HMIPS Approach to Covid-19

Thursday, 26 March 2020

A core part of our work is to inspect Scotland’s prisons, court custody provision and court custody vans. Given the situation, we have postponed all routine inspections and will carry out liaison visits on a risk assessed, essential visit basis only.  We will consider conducting a visit when we believe the urgency to visit outweighs our precautions related to the coronavirus.  We will ensure that any postponed visits are rearranged in due course. 

The other core part of our work is to monitor Scotland’s prisons via our volunteer Independent Prison Monitors. Following the latest guidance from the government, from 24 March we are suspending, with immediate effect, all independent prison monitoring duties within the establishments until further notice.  However, we are in the process of developing a remote monitoring framework, and a series of risk assessed liaison visits to prisons.