Review of Mental Health Services at HMP YOI Polmont

Friday, 18 January 2019

In accordance with Section 7(2)(d) of the Prisons (Scotland) Act 1989, the Cabinet Secretary for Justice can instruct Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland (HMCIPS) “to investigate specific matters connected with prisons or prisoners which have been referred to the Chief Inspector by the Scottish Minister”.

In accordance with the relevant Act, the Chief Inspector received a request from the Cabinet Secretary instructing HMIPS to undertake an investigation of the provision of mental health services for young people entering and in custody at HMP YOI Polmont.

A leading child and adolescent psychiatrist will oversee the review, Consultant Forensic Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Dr Helen Smith will work closely with the HMIPS and others to review support for young people in Polmont.

Dr Smith, clinical lead for West of Scotland Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service and Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer at the University of Glasgow, brings extensive experience of work to improve the mental health of young people in secure care.

The agreed scope and terms of reference of the review are attached.  The review will consider arrangements including:

  • The background information available to the Scottish Prison Service ahead of admission
  • Reception arrangements on entry
  • Ongoing support and supervision while in custody