the prison.

8.28 Programmes. The 10 Addictions Officers provide a range of addictions courses in the Addictions Unit: First Steps, SROBP, Alcohol Awareness and Positive Relationships. They also carry out urine testing for illicit substances.

8.29 Phoenix Futures. Phoenix Futures comprises one Team Leader, one Senior Practitioner and 3.5 drugs workers. They work in the Halls and in the Addiction Centre, and receive approximately 60-80 referrals each month. They deliver a range of services including harm reduction, smoking cessation, one-to-one work, alcohol education and pre-release work.

8.30 Testing. Prevalence tests in February 2011 indicated that on admission, 82.1% of prisoners tested positive for illicit substances. On liberation, 10.28% of prisoners tested positive. Between the three teams, there is a comprehensive Addictions Service being delivered.

9. Reintegration


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 and Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements work very well. The prison is actively involved with community based organisations with a focus on engaging prisoners, developing skills and addressing needs and issues. The Links Centre works very well, and arrangements for preparing prisoners for release are very good.

Integrated Case Management

9.2 Staffing. Integrated Case Management in Barlinnie is, for the most part, provided by one first line manager, two full-time and one part-time members of staff, supported by administration services, social work services and limited hall-based input. All ICM Unit staff are trained in Risk and Needs and all but one are qualified to administer SA07 risk assessments. Good working relationships with Community Based Social Work and the Offender Management Unit ( OMU) within Strathclyde Police Force are in place. Evidence of high levels of information sharing between the prison and the police officers in the OMU is in place and a work experience exchange scheme between these two groups is an area of good practice.

9.3 Training. There is no Personal Officer Scheme in operation in Barlinnie. An alternative proposal is being considered whereby three or four identified case co-ordinators, reporting directly to the ICM manager, will take on the majority of the workload and an additional 60 staff who, once trained in report writing, will be expected to provide the relevant reports required for ICM While the absence of a Personal Officer Scheme is in contradiction to the guidance issued by SPS, the identification of a training need to address poor report writing skills and the provision of targeted training through bespoke interventions from Strathclyde Caledonian University to address that need is an area of good practice.

9.4 Enhanced Cases. At the time of the inspection, Barlinnie was operating 220 live ICM cases made up of long-term enhanced cases, all those convicted of a sexual offence and those subject to supervision.

9.5 Processes. From the sample of ICM files reviewed, all LTPs and STPs requiring statutory supervision had action plans which were generated from the ICM case conferences. Monitoring on the whole however tended to be undertaken by the case co-ordinators as opposed to personal officers. No generic assessment process is being operated, although needs and risks were generated and action plans included referrals for programmed activity. Referrals were being recorded on the CIP screen on PR2 and there was also evidence that case co-ordinators were recording annual updates.

9.6 Case Conferences. Records show that from the 295 ICM case conferences which took place last year, 41 were initial conferences, 70 were due to recall, 11 were annual conferences and 173 were for the purpose of the pre-release. Of the 295, 47 had no representation from Community Based Social Work, one prisoner declined to attend and 22% of the conferences had family member representation. This latter statistic is much higher than the SPS average. ICM staff report that family attendance at Case Conferences is promoted by Family Contact Officers, Prison Based Social Work and case co-ordinators.

9.7 Facilities. Despite being located in a Portacabin, facilities and resources for the ICM unit are adequate. Office accommodation is basic and a case conference facility including access to video conference equipment is accessible.

9.8 Observation of a Case Conference. A Integrated Case Management pre-release case conference was observed. In attendance were the case co-ordinator, the prisoner, his prison-based social worker, his supervising officer from the community based social work authority into which the prisoner would be released, a police officer from the offender management unit and a prison administrator. The case co-ordinator took responsibility for managing the conference. The subject of the Case Conference was a sex offender and considerable time was spent ensuring that he understood the conditions of a Sexual Offences Prevention order ( SOPO) which was in force and that he was made fully aware of the consequences of breaching any of its conditions.

9.9 The following areas were also covered:

  • Increased levels of risk
  • Accommodation
  • Employment
  • Development of pro-social supports
  • Relationships with partners and friends who are registered sex-offenders
  • Registration [sex offender register]
  • MAPPA - process, management plan and proposed supervision level

9.10 The case co-ordinator managed the Case Conference well and despite facing some hostility from the prisoner, remained calm and displayed a professional attitude at all times. He was very knowledgeable about the process and the prisoner's case work.

9.11 Overall, the Integrated Case Management processes work very well.

Risk Management

9.12 Groups. The Risk Management Team ( RMT) meets every fortnight. The ICM process also sends prisoners with particular needs to the RMT. Referrals include those with persistent challenging behaviour, those who are not suitable for routine programme delivery, Order for Lifelong Restriction ( OLR) and longer term Rule 94.

9.13 OLR. At the time of the inspection there were two prisoners held under the conditions of OLR, there were seven Rule 94s, and a number of short-term sex offenders who will be subject to MAPPA supervision requirements.

9.14 Processes. No files were taken to the RMT meeting. This is a major consideration following the investigations, assurance review and the Government's response to 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 Risk Management Team meetings are improved.

Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements

9.15 In the period 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011 Barlinnie made 102 referrals to Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements ( MAPPA) co-ordinators. Of that number, 28 were recommended for level 1, 70 for level 2 and 4 for level 3 (for the most serious offenders).

9.16 The MAPPA arrangements in place in Barlinnie had been the subject of an audit by a senior SPS Operational auditor only a few weeks prior to the inspection and had attracted a 'Substantial Assurance' rating. The findings of the Inspectorate fully support this position.

9.17 Observation of the systems for identification and notification in place were robust and demonstrated compliance with timescales. Staff did however report that in some instances of level 2 or 3 referrals, the limited time available to them to manage this process resulted in difficulty in meeting the prescribed deadlines for very short-term sex offenders. Samples of cases examined in PR2 also confirmed that status indicators were applied correctly. A pre-release case conference for a sex offender, observed during the inspection, provided evidence of excellent partnership working (see paragraph 9.8). For a short-term establishment, with no Personal Officer Scheme in place, MAPPA works very well.

Home Detention Curfew

9.18 Numbers. At the time of inspection there were 62 prisoners on Home Detention Curfew.

9.19 Eligibility. The system for identifying prisoners who are eligible for HDC is robust and fair. An initial list of prisoners 16 weeks away from the eligibility date is drawn from PR2 every week. There is good communication with internal partners.

9.20 Processes. One Unit Manager is responsible for making the decision in individual cases. Once the initial part of the process is completed this Manager sanctions the assessment of home circumstances by Community Based Social Work. The same Unit Manager makes the final decision once the report has been returned to the prison. Six managers have attended a 'workshop' in order to fully understand and adopt a consistent approach to HDC assessments.


9.21 Numbers. At the time of inspection there were 80 long-term prisoners in Barlinnie, 10 of whom were life sentence prisoners, 6 were lifer recalls and 29 were extended sentence recalls.

9.22 Long-Term Prisoners. Barlinnie is not well equipped to manage long-term prisoners. As no personal officer scheme is in place, needs and risk assessments and SA07 assessments for sex offenders are, in the most part, undertaken by ICM unit staff. Additionally, no generic assessment procedure is in operation, although this becomes a moot point as there are no programmed interventions available for any long-term prisoner held in Barlinnie. Long-term prisoners in Barlinnie are not allocated a place on a work party. It is recommended that arrangements are put in place to transfer long-term prisoners to a long-term establishment as soon as possible so that they can access purposeful activities more readily. Suitable arrangements for the provision of work and interventions for this group should be made for as long as they are held in Barlinnie.

9.23 The majority of long-term prisoners who are beginning their sentence in Barlinnie are transferred to a long-term establishment in advance of any Parole work beginning which means that the focus of Parole related work in Barlinnie is on Life sentence recalls and extended sentence recalls. The number of parole cases Barlinnie took responsibility for rose from 55 in 2008 to 140 in 2010. At the time of inspection the establishment was managing 36 parole cases.

9.24 A Unit Manager takes on the additional roles of Lifer Liaison Officer, Early Release Liaison Officer, Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements Co-ordinator and SPS representative at Parole Board Tribunals.

9.25 Recalled Prisoners. There is evidence that the LLO/ ERLO and the ICM Manager meet with every recalled prisoner and discuss their future management plan. A dossier is opened and information relating to the reasons for the recall, any assessment or work completed since returning to custody and the outline management plan are gathered and included. This is then passed to the Parole Unit.

9.26 The ICM Manager arranges for a recall case conference to take place and, if necessary, will prepare information for the Deputy Governor who will chair a Risk Management Team meeting as part of the prisoners ongoing risk management.

9.27 Information. Information held in Parole dossiers and on PR2 was checked and found to be in order.

9.28 There was no evidence of the availability of any written information regarding Parole for the prisoners or their families.

9.29 The Parole Administrator was interviewed and was able to describe the pertinent processes and provide examples of relevant prisoner records at key stages in the Parole process.

Interventions to Address Offending Behaviour

9.30 Delivery. Barlinnie does not have a dedicated Programmes Team. Programmes are delivered by trained staff as part of their main duties. The rooms used to deliver programmes are fit for purpose.

9.31 Assessment of Need. Barlinnie does not carry out the SPS generic assessment of need and delivery is therefore driven by targets rather than assessed need. Barlinnie should deliver programmes based on the SPS generic assessment.

9.32 Programmes Delivered. The following programmes were delivered during 2010-2011:

Target Completed
Constructs 24 26
Rolling STOP 14 14
Controlling Anger Regulating Emotions 21 22
Alcohol Awareness 30 31
Substance Abuse 14 14
First Steps 35 40

Community Partnerships

9.33 Links with the Community. The prison has developed excellent links with a wide range of community based organisations. Some of these visit the prison on a daily basis: Job Centre Plus, Routes Out Of Prison ( ROOP), Glasgow City Council Housing Unit, Phoenix Futures. Others visit on a regular basis: Parkhead Citizens Advice Bureau, Families Outside, Hope, Ayrshire Housing, Renfrewshire Council Homelessness Partnership.

9.34 The prison organises 'Partnership Meetings' and invites organisations to the establishment to discuss issues relating to working together and delivering services to prisoners. The last meeting was held some time ago but invitations had been sent out for another. This is an area of good practice.

9.35 Links Centre. Much of the work is carried out within the Links Centre although some agencies base themselves in the Employability Unit or go directly to the Halls (such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous). The Links Centre is fairly small and compact and if a space for interviews cannot be found there, every effort is made to find a room elsewhere. The Links Centre works with all categories of prisoners on a needs basis, but in reality most of the need comes from short-term prisoners. The issues most commonly dealt with are related to housing, debt, violence and addictions.

9.36 Initiatives. Barlinnie has been very proactive in developing links with arts based organisations. The Mitchell Library has been involved in events at Halloween and Christmas providing opportunities for families to participate in creating and designing various items. The 'Inspiring Change' initiative run by Citizens Theatre Project facilitated a major initiative whereby prisoners designed the set for, and performed in, four events. This was considered a major success and involved prisoners who would not normally have engaged in more routine educational activities. Representatives from the prison also visit local schools and community groups to explain its work.

9.37 Overall, the prison is actively involved with community based organisations, with a focus on engaging prisoners, developing skills and addressing needs and issues.

Preparation for Release

9.38 Arrangements. The arrangements for preparing prisoners for release are very good. For a prisoner serving less than six weeks, the preparations start during induction. The core screen identifies issues which are then dealt with. Prisoners are given access to JobCentrePlus to ensure that issues around benefits are addressed. Travel warrants are also arranged.

9.39 For all other prisoners, both short-term and long-term (including sex offenders), release arrangements start being made six weeks before liberation. Weekly checks of PR2 are made to identify prisoners who are due to be released in six weeks time. At this point Community Integration plans are reviewed and an interview takes place during which a comprehensive checklist is completed. This highlights issues relating to housing, social work, addictions, family and benefits. The Citizens Advice Bureau and Hope are also involved.

9.40 Prisoners are interviewed by Routes Out Of Prison if necessary and a list of prisoners seen by external agencies is given to the release officer who will update the Community Integration Plan and take appropriate action. A pre release survey is also carried out to identify individual needs. The pre release process can be tailored towards specific needs.

9.41 A pre release officer post is covered by a small pool of seven to eight officers on a rota basis. This post is covered Monday to Friday. There is also a dedicated pre release office based in the Links Centre. Arrangements for preparing prisoners for release are an area of good practice.

10. Good Practice

10.1 A booklet has been produced showing pictures of canteen items, with the goods being described in 10 different languages (paragraph 2.62).

10.2 There are several information DVDs in different languages along with a TV and DVD player for prisoners to use in their cells in the first Night in Custody Centre (paragraph 3.26).

10.3 The operation of the First Night in Custody Centre (paragraph 3.28).

10.4 The PowerPoint presentation used during induction (paragraph 3.29).

10.5 The induction documents with Frequently Asked Questions and common phrases translated into nine different languages (paragraph 3.31).

10.6 The weekly audits of the ACT process, paperwork, assessments, quality of information recorded and care planning (paragraph 3.41).

10.7 The arrangements for development training for staff (paragraph 3.54).

10.8 The prison runs the Positive Parenting Programme (paragraph 5.6).

10.9 The Chaplaincy run project 'Faith in Throughcare' which helps former prisoners with the transition from custody to community (paragraph 6.13).

10.10 The Chaplains hold family services twice a year in the prison (paragraph 6.15).

10.11 Complaints from prisoners are audited by the Deputy Governor and results are fed back through Unit Managers and First Line Managers (paragraph 6.27).

10.12 The opportunities for prisoners on the National Progression Award in Construction to develop vocational skills and gain self confidence (paragraph 7.12).

10.13 The Day Care Unit (paragraph 8.8).

10.14 The 'Well Person Clinic' (paragraph 8.14).

10.15 The high levels of information sharing between the prison and the Strathclyde Police Force Offender Management Unit and a work experience exchange scheme between the two (paragraph 9.2).

10.16 The identification of a training need to address poor report writing skills and the provision of training through bespoke interventions from Strathclyde Caledonian University to address the lack of a Personal Officer Scheme (paragraph 9.3).

10.17 The 'Partnership Meetings' between community based organisations and the prison (paragraph 9.34).

10.18 The arrangements for preparing prisoners for release (paragraph 9.41).

11. Recommendations

For SPS Headquarters

11.1 In the light of Low Moss opening in 2012, SPS should review the long-term future of Barlinnie and then plan and implement the re-development of the prison as soon as possible (paragraph 1.2).

11.2 Given the poor physical conditions and the large number of prisoner movements, a new Reception facility should be created as a matter of priority (paragraph 3.24).

11.3 Child protection training for SPS staff should be provided (paragraph 3.55).

For the Establishment

11.4 The 'safer cells' in 'C' Hall should be upgraded to full 'anti-ligature cells' (paragraph 2.31).

11.5 The time between visitors booking in for a visit and the visit starting should be reduced (paragraph 5.8).

11.6 Management should consider alternative methods for a greater number of prisoners to access purposeful activity (paragraph 7.31).

11.7 The processes for Risk Management Team meetings should be improved (paragraph 9.14).

11.8 Arrangements should be put in place to transfer long-term prisoners to a long-term establishment as soon as possible, so that they can access purposeful activities more readily. Suitable arrangements for the provision of work and interventions for this group should be made for as long as they are held in Barlinnie (paragraph 9.22).

12. Action Points

12.1 Prisoners in 'A' Hall should be in no doubt about when they can clean their cells (paragraph 2.16).

12.2 Prisoners in 'A' Hall should be in no doubt about when they can have a shower (paragraph 2.16).

12.3 Weatherproof clothing should be available if prisoners wish to exercise outdoors in bad weather (paragraphs 2.17, 2.25, 2.39).

12.4 Prisoners in 'B' Hall should have access to a shower every day (paragraph 2.20).

12.5 The effectiveness of the telephone hoods in blocking external noise should be examined (paragraphs 2.23, 2.47).

12.6 Consideration should be given to increasing out of cell time on purposeful activity for prisoners in 'B' Hall (paragraph 2.26).

12.7 Consideration should be given to increasing out of cell time and access to activities for all prisoners in 'D' Hall (paragraph 2.37).

12.8 The communal areas in Letham Hall should be refurbished (paragraph 2.50).

12.9 The criteria for access to Letham Hall should be reviewed with a view to allowing the transfer of prisoners with a disability (paragraph 2.51).

12.10 More positive staff/prisoner interaction should be encouraged in Letham Hall (paragraph 2.52).

12.11 Formal qualifications should be offered to prisoners working in the laundry (paragraph 2.65).

12.12 The process of returning small laundry bags from the laundry to the halls should be reviewed (paragraph 2.67).

12.13 Prisoners should be issued with decent denim trousers (paragraph 2.68).

12.14 Local Incident Management Training should take place (paragraph 3.5).

12.15 CCTV coverage should be upgraded as soon as possible (paragraph 3.7).

12.16 The conditions in the Reception cubicles should be improved (paragraph 3.13).

12.17 Interview room doors should be kept closed when conducting sensitive interviews in Reception (paragraph 3.14).

12.18 All prisoners should be searched via the BOSS chair and a strip search as soon as possible after escort handover (paragraph 3.15).

12.19 Prisoners should be offered a shower during the reception process (paragraph 3.20).

12.20 A record of senior management property checks in Reception should be maintained (paragraph 3.22).

12.21 Staff should encourage prisoners to engage in purposeful activities as a means for personal progression and progression within the prison (paragraph 3.35).

12.22 All permanent night duty staff should hold a first aid qualification (paragraphs 3.47 and 3.52).

12.23 Training Committee meetings should be held on a regular basis (paragraph 3.53).

12.24 Personal evacuation plans should become standard practice for disabled prisoners (paragraph 4.13).

12.25 The standard of prisoners' visitor searches should be improved, and visitors should not be searched in full view of other visitors (paragraph 4.15).

12.26 The Family Contact Officers should move from a focus on prisoners to a focus on families (paragraph 5.4).

12.27 Visit staff should make more effort to update visitors on changes or delays to visits (paragraph 5.8).

12.28 Prisoners should be offered a copy of the Prison Rules and offered assistance during disciplinary hearings (paragraph 6.8).

12.29 There should be more independent representation on the Independent Complaints Committee (paragraph 6.28).

12.30 Orderly Room paperwork should be considered as a matter of course (paragraph 6.29).

12.31 The visibility of television screens in the cells in the Segregation Unit should be reviewed (paragraph 6.33).

12.32 Education should be joined up with the broader work of the prison in the workshops and elsewhere (paragraph 7.4).

12.33 Education classes should be better promoted in the Halls (paragraph 7.4).

12.34 Long-term prisoners, remand prisoners and convicted prisoners serving less than four months should have access to education classes (paragraph 7.4).

12.35 The conditions in, and fabric of, the main gymnasium should be improved (paragraph 7.8).

12.36 Prisoners should be able to shower before leaving the gym (paragraph 7.8).

12.37 The stock of books in the library should be updated and the library itself should be brightened up (paragraph 7.9).

12.38 Prisoners who have signed up for education classes should not miss out on the opportunity because Hall staff fail to unlock them (paragraph 7.18).

12.39 Prisoner questionnaires should be used to gauge prisoner engagement with the vocational training units (paragraph 7.28).

12.40 A clear approach should be taken to the sharing of good practice within the Learning Centre and vocational training areas (paragraph 7.28).

12.41 Consideration should be given to increasing the size of the Mental Health Team (paragraph 8.17).

12.42 The incorporation of the Multidisciplinary Mental Health Team into the Risk Management Group meeting should be reviewed (paragraph 8.19).

12.43 The treatment of patients and decontamination should not take place in the same room in the dental suite (paragraph 8.21).

12.44 Written information regarding Parole should be available for prisoners and their families (paragraph 9.28).

12.45 Barlinnie should deliver interventions to address offending behaviour based on the SPS generic assessment (paragraph 9.31).

Annex 1 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


Annex 2 Inspection Team

Hugh Monro - HM Chief Inspector

Margaret Brown - Deputy Chief Inspector

David McAllister - Assistant Chief Inspector

Mick Armstrong - Inspector

John Carroll - Associate Inspector

Adrian Clark - Associate Inspector

Sandra Hands - Associate Healthcare Inspector

Peter Connelly - Education Adviser

Donnie Macleod - Education Adviser