Prison - Full Inspection Report

Executive Summary

HM INSPECTORATE OF PRISONS: Report on HM Prison Inverness

October 2004

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ANNEX 1:Sources of Evidence

ANNEX 2:Inspection Team

HM INSPECTORATE OF PRISONS: Report on HM Prison Inverness

The Scottish Ministers

In accordance with my terms of reference as HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland, I forward a report of a full inspection carried out at HMP Inverness between 16-20 August 2004.

Two recommendations and a number of other observations are made.

A R C McLELLAN signature


HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland

October 2004

HM INSPECTORATE OF PRISONS: Report on HM Prison Inverness


1.1 Relationships between staff and prisoners form one of the most substantial elements of consideration during any inspection. Occasionally reports do raise questions or suggest weaknesses: but in nearly every prison in Scotland prisoners are treated with respect and consideration. In some prisons the level of respect and consideration is high: Inverness is certainly one of them. Staff take pride in the professional manner in which prisoners are treated, prisoners welcome the humane way in which they are treated. Throughout the inspection no one questioned this view of relationships. Indeed one prisoner who was to be married invited a prison officer to be his best man.

1.2 The Visiting Committee identified overcrowding as the most serious issue confronting Inverness prison (as did several members of staff and some prisoners). The Inspectorate agrees with this assessment. Inverness is always one of Scotland's most overcrowded prisons and regularly the most overcrowded. "Overcrowding makes things worse for prison managers, for prison staff and for prisoners": that sentence has appeared in an unhappy number of inspection reports. In July 2003 the prisoner population at Inverness peaked at 167: this is overcrowding of 55%. The prison is designed to hold 108 prisoners. The prison is contracted by SPS to have 160 prisoners: which is contracting for 48% overcrowding

1.3 This report identifies real strengths in Inverness. Food, healthcare, learning opportunities for prisoners, the laundry systems for delivering clean clothes every day, and induction/pre-release arrangements are all exceptionally good. Food is consistently rated highly by Inverness prisoners in the SPS Prison Survey: during the inspection the portions were generous, the meals were hot, and the food tasted good. Access to healthcare in the prison was assessed by Health Inspectors as "at least as good as in the community". In the learning centre the overall impression was of energy, enthusiasm and commitment. The system for induction and pre-release is remarkably well organised, recorded and audited.

1.4 The report also identifies weaknesses. All of the most serious weaknesses have been identified in previous reports. Some little progress has been made with regard to one of them at least. Last year's report drew attention to the relatively empty day of prisoners convicted of sex offences and other vulnerable prisoners and suggested that the prison should find a realistic way of offering prisoners the opportunity to take part in activities with a reasonable expectation of safety. This report welcomes such steps as have been taken, but these steps are still small. Meanwhile, this report raises the same issue with regard to the provision of an adequate regime for women prisoners.

1.5 Other weaknesses identified before remain. The absence of recent investment in Inverness is noticeable in the Visit Room and in Reception. The visit room is very small, has no real facilities for children and offers no opportunity for visitors (many of whom travel long distances) to have any refreshment more than a cold drink from a machine. In the SPS Prisoner Survey Inverness prisoners generally express "approval" ratings much higher than the Scottish average: the great exception is in connection with visits. It is clear that the reason behind their dissatisfaction with visit arrangements is the inadequacy of the Visit Room. The Report for 2003 said of the Reception Area Nothing has changed in the last year …. There is urgent need to improve the holding area for prisoners, the interviewing facilities for operational and nursing staff, storage facilities, showering facilities, toilet facilities and almost all other aspects of the reception process. Nothing has changed in the last year.

1.6 Inverness is a "local prison" in a Scottish Prison Service sense: it takes prisoners from a specific geographical area. It is also, and increasingly, a "local prison" in a more general sense: it sees itself as part of its local community and has good links with its local community. To put Inverness prison "on the map" has been an objective of the Governor: the Report provides evidence of good community links in areas as diverse as healthcare, learning and addictions. These good community links were well known to the Visiting Committee, and considered very valuable by them.



2.1 Inverness has a cell design capacity of 108. It holds adult untried and adult convicted prisoners serving less than four years. In addition the prison can hold remand prisoners under the age of 21, and a small number of long-term prisoners either awaiting transfer to a long-term prison or because of their particular circumstances. There is also a small female unit which holds untried or short-term convicted adult prisoners and also women under the age of 21. The average population was 158 in June 2004 (46% above design capacity).

Accommodation and Routines

2.2 There are six residential units and two separate cells in an annex adjacent to 'B' Hall.

'A' Hall

2.3 'A' Hall consists of two floors, with 14 cells and one larger dormitory cell. One floor houses adult prisoners, the other remand prisoners under the age of 21. There is cell sharing throughout. The hall can hold up to 32 prisoners. On the first day of inspection there were 26 prisoners.

2.4 Facilities are good. Most cells have been recently decorated and are bright and reasonably spacious. There are three showers. All cells have toilet cubicles and in-cell power. There is a video/DVD channel and a film is piped into all cells during the evening. The in-cell power is switched off at 1.30 am Monday to Friday and remains on for 24 hours Saturday and Sunday.

2.5 In comparison to some other remand units there is a reasonable amount of activity in 'A' Hall. Prisoners can attend outside exercise, education, recreation and the gym every day.

2.6 During the day all prisoners attend recreation together in the 'B' Hall recreation room. In the evening only one floor can attend recreation at a time while the others are locked up. The reason given was that there is not as much to do in 'A' Hall where evening recreation takes place. Management should improve recreation facilities in 'A' Hall and consider allowing all prisoners out of their cells in the evenings.

2.7 The hall has one telephone, located in an old refurbished, red 'BT' telephone box. It is a very striking feature and helps to block out background noise.

'B' Hall

2.8 'B' Hall has three floors with 44 normal cells and 2 observation cells. There is cell sharing throughout. The hall holds local short-term prisoners, long-term prisoners, remand prisoners if 'A' Hall is full, and a small number of vulnerable prisoners (some sex offenders and some non-sex offenders). The maximum capacity is 88. There were 78 prisoners in the hall on the first day of inspection.

2.9 All cells have toilet cubicles and in-cell power. As in 'A' Hall the power is switched off at 1.30am. There are showers on the bottom and middle floors and although they were rather threadbare they were clean and functional. Overall, the hall is very clean and tidy, but is starting to look worn. There is a bid in place for funds for refurbishment.

2.10 Recreation is provided in a room adjacent to the hall. Facilities include pool, table tennis, darts and a library. There are two telephones in the recreation room and another in the hall. They are all in red telephone boxes.

2.11 Inverness does not feel it requires a protection unit in the prison. However, the way in which the vulnerable prisoners are managed in 'B' Hall makes it very apparent that they are on protection. Recently introduced activities include access to the gym; helping out in the gardens; cleaning the hall; 'chaplains hour'; and access to education.

'C' Wing

2.12 'C' Wing has nine single and one double cells. It has a capacity of 11 and the population on the day of inspection was 11. The wing houses prisoners assessed as suitable for progression from 'B' Hall. It provides the best accommodation in the prison. The cells are comfortable and prisoners are able to personalise them to a certain degree. There is a lounge area with soft seating, a pool table, board games and a small kitchen with a microwave oven and a toaster.

2.13 All cells have integral sanitation and electric power. The power is turned off at 1.30 am. A new shower room has been recently installed. The only criticism which prisoners had was that there were no telephones and if they want to make a call they have to ask to be taken through to the 'B' Hall recreation area. This can be inconvenient as staff are not always available to let them through. A telephone should fitted in 'C' Wing.

2.14 As a result of their enhanced status, prisoners in 'C' Wing have access to the better jobs in the prison and most are involved in education and gym work. During the day the wing is empty and unsupervised because everyone is out at one activity or another.

'D' Wing

2.15 'D' Wing is located outside the internal secure perimeter of the prison. It houses only prisoners assessed as suitable for that location. There are four single and two double cells giving a design capacity of eight. Seven prisoners were living there on the day it was inspected.

2.16 Prisoners have access to the community on work or educational placements. Links with the community are excellent and some prisoners who had started whilst in 'D' Wing had subsequently taken up a position with the same employer on liberation. Prisoners in 'D' Wing are also allowed weekend leaves where they meet friends or family for up to two hours in the town.

2.17 Prisoners do not go into the secure part of the prison. However, they do have unhindered access to all areas within their own unit 24 hours a day. The front door of the wing is locked last thing at night.

2.18 Communal toilets and showers are located in the wing. Cells have been recently redecorated and are in reasonable conditions. There is a lack of natural light as some of the cells are located against the perimeter wall and do not have a window.

'E' Wing

2.19 'E' Wing has two single and five double cells on one floor. It has a design capacity of 12 and there were 12 prisoners living there on the day of inspection. The Wing is used to hold prisoners employed in the kitchen or in other prison cleaning jobs.

2.20 The standard of accommodation is good. Prisoners can personalise their cells to some extent. All cells have integral sanitation and in-cell power. There are two showers, one of which is suitable for a disabled person. There is also a communal toilet. The wing has its own recreation/kitchen area with a pool table and large screen television. There is a toaster and microwave oven.

2.21 Adjacent to the wing is a greenhouse and exercise yard, accessible at certain times of the day. An audible alarm linked to the cell buzzer system is located in the recreation area. During the day, when staff were undertaking cell checks in 'A' and 'B' Halls this alarm went off every 10 seconds or so for more than an hour. It would be good if some way of muting noise could be found.

Separate Cells

2.22 A small separate cell unit is located adjacent to 'B' Hall. Hall staff manage the cells when they are in use. There are two cells, a slopping out sluice, a shower and a small kitchen area.

2.23 The cells are very basic. Only one cell has a toilet; there is no in-cell power; and there are concrete plinths for beds. The cells feel cold and intimidating. Prisoners are required to slop out. Beds and toilet cubicles should be fitted . When located in the separate cells, prisoners normally receive closed visits, even if this has had nothing to do with the visitors. This practice should be reviewed.

Female Unit

2.24 The Female Unit provides accommodation for up to six women. There are three cells, all with integral sanitation. Accommodation is good if somewhat cramped. One of the cells had been recently successfully refurbished. A focus group was held with the three women living in the Unit. They reported feeling safe and that relationships with staff were excellent. Staff were more than willing to listen and try to resolve problems: there was mutual respect shown. The food was very good. There was good access to education and PE although there was an absence of meaningful work. This absence of meaningful work leads to long empty days without useful ways of spending time. The disciplinary system was said to be fair and that staff were willing to be flexible and reasonable in this capacity. The women were more positive about the quality of the visits than were the men, although the size of the visits room was again criticised.

2.25 Overall, the Unit was reported as being a very positive place to stay, emphasised by the fact that in general, family and friends lived close by.


Security and Safety

3.1 There had been no escapes since the last follow up inspection.

3.2 In 2003-04 there were two serious prisoner-on-prisoner assaults against a target of zero. There had been one serious assault in 2004-05 to date of inspection. There were seven minor prisoner-on-prisoner assaults in 2003-04 and five in 2004-05 to time of inspection. There had been one serious prisoner-on-staff assault in 2003-04 and none in the year to date. There had been one minor prisoner-on-staff assault in 2003-04 and none in the year to date.

3.3 There had been one death in custody in 2003-04 and none to date of inspection in the year to date. ACT documents were initiated on 105 occasions in 2003-04, and 12 times in year to date of inspection.

Prisoner Disciplinary System

3.4 Between 1 January and 18 August 2004, 326 charges had been dealt with through the Orderly Room. There were no reports during the week of inspection. A sample of paperwork was examined which indicated that procedures were sound and in keeping with SPS guidance.

Prisoner Complaints Procedure

3.5 The Complaints Procedure is not widely used in Inverness: in the most recent SPS Prisoner Survey, 80% of those asked said they had never used it. Of those complaints which had been made, response times and the quality of answers gave no cause for concern.

Night Duty

3.6 Night Duty Instructions in each area had been recently reviewed and were of a very high standard. Night shift staff are also trained in first aid. All staff were able to demonstrate a good awareness of emergency procedures. The introduction of a DVD/video channel has been a major success in Inverness. Prisoners can access a film during the night in addition to the normal terrestrial television channels, and this had led to a much quieter prison after lock up each evening.

Custody & Compliance

3.7 A Unit Manager is responsible for assessing the establishment's compliance to national standards. A monthly Management Information System (MIS) is produced which provides up to date information on establishment performance. The MIS is now being used to assess the new Performance Contract. Audits are carried out internally by nominated managers. The system is still developing and it is too soon to make a judgement on how effective this approach will be in improving performance.

3.8 Compliance with operating standards is high (91%). The biggest problem area is Reception: an issue highlighted elsewhere in this report.

3.9 The prison uses a "light box", (a box with a Perspex top and a strong white light), to look at incoming mail to check for items secreted between pages or under stamps. This approach has been quite successful in intercepting small amounts of drugs and is now being rolled out to other establishments. This is an area of good practice.

Anti Bullying

3.10 The SPS anti-intimidation strategy is used effectively in Inverness. Posters are displayed around the prison, and the full range of sanctions are used. The very positive relationships between staff and prisoners mean that it is easier to report cases of bullying.


3.11 Relationships between staff and prisoners were excellent. This was confirmed by prisoners and staff to whom we spoke, the latest SPS prisoner survey, and observations made during the inspection.


Levels of Drug Use

4.1 Both prisoners and staff reported that levels of drug use were low in the prison. There was very little injecting. The most commonly used drug was cannabis followed by opiates.


4.2 The prison has committed a great deal of energy to tackling the issue of drugs. Shortly before the inspection, however, they lost their Addictions Co-ordinator who had not yet been replaced. The Addictions Nurse was "covering" this post as well as continuing with her considerable health workload until a new Addictions Co-ordinator could be appointed. It is important that the prison is quick to appoint someone to lead the addictions work in the prison as there was some evidence that previous well integrated services were becoming fragmented. The Deputy Governor was overviewing the addictions process and work was in-hand to respond to the problems.

4.3 The Addiction Team is being headed temporarily by the Addictions Nurse. In addition to the Addictions Co-ordinator there are two Cranstoun drug workers; one throughcare worker funded through Criminal Justice Social Work in Highland; one throughcare worker about to begin funded by Moray Council; a transitional care case worker funded by SACRO; a prison liaison nurse funded through NHS; an Addiction nurse and an administrator.

Addiction Processes

4.4 There is clear written evidence that a care pathway, from admission through induction, assessment, treatment and preparation for release is in place. However, evidence suggests that the delivery of the service may be under pressure and some prisoners may not be receiving the full addiction treatment and care that they need.

4.5 While all team members with prisoner contact deliver one-to-one interventions based on a variety of techniques including motivational interviewing and counselling, prisoners interviewed did not feel that they were receiving counselling in the prison. While the written process suggests that prisoners would be assessed and given counselling as one option, none of the prisoners interviewed said they had received counselling.

4.6 Given the numbers and diversity of the addictions staff, it is important that they communicate effectively. For instance, it is essential that team members meet regularly to discuss policy and also to discuss complex cases and make collective decisions about priorities. However, some team members interviewed seemed uncertain about whether or not there was a regular team meeting of the addictions team. The Deputy Governor does lead such a meeting which has been reinstated recently and this is an important development.

Mandatory Drug Testing

4.7 Inverness operates a part-time MDT Unit. There are no designated MDT posts and although there are 17 members of staff trained, of which 5 are female, there are considerable problems associated with MDT. The Unit seems to be coping, but only just, and there are serious gaps. The MDT Unit meets random test requirements - in 2003-4 87% of prisoners tested negative against a target of 85% - and some suspicion and risk assessment tests are done but it clear that there is insufficient time allocated to carry out enough suspicion and risk assessment tests. While random test targets are met, this seems to be achieved by staff being flexible in covering the task.

4.8 However, it does seem that prisoners who would like to be tested to support their attempts to be drug free are not able to be guaranteed these tests, and because of the shortage of suspicion tests may be allocated jobs and progress to drug free wings without first being tested. Progression to drug free areas seems to work well in spite of this difficulty.


4.9 There were three prisoners receiving a methadone prescription at the date of inspection and in the month before the inspection there were 15 drug detoxifications and nine alcohol detoxifications.

Cranstoun Drug Services

4.10 Cranstoun are meeting their targets. However, because of pressure to meet these targets, their work at times seems directed at processing numbers rather than being able to identify and respond to prioritise and reported to particular prisoners' needs, particularly for counselling. This situation is exacerbated by the possibility that Cranstoun staff can be transferred temporarily to other prisons to cope with short-falls there. Cranstoun receive referrals through the induction process, health staff or self-referral and also through harm reduction session in the prison. They deliver Harm Reduction sessions as part of the national induction programme. Cranstoun staff identified gaps in the service if prisoners came from Moray or the Islands but felt that Highland clients received a good service. A Moray Social Worker was to start work the week following inspection which should help fill the gap for people from Moray. Cranstoun reported good links with the community through Moray Advocacy, SACRO in the Highlands and Life Styles on the Islands.

Links with the Community

4.11 The prison has very good links with the community through the appointment of staff into the prison from health and social work agencies and through good contacts with community based agencies to support prisoners when they leave. The Governor is also a member of the local Drug and Alcohol Action Teams.


4.12 Prisoners with alcohol problems receive the same care processes as those with other substance misuse problems. In addition, there is a"Sensible Drinking" programme, and AA presence in the prison.



5.1 The reception is a "traditional" design which has been replaced in most other establishments. There are four single reception cubicles for holding prisoners and one multiple cubicle, which also has a toilet. All cubicles lack natural light and ventilation. The multiple occupancy cubicle is used when possible. However, it is not fit for purpose: it is the designated smoking area and lacks mechanical or natural ventilation. While staff try to limit the time prisoners are kept in the cubicles, there are no real alternatives available given the design of the reception area generally. Nevertheless, it must be said that they are unacceptable.

5.2 Conditions generally in the reception are also inadequate. The reception was designed for a population of around 100 but has to deal with a population which is 40% more than that. There is no staff office, rather a long desk at which all business is carried out including initial interviews and the initiation of the ACT procedures. This is carried out in public and there is no opportunity for individuals to raise sensitive matters in private.

5.3 The reception has a store for prisoners' private property: this is cramped and lacks ventilation. This store also doubles as the area for medical examinations on reception and is not suitable for this purpose. Additionally, a tumble dryer has been located in this area due to lack of space elsewhere. While adequate prisoners' kit was available, there was no provision for disinfecting prison issue shoes. This should be addressed immediately.

5.4 Within the reception area, the changing cubicle is adjacent to the desk and provides only minimal screening for decency. When individuals have been searched and their personal clothing handed over, they are required to walk from the cubicle, barefoot and with only a towel for decency, across to the shower. The shower itself has no curtain. When the prisoner has showered he is required to walk, again with only a towel for decency, to a cubicle at the opposite side of the reception where prison clothing is issued.

5.5 At the time of inspection no foreign language information was on display and staff indicated that anyone presenting as a non-English speaker would be referred to the Race Relations Liaison Officer. Adjacent to the second reception cubicle there was a language identification chart on display.

5.6 Given the size of the reception there is little physical work which could be done to improve the existing layout. It is recommended that the Reception is replaced.


5.7 Induction at Inverness is excellent. The system is simple and it works. A continuing feature is that every prisoner is allocated a Personal Officer on admission to a hall. On admission to the hall, a hall file is completed. This includes a First Night Admission Checklist and a First Morning Admission Checklist. Both of these are designed to ensure that any immediate needs are dealt with. Thereafter, a Contact Sheet is maintained with an entry being completed fortnightly "or at any significant occurrence" by the Personal Officer. A check of these records showed that they are well maintained and completed to a high standard. Given the level of overcrowding in the prison, this is very impressive. The induction system is an area of good practice.

5.8 In line with the rest of the SPS, Inverness have introduced the National Induction Package. An Induction Suitability Checklist is used in conjunction with an Induction Programme Checklist to ensure that prisoners access the correct induction material and that for those who do not, the reasons are recorded. All prisoners, with the exception of those serving very short sentences or those who are assessed as unsuitable for immediate induction, (perhaps as a result of drug or alcohol withdrawal, or mental health problems), receive the full induction. This is based on the Short Term Offender Needs Assessment and Community Integration Plan (STONA/CIP). The process described above takes place. Prisoners who have served a recent sentence in the prison or who are serving very short sentence receive a one-to-one induction. Prisoners considered vulnerable, those on protection, young offenders and women are given one-to-one induction. All other prisoners attend the group induction, which occurs on Mondays and Thursdays. They are also given a one-to-one interview for assessment purposes. The STONA is completed at this stage and any initial CIP referrals made. Thereafter, the Personal Officer takes responsibility for ensuring that any referrals or other targets within the CIP are met. In turn, there is a system of audit of the CIPs by the supervisors. This is a thorough system.

5.9 There are however two drawbacks. First is the lack of a Links Centre (which exist at other prisons). This means that work is often done on an ad hoc basis, particularly by external agencies who require to use the Agent's Visits area or have their visits supervised by other members of staff. This reduces the number and flexibility of visits by external partners. The induction area which has been created provides a classroom setting for the group inductions. However, the area does not provide the range of interview facilities which would allow partner agencies to base themselves in one shared area as happens successfully at other prisons.

5.10 Secondly, six induction staff carry out this function as a secondary duty to working in the halls, but the system does not provide the degree of consistency and continuity which staff working in a dedicated unit clearly provides. In addition to normal hall duties, the induction staff require to complete and manage the STONAs and the induction programme itself, and also liaise with outside agencies. Staff are not always available to manage interviews etc., with partner agencies at the most convenient times.

Sentence Management

5.11 One officer has overall responsibility for Sentence Management. He carries this out as a secondary duty. In practice however, no Sentence Management occurs at Inverness. While SPS has a national Sentence Management Scheme for long-term prisoners, Inverness' Performance Contract allowed them until August to become compliant with Sentence Management arrangements for appropriate prisoners held within the establishment. However, at time of inspection it was not compliant. The STONA is used to assess needs and to ensure that initial referrals will be carried out.

5.12 At the time of inspection Inverness held 11 long-term and two life sentence prisoners. They were being held for a variety of reasons, including those being kept out of the system for a while and those LTPs just sentenced for whom there was no space in HMP Perth. Sometimes it was difficult to move these prisoners on which made it difficult to address some of their longer term needs. The prison accepts that it is limited in what it can do for someone serving a lengthy sentence, but neither should the contribution to offering them a different environment be underestimated. Good success had been achieved with those who had caused problems elsewhere. The key issue for the prison is getting the LTPs and lifers back into the mainstream system.

5.13 Despite these successes, it is a cause for concern that the Sentence Management Scheme, which SPS has put in place for managing long-term prisoners, is not being carried out at Inverness. On top of this, Inverness has no psychology provision to support the Scheme. It is recommended that SPS urgently reconsider the non-provision of Sentence Management to long-term prisoners being held in Inverness.


5.14 The Short-Term Offender Needs Assessment/Community Integration Plan is used with all prisoners, except those serving very short sentences. This exceeds the requirements of the SPS "Core Plus Model" and has advantages since it allows a systematic needs assessment and the creation of a Community Integration Plan which is the basis of throughcare. From the Community Integration Plan referrals are made mainly to Cranstoun, but also to those programmes and interventions provided within the prison and by partner agencies. Transitional care is managed by SACRO for the Highland area; whilst Cranstoun provides both assessments for those with addictions issues and also the national harm reduction modules within the induction programme. Issues around housing and benefits are dealt with through induction staff who liaise with the housing agency and JobcentrePlus.

5.15 Whilst Cranstoun manages the addictions function and the link with transitional care, there does not appear to be in place a clear management structure for managing throughcare. A frequent comment from those involved was that they were unaware of what other people were doing. Co-ordination was the responsibility of the Addictions Co-ordinator, however this post has not been filled on a full time basis for some time. While the various elements of throughcare appear to be working satisfactorily there is no sense of a shared process. This situation is made more difficult by the fact that Inverness does not have a Links Centre. In other prisons where there are Links Centres, the co-location of internal and external agencies does tend to provide greater clarity and focus of effort. Inverness would benefit from this approach.

5.16 For those prisoners who are identified as having needs, a range of interventions are available including Alcohol Awareness, SMART recovery (addictions); Positive Parenting; Incredible Years; Healthy Choices; Drug and Alcohol Awareness; and Alcoholics Anonymous. Additionally, Inverness has both an addictions nurse and a liaison nurse on secondment from National Health Service Highlands, Osprey House (a local addictions facility). Additionally, funding has been received for a throughcare worker to cover the Moray area.


5.17 Two weeks in advance of liberation the liberation list goes to both induction staff and to Personal Officers. This initiates the normal pre-release procedures. As part of this, the sheet is also faxed to the Police. This sheet is used as a checklist to ensure that each prisoner's CIP has been checked. This also initiates a one-to-one interview with all prisoners to ensure that liberation issues have been dealt with. The biggest issues for prisoners being discharged from Inverness are housing addictions and employment.

5.18 Prior to liberation an "Exit Interview" is carried out which includes questions about the individual's experience of being in the prison. Results are reviewed regularly by Management and this informs work in the prison. This is both innovative and good practice.


5.19 Parts of the process of escorting prisoners to court were observed and an inspector accompanied an escort to Inverness Sheriff Court. The escorts were carried out by SPS staff. On the morning of a court appearance prisoners are normally allowed enough time to shower and have breakfast before moving to the reception area. The arrangements for documentation and briefing of escorts were appropriate. The escort left on time and arrived at court in plenty of time.

5.20 The Security Manager briefed the escort staff who in turn collected the prisoner, in this case the female prisoner, directly from the female unit. Prior to departure from the prison the Security Manager checked the escort and ensured that escort staff understood procedures. The vehicle was a standard SPS mini bus; it was clean and in good repair, and was fitted with seat belts. The prisoner was escorted securely but the escort itself was conducted in a relaxed and informal manner. Due to the short duration of the escort no comfort breaks were required.


General Arrangements

6.1 Previous inspections of Inverness indicated that healthcare provision was of a high standard. In general, access to all personnel - medical, nursing, dental and others as required - is at least equal to that provided by NHS Services to the general population. Prisoners across a range of groups reported satisfaction with services and in particular with the professional approach of health care staff. That situation reported in previous inspections remains the case.

6.2 Of particular note are the efforts being made by the health centre manager, his team and visiting medical staff to maintain strong links with local health services, ensuring that for example, the prison population is included in appropriate health promotion campaigns. Similarly, efforts to address the mental health needs of prisoners via the input of external experts in for example, addictions and in stress management are impressive.

6.3 A Forensic Liaison Nurse provides sessional input to the prison, also linking to and co-ordinating with the court and the Community Psychiatric Nurse.

6.4 Sessions on Health Promotion are also open to prison staff and the prison has been awarded the Scottish Health at Work Bronze Award

6.5 The healthcare team have however, recently lost their part-time administrator, and this is having an adverse impact on the nursing team who are having to spend time on administrative duties.

Medical Care

6.6 The contract with MEDACS for medical officer cover appears to running smoothly, ensuring adequate provision of medical staff input to health services. The July 2003 inspection noted that difficulties with medical officer support for the nursing team could be circumvented by nurses being able to prescribe "over the counter" medicines; a new contract with Moss pharmacy will allow this to be introduced in the near future.

6.7 The future of medical "Out of Hours Services" is giving some cause for concern, as MEDACS have not communicated their intentions to Prison Healthcare staff.

Mental Health and Psychological Services

6.8 A clear process is in place in relation to assessing prisoners' mental health state. This is done in accordance with SPS ACT assessment processes and ensures prisoners suicide risk is assessed and agreed, and any individual identified as having a mental health problem is subsequently seen by a psychiatrist within a period of no more than seven days. Thirty five per cent of staff have not received refresher training on ACT as specified: this situation should be addressed.

6.9 The provision of psychological support and intervention is inadequate and efforts to secure psychologist support have not been successful.


6.10 The psychiatrist is contracted for one half day per week, and deals with a large number of prisoners suffering from a range of mental health problems. A good supportive network was in place within the prison, particularly amongst certain officers. There were no difficulties in getting prisoners from the halls to see the psychiatrist and in extreme circumstances, a prisoner could be seen the same day. If urgent, they would be seen at the next Monday's afternoon clinic and most were seen within two weeks. There was now access to a Community Psychiatric Nurse and there were no problems in getting prisoners to the hospital in Inverness.

6.11 However, prisoners were coming into the prison often with major crises: low in mood and depressed. Many were vulnerable due to past experiences and the issue of self-harm was often an issue. There was no clinical psychology input to the prison and this should be reviewed.

Learning and Physical Disability

6.12 Systems for identifying, assessing and addressing prisoners needs in relation to learning and/or physical disabilities are not clearly defined. This should be addressed.

Accommodation, Equipment and Support

6.13 Comments made at the July 2003 visit and elsewhere in this report regarding deficits in reception - a situation also affecting healthcare staff - are still pertinent. Emergency equipment does however appear to be appropriately labelled and sited. The dental autoclave equipment, although compliant and serviced in accordance with legislation, is outdated and inefficient, at times casing unnecessary delays in throughput. A dental decontamination survey to be carried out in the near future in SPS premises should address this issue.

6.14 The lack of sluice facilities means nursing staff are carrying out urinalysis in an area where dressing etc., also have to be carried out, brining a risk of cross infection. Management should consider installing dedicated sluice facilities.

6.15 The general reception area is used by healthcare staff to carry out initial ACT assessment. The environment is completely unsuited for this purpose and there is no designated interview area: interviews often have to be conducted in the linen cupboard.

Services for Female Prisoners

6.16 The process for ensuring access to Breast and Cervical screening for female prisoners is somewhat haphazard. If prisoners' families indicate that an appointment for screening has been received, prison staff will ensure the prisoner keeps the appointment. SPS should consider introducing a system whereby national and local screening services can be notified of female prisoners' needs in relation to these services.



7.1 Prisoners had access to a good range of learning opportunities and vocational training work parties. The provision on offer was very responsive to the needs and aspirations of prisoners. All provision was typified by an excellent atmosphere for learning and very good working relationships amongst staff and prisoners. Excellent links between almost all staff in the prison actively promoted mutual referral and more holistic approaches to the needs of each individual prisoner. Vocational and educational opportunities worked in unison, facilitated by the small size of the prison, staff commitment and attitude, and regular Regimes meetings. Very effective links to external agencies promoted continuance of learning once released. All staff demonstrated considerable energy, enthusiasm and commitment to their roles which impacted very positively on the attitude and participation of prisoners.

Learning Centre

7.2 Educational services were provided under contract by Highland Council. The learning centre was managed by a part-time Learning Centre Manager, and had three part-time teachers alongside numerous volunteers. One teacher had recently resigned, but remaining staff had coped well covering for this absence. The learning centre enjoyed a dedicated security officer, who also made a considerable contribution to learning by delivering computer training and undertaking other supportive tasks. This is an area of good practice. Current staff were experienced in the prison setting and suitably qualified. The learning centre was approved to deliver around 50 different learning modules, and enjoyed excellent links with Inverness College which facilitated prisoners accessing further learning opportunities. A Literacies Liaison Officer provided by Highland Council also delivered one-to-one literacies support through a range of volunteer tutors.

7.3 Prisoners had access to educational programmes 4.5 days per week and one evening, for 50 weeks of the year. Around 50-60 prisoners accessed education in any week. Since the last inspection visit, access had been much improved for vulnerable prisoners, with two dedicated programme times per week. Staff gave priority to prisoners with basic learning needs to ensure that they did not have to wait for provision. The waiting list for other learning programmes was also kept to a minimum by a very flexible approach to timetabling. This ensured that prisoners maintained their interest and were more likely to complete an educational programme prior to their release or transfer. However, this did reduce the time spent in learning for individual prisoners. The learning centre had exceeded its contractual learning hours target in the previous year, and was currently ahead of target in this year.

7.4 The learning centre was situated in the heart of the prison. Accommodation comprised two small classrooms and a cramped staff office. However, the learning centre had access to the prison chapel for 90% of the time. This allowed three class groups to run concurrently. Learning provision was also delivered in the halls as appropriate. The chapel was equipped with six modern PCs, whilst other classrooms were furnished appropriately. A range of books and other relevant materials were available, although the centre needed to purchase more computer-based education packages to facilitate individual learning. Staff made very good use of the accommodation available, with displays of prisoners work enhancing the learning environment. Prisoners' work was also displayed throughout the prison, which added greatly to the relaxed atmosphere overall. However, the size and range of accommodation available to the learning centre restricted the programmes that could be offered. This particularly affected vulnerable prisoners and those on remand.

7.5 All prisoners were introduced to the available range of learning opportunities through the induction process. Commendably, all new prisoners completed a basic skills assessment. This was used to devise an individual learning plan for each prisoner. The predominantly short-term nature of the prison population meant that few of these plans were reviewed. The centre offered a very good range of programmes, many of which led to nationally recognised qualifications. Of particular note was the flexible and responsive way staff dealt with prisoners' aspirations. Subject classes were structured to allow each individual to pursue their own tailored programme with tutor support. One prisoner was studying for his pilot's license. All prisoners were undertaking courses of study appropriate to their needs. Prisoners were appreciative of the programmes on offer and enjoyed their learning experience.


7.6 Vocational training opportunities were made available in one large workshop, and in the kitchen, laundry and other such areas. At present, certificated courses were available in basic joinery, electrical work, plumbing and catering. There was also a cleaning party that was not currently certificated. The prison was in the early stages of responding to the SPS inclusion policy, but a range of new vocational opportunities were just about to start. Staff were trying to ensure that VT opportunities were relevant to the labour market conditions that prisoners would encounter on release. Very good contacts had been made with local employers organisations, and as a result VT opportunities were being focused on construction and tourism. Excellent relationships existed with Inverness College which had increased the range of VT opportunities offered, and had allowed work placements and continuation of study after release.

7.7 Work areas were busy and productive, with prisoners regularly working through their tea breaks to complete a project. Relationships between staff and prisoners in all the courses were relaxed and purposeful. Staff offered individualised support to prisoners as appropriate, and referred prisoners to the learning centre to improve basic skills as required. Prisoners demonstrated great pride and ownership of their work. Presentation ceremonies were held at the end of courses, which were appreciated by prisoners. Prisoners enjoyed their vocational programmes and many believed that their experience would assist them in finding employment upon release. Staff had organised job fairs, inviting in local employers.

7.8 Accommodation used for VT programmes was suitable to its purpose. The large workshop did suffer from a high noise level, but staff and prisoners made the best use of the available space. Resources to support programmes were in good condition. Appropriate verification and validation was provided through Inverness College for all certificated programmes.


7.9 The library was in the process of relocating from a small space off the recreation room to a much more suitable room in the same area. The new location offered opportunities for expansion of the resources offered and range of possible activities. Currently, the library offered a range of books and a DVD/video library. However, some books were too old to be of interest to most prisoners. Computers were to be placed in the new room, and a full review of what was on offer was being conducted. The library was run by a libraries passman, with oversight from an SPS officer. The officer had limited time to offer to the library due to his other roles, which was a particular issue at this time of review and change, but he was enthusiastic and full of ideas for the libraries development. The annual budget of 500 to update the resources available and provide consumables was insufficient to maintain an attractive resource.

7.10 All library resources were catalogued on a computer database, which helpfully provided information on usage for each book. This information was to be used in reviewing the current stock. Staff used informal contacts to decide which titles to buy. Given the current full review of library resources, this process would benefit from a more formal consultation. All prisoners had access to the library, although female and vulnerable prisoners had no dedicated access time.


7.11 In many aspects, the learning skills and employability opportunities offered in Inverness Prison provide a model for others. Artificial barriers between different prisoner opportunities had been removed, with a clear focus on the prisoner. Both staff and prisoners enjoyed their work and interaction, which contributed towards the ethos of the prison as a whole, and improved outcomes for prisoners.


Family Contact

8.1 The role of the Family Contact Development Officer (FCDO) had been developed since the last follow up inspection. Two officers were in post (in addition to other duties) and had made much progress in raising the profile of the role and in introducing new initiatives.

8.2 FCDO referral forms were in place - for use by prisoners and/or families. These had been added to the new induction package. Since the introduction of this system there had been twenty referrals, mainly related to extra visits and the difficulties experienced by visitors travelling significant distances. The FCDOs also meet with visitors to explain aspects of prison life. These meetings are focused mainly on the family/friends of prisoners serving their first sentence.

8.3 The catchment area of the prison can cause some difficulties in terms of public transport and visiting times. Convicted visits took place in the evening when buses did not always run and children were being kept up very late. To tackle this issue, the prison has organised one session for convicted prisoners on a Tuesday afternoon. The problem of keeping children out of school was being monitored.

8.4 One FCDO is also a member of the Suicide Risk Management Group and this provides additional opportunities to pick up on any problems. The second FCDO was working on an information sheet for distribution within the courts and was due to attend the three day course "The Incredible Years". Both of these are indications of the prison's links with the wider community and willingness to develop initiatives. These are areas of good practice.

8.5 As reported previously, the main concern about maintaining good family contact is the size of the visits room. This is cramped and noisy. Some toys have been purchased and visits staff try to be as flexible as possible in access to visits. All prisoners receive at least their visit entitlement and more usually more than this. There is no booking system in place for visits and this appears to work well in a small establishment such as Inverness.

Suicide Prevention

8.6 The ACT strategy is well managed. The Deputy Governor chairs the Suicide Risk Management Group, which has a broad range of members from all functions within the prison. The Samaritans also attend although it was noted that the Prisoner Listeners group did not have a representative for even part of the strategy meetings as the ACT policy recommends.

8.8 There were seven acts of self-harm in 2003-04 and six in 2004-05 to week of inspection, although three of these were attributed to the same prisoner. There had been no suicides since the last inspection.

8.9 Initial ACT assessments are undertaken in the reception. As described elsewhere in this report the facilities in Reception are unacceptable. The reception officers are ACT trained; indeed one is an ACT trainer. If there is any concern for a prisoner they relocate the interview to the health centre where facilities are more private and comfortable. This can be difficult to manage when there are several prisoners waiting to be admitted.

8.10 A very good relationship exists with the local authority forensic liaison nurse who undertakes assessments at court and advises the prison of any potential at-risk prisoners before they arrive at the prison. This is a very valuable contact for the prison, and symptomatic of the good relations between the prison and other agencies in the city and surrounding catchment area. Prison representatives regularly attend workshops, seminars and training with other agencies, as well as sharing literature and participating in conferences and other events.

8.12 A new pack has been created by the Listeners for staff, prisoners and families. It is a very informative document. The Listeners themselves are supported by the Samaritans, who see them fortnightly. Although Samaritan representatives did sometimes attend ACT strategy meetings it appeared that there was a separation between the strategic management of the ACT process and the day-to-day management of the Listeners. Feedback on general issues was not given to the co-ordinator and the impression was that the Samaritans had concerns about issues of confidentiality. This perception should be addressed.

8.13 A Case Conference for prisoners at-risk is undertaken as soon as possible. A sample of ACT paperwork was inspected and showed that the Case Conference were well attended. It was apparent that a high standard of care is exercised in this forum.

8.14 The prison has also looked into accessing supplementary training in advanced interviewing techniques for staff most in contact with vulnerable prisoners. This is an area of good practice.

8.15 ACT competence amongst staff was at 65% during inspection. The shortfall equates to 70 hours training and there are plans in place to address this.

Physical Education

8.16 As highlighted in previous inspection reports, the facilities for physical education are unsuitable for the number and type of prisoners held. The gym is small and claustrophobic, and the exercise equipment is very close together. Despite these limitations, the one full-time PEI has managed to increase activity in the gym. This has been possible by using residential staff in a part-time PE role.

8.17 A maximum of 12 prisoners can attend one of the six sessions each day. Even 12 people made the gym look very crowded. Only occasionally do prisoners get the chance to take PE in the open air. The area used for this is also unsuitable; it is a small tarmac yard with a fence around it.

8.18 Sessions in the gym are available in the evenings and at the weekends when staff from 'E' Wing are available to supervise. These are all recreational sessions and indeed only a little certificated work takes place in the gym. The approved activity "Healthy Choices" is available and 8 prisoners achieved BAWLA certification last year at levels 1, 2 and 3.

8.19 Improved gym facilities are needed. There are plans to try and link up with a local college but nothing agreed. If Inverness is expected to manage 160 men and women whose age profile is reducing year on year, then the PE facilities must be upgraded.

Social Work

8.20 The Social Work Unit comprises one full-time social worker, one part-time social worker and one part-time administrative officer as well as 100 hours managerial services per annum.

8.21 Accommodation is a small room shared by the above staff, and a social worker in training. This is not adequate but social work staff appreciate the constraints on the space in the prison. The office is located outside the prison and social work staff feel it would be better situated in the prison to meet the needs of prisoners.

8.22 Interviewing can be difficult. Rooms in 'B' Hall are used and a booking system had just started at the time of inspection. Social workers in the community have difficulty in arranging visits because of the allotted visiting times. This was being discussed with Management at the time of the visit.

8.24 The majority of the work of the prison social work department is statutory and the social work team meets its statutory requirements.

8.25 On the whole, the social work team have good communication with staff in the establishment and the regular meetings with the Deputy Governor are helpful in this respect.

8.26 Links with the community are good particularly in relation to throughcare. There are regular liaisons with a variety of agencies throughout the country in relation to a wide range of issues with prisoners, and there is some evidence of co-working with community based social workers particularly in relation to sex offenders.

8.27 A model agreement had recently been signed by the Deputy Governor and the Criminal Justice Team Manager. This agreement outlines the social work aims, the local authority manager responsibilities and the support provided by the Governor.

Approved Activities

8.28 Inverness does not run any programmes given the short-term nature of the sentences being served. Five Approved Activities had been run during the course of the year:

  • Action for Change (Drug Awareness)
  • Sensible Drinking
  • Positive Parenting
  • Healthy Choices

8.29 Sixty seven people completed an approved activity in the course of the year: well ahead of the target of 46. Plans were in place by SPS to withdraw the Sensible Drinking and Healthy Choices Activities. Two Non-Approved Activities were planned:

  • Incredible Years (a parenting course which also involves partners)
  • Alpha (a Faith Exploration activity)

8.30 Both of these are community based and it is very encouraging that the prison is adapting them for use inside. 'D' Hall prisoners will attend 'Alpha' in the community.

Race Relations

8.31 Two Race Relations Managers and two Race Relations Officers were in post. These duties were in addition to others within the prison. A Race Relations Monitoring Group has been established since the last follow up inspection, offering the more formal structure suggested at that time. The Group had met once and the minutes of the meeting recorded. It is important that this Group continues to meet on a regular basis.

8.32 There were two ethnic minority prisoners being held at time of inspection. Interpreters were available if required and translation packs and other information was available.

8.33 The Racial Incident Action Form had been used on four occasions in the past year and all of these incidents had been investigated fully and dealt with appropriately.


8.34 Over the past year there has been a marked increase in the profile of the Chaplaincy team within the prison. This has coincided with an increase in attendance at services and the Chaplains becoming involved in other work. The Chaplains have increased the amount of time they spend in the prison and they meet as a team on a monthly basis.

8.35 The Chaplaincy team consists of members from the Salvation Army, Nairn Christian Fellowship, the Roman Catholic Church, the Free Church of Scotland and the Church of Scotland. Each member of the team spoke of feeling part of a close knit and flexible group. They attributed much of the expansion in their contribution to the improvement in teamwork in the last year.

8.36 The Chaplains spoke very positively about the attitude of staff and management in making them feel central to the management of the prison. This is evidenced by the Chaplaincy having a representative on the Race Relations Monitoring Group, the Family Contact Development Team, the Mental Health Team and the Suicide Risk Management Group. They also make a point of speaking to any prisoners held in the separate cells. It was apparent in speaking to prisoners, staff and the Chaplains themselves that the Chaplains are very visible around the prison and are available to prisoners for one to one counselling or support.

8.37 Male and female prisoners are able to worship together and this is to be encouraged.

8.38 The last year has seen a significant step forward for the Chaplaincy team and it is hoped that the improvements in approach, inputs and outcomes can be maintained.

Visiting Committee

8.39 The Visiting Committee fulfils its obligations and feels well supported by management and staff.

8.40 Two matters dominated the meeting with the representatives of the Visiting Committee. Overcrowding affects much of what they see happening in Inverness. They believe that it lowers staff morale, and that it leads to prisoners being locked up more frequently and for longer periods of time. The dramatic rise in overcrowding in recent years has produced, in their view, significant changes to the prison.

8.41 The conviction of the Committee that, in spite of overcrowding, many things are well done in Inverness prisons was the other matter which emerged clearly from the meeting. In particular, they referred to food, cleanliness, and education as aspects of the prison of which they had a high opinion. They referred several times to very good relationships between prisoners and staff; and expressed their belief that fear and intimidation among prisoners would be unusual. They drew attention to the positive links which have been forged with outside agencies.

8.42 The difficulties observed by the Committee have been primarily to do with the limitations of the buildings and accommodation in the prison.

8.43 The installation of red telephone boxes in the halls has given particular pleasure to members of the Committee.


Estates and Facilities

9.1 The prison is located in the middle of a residential area near the centre of the city. It is surrounded by a high wall and space within the perimeter is at a premium. The physical constraints limit development of the site.

9.2 The buildings are old and costly to maintain. The Estates department has also been depleted for a significant period because of unfilled vacancies and sickness, so it is very pleasing to report that the establishment is maintained to a high standard.

9.3 It was apparent that an ongoing programme of redecoration and refurbishment was making a difference. The most recent work to redecorate 'D' Wing, fit a new shower area into 'C' Wing and a cell by cell refurbishment programme in 'A' Hall and 'F' Wing have had a very positive effect. A bid to refurbish 'B' Hall is currently with SPS HQ.

9.4 The establishment is realistic in what it can achieve in estate development and an exercise to prioritise outstanding work highlighted smaller projects that could be undertaken without central funding. It is disappointing that the prison has no long term development plan, although basic facilities like a new gymnasium and outdoor sports facility have been discussed.

9.5 It is clear that the Estates Department is well integrated into the overall management of the prison, and that the project management and planning skills that exist are a very useful asset to the rest of the prison. It was also apparent during inspection that estates staff have good relationships with prisoners and staff from other functions.

9.6 The Estates department still work to a Service Level Agreement but a proposed "Business Unit Contract" has been created. It sets out the scope of work undertaken, to what standard and within what timescales. It is a very detailed and useful piece of work.

Health and Safety

9.7 The Estates Manager has responsibility for co-ordinating the Management of Health and Safety and Fire Precautions. Notices promoting safe practices are posted around the prison.

9.8 In 2003-04 there were 18 reportable accidents. In the previous April-July 2004 there had been two.

Human Resources

9.9 Human Resources in Inverness is managed by the HR Manager supported by one administrator who also provides administrative support to other managers. The establishment unusually does not have a staff training/development manager. The HR Manager co-ordinates training through the generic FLM group.

9.10 Inverness received IIP accreditation for the third time in 2003.

9.11 Wednesday is the nominated training day and staff show a great deal of flexibility and commitment to training. The most recent training initiative rolled out related to the introduction of the new Prisoner Records system (PR2). This training consisted of 796 person/hours of training over a period of 2-3 months and compromised the establishments ability to maintain other competencies.

9.12 There is an acceptable level of competence across almost all core mandatory training areas. Where there are gaps the establishment has a plan to address these.

9.13 The training plan is generated from the aggregated needs identified through the appraisal system. As well as core mandatory training the establishment supports some staff personal development with a variety of external training opportunities. Examples given were in nursing, catering, addictions, domestic abuse and information technology.

9.14 Training facilities in the prison are fairly limited. A training room is located above the gate complex and it doubles up as a classroom, lecture theatre and Control and Restraint training area. There is also a Learning Resource Centre available to staff at the entrance to the prison.

9.15 Absence management is co-ordinated by the HR department and the implications of staff sickness is discussed at the morning management meeting. Thereafter the appropriate paperwork is generated from the HR department and managed by the line manager of the staff member. Paperwork is stored safely and securely in the HR office once it has been completed. The HR manager undertakes quality assurance checks.

9.16 The HR manager tends to adopt an overseeing role. He coaches and directs line managers and staff and makes sure that SPS policy is adhered to and establishment practices fit with the vision of the Governor. He is also a source of information for staff. The location of his office is crucial in allowing good access to him for staff. He also tours the prison regularly to keep abreast of any issues that may arise.

9.17 The industrial relations environment in Inverness is very positive. There is a complement of one PLR (FTE) which is shared between two POA(S) local branch officials. The PLR's are well integrated into the meetings structure and overall management activity.


9.18 Catering arrangements in Inverness are well organised. The quality, choice and size of portions are good. In the most recent SPS Prisoner Survey 82% of prisoners spoke positively about the choice available to them, 75% registered satisfaction about the size of portions and 91% were complimentary about the way in which food is served. These are very high ratings compared to some other establishments and this is to the prison's credit.

9.19 The kitchen is well appointed and very clean. Some recent refurbishment has taken place. The catering department is staffed by three officers. Their manager, whose background is in catering, also manages other prisoner activity areas. There are 10 prisoners employed on a shift basis. Prisoners who work in the kitchen live in 'E' Wing. It is clear that there is a very good sense of teamwork amongst the staff and prisoners who work in the kitchen. Prisoners who work in the kitchen are able to work toward basic catering and food hygiene qualifications.

9.20 Prisoners from the halls and wings are able to influence catering arrangements through the catering committee. This group meets regularly and each hall/wing has a prisoner representative. The meetings are facilitated by the catering manager and one of his officers also attends. Previous minutes show that this forum is used to discuss any problem areas and listen to suggestions for changes to the menu or methods of preparing or serving meals. The committee had also commissioned a survey of prisoners. The results were not published at the time of inspection.

9.21 Inverness has an advantage over some establishments. Meals for four of the six residential areas are issued from a servery immediately adjacent to the kitchen in 'B' Hall. The prisoners from each of the wings walk the short distance to 'B' Hall to collect their meal and then take it back to their own area to eat. This means that there is very little distance between the point of preparation and the point of serving. The trolleys used to transport meals to the other two areas ('D' and 'F' Wings), do a good job in retaining heat and time in the trolleys is kept to a minimum so food has less time to deteriorate. There was not an obvious difference in quality or temperature, nor was their a dramatic difference in the views of prisoners from wing to wing. Prisoners have a good opinion of the food across the whole of the prison.

9.22 Although it is very unusual for Inverness to house a prisoner with special religious dietary needs, the necessary arrangements are in place and the description given by staff as to how they would approach the situation was satisfactory. The menu system caters for any medical dietary needs. Prisoners are issued their own personal cutlery. Plates and bowls are kept centrally so that they can be steam cleaned after every meal. The catering arrangements in Inverness are excellent.


9.23 The laundry system is very well organised. The opportunity exists for all prisoners to have clean clothes and bedding at all times. The laundry facility itself has two washers and two dryers, which is more than adequate to cope with the needs of the prison. The laundry is managed by one officer and it employs four prisoners. The manager is not D32 trained, so training for prisoners is limited to practical experience. The Guild of Launderers qualification should be on offer to prisoners working in the laundry. There are plans to extend the workload by taking on work from outside the prison.

9.24 There are full kits of new or nearly new items for all admissions. All items are personalised through the use of a simple numbering system. A system of listing all personal items sent for washing is in place. This makes it a very rare occurrence for items to be lost or stolen. The laundry replaces items that are worn beyond use with new ones.

9.25 Female prisoners have their own laundry equipment and their clothes and bedding are washed and dried in the female unit.

9.26 Feedback from individual prisoners and focus groups spoke very positively about access to clean clothes. In the 2004 SPS survey 97% of prisoners said they could get clean underwear every day and 99% said they could get a clean towel every week. The laundry service offered to prisoners in Inverness is of a very high standard.


9.27 The prisoners canteen is a 'traditional shop' located in 'B' Hall Recreation Room with some limited 'bag and tag' for prisoners who have very little to spend. The shop is open on a Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and offers a wide range of goods at reasonable prices. As well as offering the opportunity to buy goods, the shop also provides a meeting place and the opportunity for prisoners to interact. It offers additional services such as 'Interflora' for special occasions and every effort is made to meet prisoners' requests.

9.28 The Inspectorate heard no complaints about the canteen and considered it to be operating effectively and offering an excellent service.


10.1 A "light box" is used to intercept small amounts of drugs coming into the prison (paragraph 3.9).

10.2 The induction system (paragraph 5.7).

10.3 An "Exit Interview" is carried out prior to liberation. This includes questions about the individual's experience of being in the prison (paragraph 5.18).

10.4 The learning centre enjoys a dedicated security officer, who also makes a considerable contribution to learning by delivering computer training and undertaking other supportive tasks (paragraph 7.2).

10.5 The work of the Family Contact Development Officers in terms of membership of the Suicide Risk Management Group, information sheets for the courts and links with the wider community (paragraph 8.4).

10.6 The prison has looked into accessing supplementary training in advanced interviewing techniques for staff most in contact with vulnerable prisoners (paragraph 8.14).



11.1 SPS should urgently reconsider the non-provision of Sentence Management to long-term prisoners being held in Inverness (paragraph 5.13).

For Establishment

11.2 The Reception area should be replaced (paragraph 5.6).


12.1 SPS should consider introducing a system whereby national and local breast and cervical screening services can be notified of female prisoners' needs in relation to these services (paragraph 6.17).
For Establishment
12.2 Management should improve recreation facilities in 'A' Hall and consider allowing all prisoners out of their cells in the evenings (paragraph 2.6).
12.3 Vulnerable prisoners in 'B' Hall should be managed in a way which does not draw attention to their status (paragraph 2.11).
12.4 A telephone should be fitted in 'C' Wing (paragraph 2.13).
12.5 The audible alarm linked to the cell buzzer system in 'E' Wing should be muted (paragraph 2.21).
12.5 Beds and toilet cubicles should be fitted in the cells in the separate cells area (paragraph 2.23).
12.6 The practice of allowing only closed visits for prisoners being held in the separate cells should be reviewed (paragraph 2.23).
12.7 More meaningful work should be found for female prisoners (paragraph 2.24).
12.8 An addiction co-ordinator should be appointed as quickly as possible (paragraph 4.2).
12.9 All prisoners should receive the full addiction treatment and care that they need (paragraph 4.4).
12.10 Prisoners should receive addiction counselling if required (paragraph 4.5).
12.11 Addiction team members should meet regularly to discuss policy and complex cases (paragraph 4.6).
12.12 The MDT Unit is coping, but only just, and sufficient time should be allocated to carrying out suspicion and risk assessment tests (paragraph 4.7).
12.13 Provision should be made for disinfecting prison issue shoes (paragraph 5.3).
12.14 Better arrangements should be found for changing clothes and showering in Reception (paragraph 5.4).
12.15 The prison should consider introducing a Links Centre (paragraphs 5.9 and 5.15).
12.16 A clear management structure for managing throughcare should be developed (paragraph 5.15).
12.17 More psychological support and intervention including clinical input is required (paragraphs 6.9 and 6.11).
12.18 Systems for identifying, assessing and addressing prisoners needs in relation to learning and/or physical disabilities should be more clearly defined (paragraph 6.12).
12.19 The dental autoclave equipment is outdated and inefficient (paragraph 6.13).
12.20 Dedicated sluice facilities should be installed in the Health Centre (paragraph 6.14).
12.21 The annual budget to update library resources is insufficient to maintain an attractive resource (paragraph 7.9).
12.22 The Listeners should be represented at part of the meetings of the Suicide Risk Management Group (paragraph 8.6).
12.23 The perception of the Listeners that the Samaritans had concerns about confidentiality should be addressed (paragraph 8.12).
12.24 Facilities for physical education are unsuitable for the number and type of prisoners held (paragraphs 8.16 and 8.19).
12.25 The outdoor area used for PE is unsuitable (paragraph 8.17).
12.26 Consideration should be given to locating the Social Workers' office in the prison (paragraph 8.21).
12.27 The Race Relations Monitoring Group should meet on a regular basis (paragraph 8.31).
12.28 The Guild of Launderers qualification should be offered to prisoners working in the laundry (paragraph 9.23).

HM INSPECTORATE OF PRISONS: Report on HM Prison Inverness


Written material and statistics received from Inverness prior to Inspection
Prison's self-assessment
Governor's briefing
SPS Prisoner Survey
Inverness Records
SPS background material
Discussions with prisoners
Discussions with prisoners family
Focus groups with prisoners
Interviews with prisoners
Interviews with prison staff
Focus groups with staff

HM INSPECTORATE OF PRISONS: Report on HM Prison Inverness


Andrew R C McLellan

HM Chief Inspector

Rod MacCowan

HM Deputy Chief Inspector

David McAllister

HM Assistant Chief Inspector

David Abernethy

HM Inspector

Alastair Delaney

Education Adviser

Rhona Hotchkiss

Healthcare Adviser

Sean Doherty

Healthcare Adviser

Tom Leckie

Addictions and Social Work Adviser

Richard Hough

Observer - Scottish Parliament