HM Inspectorate of Prisons: Report on HMP Shotts Inspection 12-16 February 2007

Prison - Full Inspection Report

Executive Summary

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Good Practice


Action Ponits

ANNEX 1 Sources of Evidence

ANNEX 2 Inspection Team

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 Shotts between 12-14 February 2007.

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

signature of ANDREW R C McLELLAN

HM Chief Inspector of Prisons

May 2007


1.1 "Stable" was the word used by both the Governor and the representative of the Prison Officers' Association to describe Shotts Prison. It describes the relationship between prisoners and staff; it recognises the safe atmosphere throughout the prison, which is remarkable in a prison that was once notorious for violence; and it takes account of the fact that many prisoners in Shotts have been there for a long time and many will be there for a long time to come.

1.2 Different factors contribute to that stability. There is no overcrowding and there is no cell sharing. It is difficult to exaggerate the benefit when a prison holds the number of prisoners for which it was built. There is no rebuilding at Shotts. Several recent reports have welcomed new accommodation being opened in the course of the last two or three years: but such new building is often very difficult to organise on the same site as a fully functioning prison. Shotts has not had to face that complication.

1.3 The last report on Shotts was published in 2004. It reflected on the major changes in the use of different parts of the prison which had moved the prison from "a year of transition" to "a year of consolidation". It is good to see now that consolidation has become stability.

1.4 The most important expression of that stability is in the safety of the prison. Over the last few years management and staff have worked hard, and have been bold in their strategy, to reduce the level of violence in the prison. During the inspection the view was often expressed by prisoners and staff alike, that the prison was a very different place from the prison of years ago. The statistics on violence support this. An inspection published in 1994 quoted the SPS Prisoner Survey in which 40% of prisoners said they feared for their safety. This year the figure is 14%. Less than twenty years ago an HMCIP report stated that "incidents of mass indiscipline and confrontation with staff became the norm". That prison is unrecognisable today: the change is no less impressive because it has taken years to achieve.

1.5 One familiar aspect of the stability of Shotts is commended in this report. For some time family contact and visits have been given some priority. There is no doubt that these matters are extremely important to prisoners: important when they go well and important when they do not. The availability of visits at Shotts is good, as is the visits room: the provision at the tea-bar for visitors and prisoners is very good indeed. Special provision for father and child visits, with highlights like Christmas Dinner, cinema days and photo opportunities, make a real contribution to maintaining family relationships. The work of Family Contact Officers is good, but it is being done as a secondary duty; and it is not able to produce the same impact.

1.6 The evidence provided for the operation of the new system of Integrated Case Management is encouraging. Central to this process is the involvement with Criminal Justice Social Work from the community in any case conference for a prisoner. Links between social work and the prison are good, and there is an attempt to involve families in the process. The use of video conferencing facilities are being developed to make even better the links with CJSW and families, and the paperwork is thorough. However, more work is needed to make sure that the case conferences are run in a way that enables prisoners and their families to contribute fully to the process and that the outcomes of meetings are clearly summarised and recorded.

1.7 A prison can be stable, but still have weaknesses. In healthcare the triage system is not operating for the good of prisoners. There is an element of disciplinary procedure in the system which is not appropriate: it creates difficulty for prison staff and it puts pressure on prisoners to go to work whether or not they are ill.

1.8 Even more serious is the poor practice in suicide risk management. On average 26 prisoners per year are subject to the SPS anti-suicide procedure. However, there had not been a meeting of the Suicide Risk Management Group since February 2006; there was no audit of records, and the process lacked coordination and leadership.

1.9 Stability can sometimes be a bad thing. There has been no change in the toilet provision. Unscreened toilets are within the cells, so prisoners eat and sleep in the presence of this unscreened toilet. One of the strongest recommendations of the last report was that "the toilets in the cells should be screened off". The toilets are still unscreened.

1.10 Ultimately, however valuable stability is, a prison needs to be more than stable. If Shotts is to give prisoners the opportunity to make constructive use of their imprisonment, and to prepare themselves for release, it must improve the training possibilities during the working day. The history of Shotts has been closely identified with "industrial production": but year after year of largely unskilled and repetitive work is not enough. The provision of vocational training is meagre, and links between vocational training and outside employers are poor. What happens in the Learning Centre is good, but far too few prisoners are in a position to make use of it.

1.11 Lack of proper work and learning opportunity is an important aspect of the preparation for release which Shotts needs to improve if it is to move forward. Here are three more. The expectation is that prisoners are not released directly from Shotts but from another prison to which they had progressed. In fact 77 prisoners were released from Shotts in the year 2005-06. Pre-release arrangements for them, both in terms of the psychological issues around release and in terms of links with outside organisations, services and community groups need to be improved.

1.12 The Violence Prevention Programme was introduced in Shotts in 2003. There is a large gap between the number of people who are identified as requiring this programme and the number of places available; later in the process some of those originally identified are not given a place. As a result prisoners are delayed in their progression towards a top-end or to open conditions, and prisoners who should be given places on the programme are not receiving them. If the programme is a useful tool in preventing violence everyone who needs it should be given it.

1.13 When prisoners do progress to an open prison they do not all benefit from the opportunity. In the year before the inspection 46 prisoners went to the Open Estate, and 18 had to return to Shotts because of problems they experienced there. No doubt it is difficult to adjust to the comparative freedom of open conditions, but it is time that Shotts (and other prisons which send prisoners to open conditions) gave more adequate preparation for the change to such prisoners. Almost invariably prisoners are returned because of a failure in connection with drugs, alcohol and access to the community. If moving to open conditions is such a difficult test prisoners need to be better equipped to face it.



2.1 Shotts holds adult male convicted prisoners. Most are long-term prisoners although there are now a small number of prisoners serving short-term sentences of less than four years. Shotts has the highest proportion (more than 50%) of life sentence prisoners of any prison in Scotland.

2.2 The design capacity is 528 and the prison is currently contracted to hold up to 516 prisoners with 12 contingency places. This will increase in the near future to 528 when 12 places are created in an Independent Living Unit in the former Shotts Unit.

2.3 There are six separate accommodation areas described below. On the first day of inspection the following numbers were unlocked: -

National Induction Centre


'B' Hall


'C' Hall


'D' Hall


Kerr House


Segregation Unit




2.4 The main 'catchment area' for Shotts is West Central Scotland. However, as a national long-term prison with a hall for non-sex offender prisoners on protection it provides spaces on an as required basis to other mainstream prisons and local prisons from throughout Scotland. On that basis Shotts holds prisoners from all eight Community Justice Authority Areas.

2.5 The National Induction Centre is a national facility for all prisoners sentenced to ten years or more, excluding sex offenders. Prisoners will spend time in the NIC before being allocated to one of the long-term prisons. Recently, a high proportion of those who have passed through the NIC have stayed in Shotts. There are three reasons for this. Firstly, they fall into the 'catchment area'. Secondly they have requested to stay in Shotts despite the fact that they would be closer to home in one of the other mainstream prisons. This is usually because they have settled into the way of life in Shotts and their family are able to maintain contact with them in spite of the distance they travel for visits. The case conferencing system in place shows clearly that prisoners are involved in the decision regarding their location. Thirdly, both Glenochil and Perth prisons have been subject to significant building work in the last few years, reducing their ability to take prisoners who would normally have been allocated to them.

Accommodation Areas

2.6 The residential units are described below. The Segregation Unit is described elsewhere in this report.

Kerr House

2.7 Kerr House is the local top end for Shotts. It has 59 cells on three floors. It unlocked 46 prisoners on the first day of the inspection. All of the prisoners living there are sentenced to more than four years, have served a significant part of their sentence and have progressed from the mainstream halls in Shotts. At the time of inspection Kerr House was preparing to become a national top-end facility, replacing the "Pentland" regime in HMP Edinburgh. A small number of prisoners had already arrived from Edinburgh in preparation for this change.

2.8 Kerr House has CCTV coverage in all communal areas. Prisoners' cell doors are not locked during patrol periods to allow them to access the communal toilets in their section. Each section on each floor has a grille gate which is locked to create a secure zone. Prisoners on the ground floor have a shower inside their section which they can use during patrol periods. Prisoners in the upstairs sections do not have this facility.

2.9 There is single cell accommodation throughout Kerr House. Cells are well equipped, although some of the furniture is old and broken. Each cell has electrical power and lockable cabinets. Cells are spacious and windows allow in lots of natural light. Windows also open wide allowing in lots of fresh air. Every cell has a chair and some of the larger cells have a table. Cells without tables have a unit with a desk arrangement built in.

2.10 Some cells, particularly on the top floor, are in need of repair and decoration. There are cracks in the ceilings, leaking windows and signs of water ingress. These issues should be addressed as a matter of urgency.

2.11 Prisoners are responsible for the cleanliness of cells, and the standard was generally high. Cleaning equipment and materials are readily available. Communal areas were also very clean and tidy.

2.12 Prisoners receive visits in a small visit room within Kerr House. The room is very comfortable. Prisoners spoke very positively about the visit experience. Recreation and gym facilities are also excellent. There is a larger recreation room with snooker, table tennis, and a communal seating area with a large screen television. The gym caters for those who want to do circuit training and weights. It is open at all times of unlock and prisoners not at work can attend.

National Induction Centre, 'B' Hall, 'C' Hall and 'D' Hall

2.13 The National Induction Centre ( NIC) houses prisoners at the beginning of very long sentences (10 years to Life). It has a regime set up to help prisoners cope with the particular problems that can arise during that phase of imprisonment. Some prisoners can stay in the NIC for up to two years, but the average stay is around one year.

2.14 'B' and 'C' Halls are the mainstream halls. They house prisoners who have come through the NIC or arrived in Shotts from a local prison, usually Barlinnie or Edinburgh.

2.15 'D' Hall is a non-sex offender protection unit. It houses a mixture of short and long-term prisoners who have asked to be removed from circulation for their own protection. This can be for a variety of reasons.

2.16 These four halls are almost identical in size and design. All have three floors with two sections on each floor. All cells are designed for one prisoner and always hold only one prisoner. Two cells in 'B' and 'D' Halls are kept for observation purposes.

2.17 All cells have wash hand basins, electrical power and lockable cabinets. Every cell has a television with access to a DVD channel, a satellite channel (controlled from a central point), and the five terrestrial channels. There is a large recreation area in the entrance corridor to each hall. It has table tennis, snooker, pool and darts and is available to prisoners in the evenings and at the weekends. There are also offices and interview rooms in each hall, so arranging meetings or interviews is easier in Shotts than in most other prisons.

2.18 All of the cells still have toilets which are unscreened. This means that the person living in the cell sleeps, eats and watches the television in full view of the toilet. It is recommended that when a toilet is located inside a cell it should be screened.

2.19 Furniture in cells consists of a bed, a wall unit with a built-in desk and wardrobe and a chair. The cells are reasonably spacious. Windows allow in lots of natural light but most windows have a restrictor fitted that only allows it to open a few centimetres. Staff said this was to reduce the amount of litter thrown out and to stop prisoners being able to 'scoop in' illicit articles thrown into the area outside the halls. Windows facing the exercise yard do not have restrictors and there is enough litter thrown out of these windows to require the yards to be cleared every day. Ideally a method should be found which stops litter being thrown out of the windows which do not have restrictors and illicit articles being scooped in, but still lets in sufficient fresh air.

2.20 Each section on each floor has its own ablutions area. Showers are available during association periods. There is also a room in each section which has been set up as a small dining area.

2.21 The standard of decoration and cleanliness in communal areas was generally good. However, there were some signs in a few areas that some cleaners did not fulfil all of their duties to the highest standard: cupboards were sometimes very untidy and rubbish was accumulating in corridors out of the sight of the main areas. Staff should check rigorously that the hall cleaners are fulfilling all of their duties to the highest standard.

2.22 The standard of cleanliness and decoration in cells was variable. In the NIC in particular it was clear that some cells had not been decorated for years and were showing signs of deterioration. No matter how clean the cell is kept, the paint flaking off the walls and the drabness of the decoration makes the cells depressing places to live. This is not helpful given the purpose of the NIC.

2.23 It was clear that cleaning equipment and materials were available for prisoners. Some took advantage of that and lived in clean, bright cells. Others were dark and dreary. All prisoners should be encouraged to keep their cells as clean as possible.

Exercise Areas

2.24 Each residential area has its own exercise yard. All of the yards are spacious and allow prisoners good access to the open air every day. Although a lot of litter is thrown out of cell and ablutions area windows into the yards they were all clean and tidy during the inspection. The yards are cleared every day.

2.25 Exercise times are fixed and always observed by staff. Prisoners can associate freely during the exercise period. In inclement weather a few coats are available on a first come first served basis. This is a well-established practice in the Segregation Unit but has only been recently introduced to the other areas. This should be extended to allow as many prisoners as possible access to the open air regardless of the weather.

2.26 Prisoners in the Segregation Unit exercise in a smaller yard on their own. There are three of these smaller yards in the Segregation Unit, separated by high fencing and walls. Prisoners in segregation can request to have their exercise period at the same time as an acquaintance. Staff will accommodate this as far as is possible, safe and practicable.

2.27 When time permits prisoners in the Segregation Unit can receive a second exercise period in the open air. The decision to allow this is made by the segregation unit staff and is based on demand and behaviour. Given the spartan nature of the regime in a segregation unit this is an area of good practice.

2.28 Overall, the facilities and arrangements for exercise in the open air are good.


2.29 The kitchen is centrally located and food is transported in heated trolleys through covered walkways to five of the six residential areas and through an external yard to Kerr House.

2.30 Prisoners pre-order their meals from a menu which includes options for special needs and healthy eating. However, even if a prisoner chose every option that included fresh fruit or vegetables it would still not be possible to receive the five portions a day recommended by the Scottish Executive.

2.31 When a prisoner has a particular medical or cultural need an individualised menu will be created for him. This happens infrequently. Two appropriately trained and qualified Muslim prisoners prepare Muslim diets. They have their own equipment and work in a separate part of the kitchen. The arrangement works well.

2.32 The kitchen is modern with adequate equipment and space to provide meals for more than 500 prisoners. It employs up to 30 prisoners with around 20 on duty at any one time. Raw materials are ordered, delivered and stored based on the predicted needs calculated from the advance choices indicated by prisoners. This reduces waste and allows the prison to more systematically manage what needs to be stored.

2.33 Shotts makes its own bread, rolls and pie cases. This is a good cost saving exercise and allows the prison to transfer resources and add variety to the menu. Prisoners spoke very positively about the quality of the bread in particular.

2.34 Breakfast is a pre-bagged continental style meal, issued with a small carton of milk. It was reported that some prisoners threw the breakfast packs away. This is wasteful and causes litter. The prison should consider dispensing cereal in a way which reduces waste. Lunch and dinner have three choices of main course with either soup or a sweet. The sweet is often a piece of fruit. Some prisoners said that when the number of choices went from two to three the quality dropped.

2.35 Although the SPS provides the same catering budget guidance to Shotts as every other prison, £1.57 per prisoner per day, the Governor has allocated an extra 10p per prisoner per day from other budgets. The catering manager believes this has helped to improve quality and portion sizes.

2.36 However, despite the increase in budget, 'indifference' is an appropriate term to describe prisoners views on food: "its okay" and "about what you'd expect for £1.57 a day". Inspectors sampled meals and the standard was reasonable. Senior Managers sample meals in the kitchen most days. Senior managers should eat in the halls occasionally.

2.37 The most significant recent improvements in the catering service are in the way food is served and where prisoners can eat. The Prisoner Survey recorded a nine point improvement in "the condition of food when you get it". This results from the move away from meals being issued from heated trolleys on the galleries to serveries in the halls. The servery in 'B' Hall is particularly clean. Chips are also cooked on site to make them fresher.

2.38 A new arrangement introduced just prior to the inspection was the creation of small dining rooms in each section of the NIC, and in 'B', 'C' and 'D' Halls. It is unfortunate that prisoners appear to have chosen not to use them to date. The dining room in Kerr House is very good.

2.39 There is some training available to prisoners working in the kitchen. An induction to the kitchen is provided to all new workers and once they have settled in they can do the REHIS Certificate in Elementary Food Hygiene. A refresher course is provided every six months. The prison no longer provides any SVQ training.

2.40 Every prisoner arriving in Shotts is seen during induction by a member of staff from the catering department. They receive an introduction to food hygiene training. This covers basic food storage and hygiene matters. Prisoners often keep items such as milk in their cell. Unlike prisoners in Cornton Vale they are not allowed to have small refrigerators in their cells.

2.41 A Food Focus Group meets quarterly. Minutes from these meetings indicated that they did influence menu choices and were a good catalyst for discussing catering issues. All parts of the prison were represented at the meetings.

2.42 The Catering Department is very creative in organising themes and events. It has a well-established arrangement for prisoners to organise a personalised birthday or anniversary cake which is given in the visits room. Prisoners appreciate this. There have also been theme weeks organised around sporting occasions. Again this is very popular with prisoners.

2.43 The highlight of the year for the catering department was being assessed by independent environmental health inspectors as being up to the "Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points Standard" and receiving the " EATSAFE" award. Shotts is the first prison to be recognised in this way.


2.44 The canteen operates a 'bag and tag' system, managed by four staff. All canteen sheets are given to prisoners on a Monday evening and collected on a Tuesday morning. The goods requested are delivered on a Thursday.

2.45 An inter-hall canteen meeting takes place each month. One prisoner from each hall attends the meeting, with the exception of 'D' Hall which has separate meetings. At these meetings issues such as price changes, new items and items to be removed from the sheet are discussed. Other prisoners can also make suggestions on their canteen sheet which has a space specifically for that purpose. As a result of these initiatives, there is a wide range of goods available. Prisoners are updated, through their canteen sheet, on any new products, price changes and out of stock items. There is a process in place to supply goods which are specifically requested by prisoners from a different cultural background. The canteen is an area of good practice.

Clothing and Laundry

2.46 On admission, prisoners receive a full set of new bedding; a new mattress and pillows; a new set of prison issue clothing; and a 'recycled' set of prison issue clothing. In addition to this, they are allowed some personal items of clothing.

2.47 Prisoners located within 'B' and 'C' Halls, Kerr House and the NIC can have their clothes and bedding laundered five days per week. Prisoners in 'D' Hall can have their clothes laundered four days per week. Prisoners are provided with net laundry bags in which they can place a maximum of ten items. However, some prisoners regularly put more than this in the bag which can result in damp clothing being returned.

2.48 There appears to be a problem with bedding, with only three to four sets being sent to the laundry each day. Duvet covers are being thrown out of some cell and ablutions area windows - approximately 20 per week. These are laundered and sent to Barlinnie or Low Moss, as Shotts will not re-issue them. Instead, prisoners are issued with a new set. Steps should be taken to stop prisoners throwing duvet covers out of the windows, and the practice of automatically issuing new covers in such circumstances should be reviewed.

2.49 The laundry employs 28 prisoners, although there is only enough work for ten. Prisoners receive training in the operation of the machinery although there is no qualification based training available. This should be addressed.


Escapes, Absconds and Physical Security

3.1 Shotts has a double perimeter fence which is protected by alarms and cameras. CCTV is used extensively within the secure perimeter including within some residential units, corridors and the visit room.

3.2 There have been no escapes or absconds since the last full inspection.

Supervision Levels

3.3 A prisoner's supervision status is reviewed within six months of their first formal assessment and, as a minimum, at least annually thereafter in line with SPS policy. Prisoners may also have their status reviewed following any reports of adverse developments. There is a robust system of regular reviews and process audits in Shotts.

3.4 Prisoners are given the opportunity to be present at their review and provide oral representation to the panel in addition to their written submission. The review panel comprises the hall unit manager, first line manager and hall officer.

3.5 In addition to a hall unit manager being responsible for chairing the review panel in their area another unit manager is responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of the process. A quarterly audit is undertaken and reports submitted to senior managers.

3.6 There is a clear link between the prisoner supervision system and Integrated Case Management.

Escort Handover Procedures

3.7 Regular meetings between the Head of Operations and the escort contractor have helped to ensure that there are no major concerns with the service received. The paperwork observed by inspectors contained relevant and detailed information. Both prison and escort staff were satisfied with the information flow between both organisations.

3.8 All admissions to Shotts are planned and therefore the establishment has some control over the day and time of the escorts. Inspectors were present when a prisoner was returned from a temporary transfer from Aberdeen. The reception staff were courteous and the prisoner was passed through Reception very quickly and returned to the residential unit. The prisoner arrived at 8:00pm and had commenced his journey before the evening meal had been served at Aberdeen with the consequence that he was unable to get a hot meal as the prison had not been informed of this situation. When asked, the prisoner was happy with the treatment he had received from the contractor.

Admission and Induction Procedures


3.9 The reception area has 14 cubicles, two of which are used as storage. There is a small room at the rear of Reception which is used as a holding room. This room is very sparsely furnished with six plastic chairs, a table and a television. The room is not welcoming for new admissions and there is a lack of written information available. There is a staff office containing a computer and work station and just outside the door of this office is the desk where the prisoner's details are handed over by the escort staff.

3.10 Adjacent to the desk is a row of cubicles with half length doors. Two are used by prisoners to remove their clothing on admission, two are used for showering and one contains a bath. There is a nursing station beside the staff office.

3.11 Reception staff conduct the ACT risk assessment of new admissions at the desk. This does not allow for privacy, particularly if there are a number of other admissions and someone is distressed. If there are other prisoners in the holding room they can see out of the door window. If a prisoner is returning to Shotts the risk assessment is undertaken in the residential unit. ACT2Care and other risk assessments should be carried out in an area where privacy is assured.

3.12 The reception area is unwelcoming. The presence of cubicles adds to this feeling. If there is a need to keep prisoners apart in the reception area then some would have to be held in the cubicles. Removal of the cubicles may allow another communal room to be built. There are no foreign language notices on display. When asked about this staff were able to produce them from a folder held in the office. Information in languages other than English should be posted on Reception notice boards.

3.13 A study of escort paperwork indicated that there was a good exchange of information between the prison and escorting staff.

3.14 The quality of admission clothing and equipment is very good.

3.15 Prisoners' property is held in a secure room, and stored on racking which allows for good use of space. Staff report that they are able to store all prisoners' property comfortably in the room, which was well ordered and smelled fresh and clean. Valuable property is secured in the main administration office.


3.16 There are three types of induction available at Shotts. For prisoners serving in excess of ten years induction is carried out in the National Induction Centre. Prisoners serving less than ten years are admitted to the mainstream or protection regime.

3.17 The NIC has a programme designed to help prisoners come to terms with very long sentences. As well as the routine induction given to all prisoners to Shotts, progression through the various induction activities in the NIC is taken at a speed suited to the needs of the individual. A needs assessment is carried out by staff and advice given on how to address these needs. NIC staff also deliver the cognitive skills programme in the NIC. Some of the activities available are group discussions, education and PT. The NIC has a dedicated craft workshop. Attendance at work is not compulsory but prisoners must participate in one of the activities available.

3.18 In the mainstream halls, the first night check list should be conducted by the gallery officer and covers safety issues to help the prisoner through to the following morning. There is then a first morning check list and information booklet covering such things as hall routines, complaints etc. An 'Alerting Tool' to test literacy is administered by hall staff and passed to the Learning Centre staff for assessment. Once per month mainstream admission prisoners are invited to the Links Centre to receive information on a range of issues, and have a discussion with a member of the management team. There is also input from chaplaincy and others.

3.19 Prisoners admitted to the 'D' Hall protection unit have the same first night and first morning induction and alerting tool as mainstream prisoners. 'D' Hall prisoners do not get the opportunity to attend the Links Centre and that part of the induction is delivered in the hall.

3.20 Many of the admissions to Shotts are returns from a top end or an open prison, and the need for in depth induction is less acute than if they were entering Shotts for the first time. When listening to hall staff their knowledge of the induction procedures for their area was variable as was the prisoners experience of how helpful and detailed their induction programme was. A monitoring system should be put in place to ensure that all prisoners receive a standard induction which addresses their needs.

Suicide Risk Management

3.21 In the year 2005-06 there were no suicides. In the same period there were 26 new ACT cases, six self-harm episodes and one non-fatal overdose. In the period 1 April 2006 to the month of the inspection there were no suicides. There were 12 new ACT cases, three self-harm episodes and no non-fatal overdoses. Although this is quite low and reducing further this year from last, the number of call outs to the Listeners is high, with an average of 22 each month. Six Listeners are supported by a Listeners Coordinator and the Samaritans: this group meets every two weeks.

3.22 No one is driving the Suicide Risk Management Policy and no ACT meetings had taken place in the year prior to the inspection. No formal audit of processes or paperwork had been undertaken and paperwork was not always completed correctly or fully. Additionally, the number and grading of attendees at case conferences does not comply with the ACT policy, and the outcome of the case conference should not be overruled by Senior Management (which has happened on one occasion). No protocol detailing the time within which call buttons in cells should be answered was in place. It is recommended that suicide risk management processes and procedures are improved immediately.


3.23 The number of serious prisoner-on-prisoner assaults has increased slightly since 2004-05. In 2004-05 there were four serious assaults, and in 2005-06 there were five. In 2006-07 to the time of the inspection there were eight. There have been no serious assaults on staff in the same period.

3.24 All incidents of violence are investigated in detail using a "Violent Incident Investigation Report" pro forma. This is supported by an Intelligence Management Framework and a daily intelligence briefing.

3.25 In 2006 there were 38 cases of prisoner removals using Control and Restraint techniques. This compares with 68 recorded cases the previous year. Planned removals are not videoed. Inspectors checked a sample of paperwork which is completed following such incidents and found the quality to be mixed. Some of the paperwork was not fully completed and in some cases there was no evidence that a medical practitioner had seen the prisoner following the removal. It is recommended that prisoners are medically examined following Control and Restraint removals and that this is recorded on the post incident form.

Night Duty

3.26 One Manager and nine Officers cover patrol periods. All Managers and Officers who cover night duty are specifically identified to carry out that task. Manager's work Wednesday to Wednesday and Officers Monday to Monday. This ensures consistency.

3.27 An Inspector spent some time in the prison during the night. All Officers were well informed of what they needed to do in an emergency. The night shift orders issued to staff were reviewed and found to be of good quality. The equipment provided to staff on night duty was appropriate and comprehensive.

3.28 Practice has changed in one particular way from what is set out in the night shift instructions. Night shift staff in the halls check that doors are secure when taking up duty but do not make a visual check of each prisoner. Neither do they carry out a numbers check. The welfare of each prisoner and the numbers handed over from the late shift going off duty are accepted as correct.

3.29 Prisoners' cell buzzers are not attached to a timer so there is no means of recording how long it takes for staff to respond to them. This should be addressed.

3.30 On the rare occasion that advice is needed from a doctor during the night, this appeared to be handled appropriately. There are some first aid trained staff amongst those in the night shift group. However, they are not rostered in a way that guarantees at least one will be on duty every night. Given that there is no nurse in the prison during the night this should be addressed.

3.31 There is a good system in place for procedural review. Duty Managers visit regularly during the night, and as well as making general comments on all aspects of patrol duties they are required to audit one particular aspect. This is an area of good practice.

3.32 Keeping staff training up-to-date can be a problem for staff on night shift. Shotts has come up with a good solution to this. They roster a couple of extra people on nights occasionally and do the training during the night using the extra people on duty to relieve those being trained for the time needed. This is an area of good practice.



4.1 Relationships between staff and prisoners are very good. This was observed during the inspection and reported in the 2005 SPS Prisoner Survey, where 98% of prisoners said that relationships were either ok, good or very good.

4.2 Staff wear name badges and address prisoners by their first name or prefix their surname with Mr. No insulting nicknames were used during the inspection and staff were aware of the implications of using such nicknames. Prisoners are given sensitive information in private, by a First Line Manager.

4.3 The large majority of prisoners reported that the atmosphere was relaxed and staff and the Visiting Committee confirmed that the prison was calmer than it had been in the past.

Equality and Diversity

4.4 All new admissions are given an explanation of the routines and regime within the prison. Information for ethnic minority prisoners is available in a folder in Reception. There is also information on the first 24 hours in custody, an ethnic minority checklist and a first night checklist. Translation services are also available.

4.5 A Race Relations Policy is in place, led by a Residential First Line Manager. Focus groups are held in which the views of ethnic minority prisoners are sought.

4.6 There were 12 ethnic minority prisoners living in Shotts at the time of inspection. Two complaints had been made in the past year relating to racial incidents. Both complaints related to prisoners being racially abused by other prisoners. In both cases the appropriate paperwork was raised, investigations undertaken and remedial action taken. Both cases were also reported to HQ for their records. The way in which these incidents were dealt with was appropriate.

4.7 There had been one Equality and Diversity meeting in the year prior to the inspection and the prison should review whether this is adequate.


4.8 Prisoners are searched prior to all movements in the prison, following intelligence information and prior to entering and leaving the visit room. The searching of prisoners is conducted in a thorough yet sensitive manner. Rub-down searches and walk through metal detector portals are used in an attempt to prevent the movement of contraband around the establishment.

4.9 Extensive security procedures aligned to the searching of prisoners following visits is used to prevent contraband entering the prison via the visits area. Drug detection dogs are deployed in the visitor area and in targeted areas within the prison at irregular intervals.

4.10 Following visits one in ten prisoners are given a strip search and all searches are conducted by male staff. Female staff are used to search female visitors.

4.11 Cell searches are conducted at a rate of 2% per day and prisoners are present during these searches. The establishment has a search plan which is audited on a regular basis.


Family Contact

5.1 Arrangements for maintaining family contact are very good. Booking arrangements for visits are straightforward and entitlement to visits is high and flexible. Visits are not cancelled for administrative purposes. If spaces are available then prisoners can book them, even if their entitlement is taken. In addition to regular visits the prison provides father and child visits and also a two hour quality visit per month, which offers the opportunity to take family photographs. A number of other initiatives are in place including family cinema days and Christmas Dinner. A Family Consultation Forum is in place which offers families the opportunity to make suggestions and consult with visits staff. Staff give presentations to the community on their work and try to involve families in induction and Integrated Case Management (although there has been limited take up of these opportunities).

5.2 Visits staff are very helpful and approachable and the work of the Family Contact Development Officers is good. However, the work of the FCDO is now being done as a secondary duty, which means that they are not able to produce the same impact as previously.

5.3 Parking spaces for disabled visitors are available and facilities good. Shotts prison is fairly remote and at the time of inspection the SACRO bus was not operating. The prison was trying to remedy this. A makeshift 'bus shelter' is in place when visitors have to occasionally wait outside the main prison gate.

5.4 Overall, arrangements for maintaining family contact are an area of good practice.

The Visits Room

5.5 The visits room is large, bright, spacious and well decorated. Staff ensure that a good balance is found between privacy and security. Provision at the tea bar is very good. The tea bar is operated by two different contractors and the prison should ensure that there is no discrepancy in prices. The children's play area is unsupervised and this should be addressed. Toilet and baby changing facilities are provided and were clean.

5.6 Officers do not immediately and routinely intervene during drug incidents in the visits room. Rather, they carry out a risk assessment and decide whether to intervene during the visit session, or after the session has finished.


5.7 The availability of information for prisoners and visitors is very good. The visitors waiting area contains a number of leaflets and posters. These are available in a range of languages. FCDOs are always available to prisoners and names and photographs of the FCDOs are prominently displayed in the visits area. There is a 24 hour answering machine in the FCDO office.


5.8 Arrangements for searching visitors are appropriate.


5.9 There are sufficient telephones in Shotts to allow prisoners reasonable access. They also have a good system when a telephone is not working. Spares are held on site so a broken telephone can be replaced quickly without the need for the contractor to be called.

5.10 Most telephones have canopies although one on the ground floor of 'D' Hall did not. The phones in the Segregation Unit and in the dining room in Kerr House are in cabinets. The cabinets are excellent for providing privacy and excluding background noise. The canopies provide some privacy but are not ideal.

5.11 Notices explaining the conditions under which telephone calls are made are on display next to every 'phone. A few prisoners mentioned the pre-recorded message that precedes outgoing calls and described it as an irritation and embarrassment. At the time of inspection its legality was subject to Judicial Review.

5.12 Incoming and outgoing mail is well managed. Prisoners receive incoming mail as soon as is practicable after the appropriate checks have been made. Outgoing mail is transported from the halls to the general office at least twice a day and is posted within a few hours of being handed out by the prisoner. There are no limits to the number of letters prisoners can send. Some prisoners expressed slight frustration at being limited to the number of telephone contacts they can have listed. Arrangements for handling legally privileged mail are described at paragraph 6.3.

5.13 There are no major issues in the way the prison facilitates contact between prisoners and their friends and families by telephone and by post.


Legal Rights

6.1 Prisoners are provided with advice on how to contact their lawyer on admission to the prison. A computer is also available in the library which can be used to type correspondence to lawyers, the Complaints Commissioner and the Visiting Committee. The Complaints Commissioner makes informal visits to the NIC to explain access and rights. Foreign National prisoners are given details of Consulates during the reception process.

6.2 A number of legal texts are available in the library but at the time of inspection these were kept behind the main desk and prisoners had to ask for them. A copy of the Prison Rules was also located in the library. Prisoners have access to the European Prison Rules and the Inspectorate's Standards.

6.3 Processes are in place to ensure that legally privileged mail is not opened, but it was reported that mail is not always marked as such and had occasionally been opened in error in the past. Staff awareness sessions are run in this area, and a local protocol is in place.

6.4 Prisoners are able to shower before attending a court hearing. They are also able to wear their own clothes or prison sweatshirts, minus the HMP Shotts logo.

6.5 Ninety per cent of staff had completed the European Court of Human Rights e-learning programme.

Management of Disciplinary Proceedings

6.6 Like many other prisons Shotts now has a 2-tier disciplinary system. Unit managers in the halls deal with minor reports. More serious reports are dealt with in the Segregation Unit with a senior manager as the adjudicator.

6.7 In the Segregation Unit the Orderly Room is set out in a formal way with seats for all participants. Tables are set out in a T-shape with the adjudicator at one end and the prisoner at the other. Members of staff sit behind the prisoner and escort him into and out of the room. The Segregation Unit Manager acts as the organiser of the Orderly Room and s/he coordinates the arrival and departure of the prisoner and any witnesses called.

6.8 In the halls the room is slightly less formal with the adjudicator and the prisoner sitting at either side of a table. Hall staff organise the logistics.

6.9 Inspectors observed a number of hearings. The process whilst quite formal was relaxed and calm. The adjudicator went through the Orderly Room procedure being careful at all times to make sure the prisoner understood what was happening.

6.10 A review of paperwork indicated that Shotts does not generate an excessive number of reports. It was also noteworthy that there were a number of cases dismissed and findings of not guilty. This clearly shows that the decisions made by adjudicators are based on the evidence and that the prisoner can expect to be managed fairly. It was also encouraging to recognise that Shotts makes a lot of use of suspended punishments.

6.11 Inspectors had no concerns about the management of disciplinary proceedings.

Religious Observance

6.12 The Chaplaincy team comprises one full-time and two part-time chaplains who offer religious services. An Imam visits two days per week to carry out services and teachings. At the time of inspection, there was one prisoner who was Buddhist: a Buddhist volunteer was meeting his religious needs.

6.13 A Church of Scotland service takes place on a Sunday morning. Six to ten prisoners normally attend. A Roman Catholic service takes place on a Friday afternoon. Five to eleven prisoners normally attend. Six prisoners attend a monthly Episcopalian service. These services take place in the Multi Faith Centre.

6.14 As well as providing religious services, the chaplaincy team is actively involved in group events such as bible study, induction and religious instruction. The team is a member of the Multi Disciplinary Mental Heath Team, and works in partnership with ' HOPE' and 'The Prison Fellowship' who attend the establishment.

6.15 The Imam delivers his service and teachings in the Links Centre. Requests have been made to allow Muslim prisoners to wear their own trousers/joggers instead of prison issue denims to prayer sessions for comfort, although this has not been permitted.

6.16 Duty chaplains are now in place and the team has plans to re-organise their work and appoint a chaplain to designated halls and workshops in an attempt to increase the number of prisoners seen.

Prisoner Complaints Procedure

6.17 Prisoner Complaint Forms are freely available in the residential areas. Between April 2006 and January 2007 there were 426 complaints made through the CP1 system, of which 54 progressed to the Internal Complaints Committee ( ICC). Between April 2006 and January 2007, 109 complaints were also made through the CP2 system, 303 through the CP3 system and 78 through the CP4 system. A sample of complaint forms were reviewed by Inspectors. The timescales were met and the answers given were appropriate. The duty manager chairs the ICCs with representation from the First Line Manager from the relevant hall and an officer from another hall. Ideally, a member of staff from another discipline should also take part in the ICC. However, there are no major problems with the way the Prisoner Complaints System is managed in Shotts.

6.18 Prisoners can access the Visiting Committee through a request book in each hall. This is well used. The main complaints made to the VC relate to the treatment offered by the doctor; transfers to the Open Estate; being given closed visits when the prisoner thought this was unfair; procedures in the Orderly Room; and issues around work and wages.

Management of Segregation

6.19 There are 12 cells in the Segregation Unit all of which have toilets and wash hand basins. None of the toilets are enclosed despite the fact that prisoners eat their meals in the cells. Cells have electric power and access to television is based on an individual's response to regime targets. Each cell has a bed secured to the floor.

6.20 Within the area there is a small fitness room and three outside exercise areas. Outdoor jackets are available for time in the fresh air and prisoners can request to have their time in the fresh air at the same time as their friends, and interaction is allowed across the three areas. Prisoner adjudications are held in a room within the Segregation Unit.

6.21 At the time of inspection the Unit had prisoners held under the conditions of Rule 94 1 and one prisoner serving a punishment under the conditions of Rule 119(i)(d) (cellular confinement). There was a mixture of Shotts prisoners and prisoners from other establishments. The paperwork for prisoners on Rule 94 is compiled by the manager of the area where the prisoner is normally held if the prisoner normally resides in Shotts. Monthly case reviews are held and appropriately documented with care plans and targets.

6.22 Inspectors were concerned during the inspection that Management was using the Orderly Room punishment of three days cellular confinement on a repeating basis to keep a prisoner in the Segregation Unit rather than under Rule 94. The individual was subject to several reports for refusing to return to a mainstream residential area and on each occasion was awarded three days cellular confinement. Whilst the practice technically complies with Prison Rules it is outwith the spirit. The award was excessive for the offence but it met the needs of the prisoner to remain out of circulation. Had the prisoner been held for the same period in the Segregation Unit on Rule 94, Ministerial approval would have been required. The view expressed by some managers was that it would be difficult to obtain a space at another establishment if the prisoner was being held on Rule 94. Management should review the practice of using excessive punishment as a substitute for Rule 94.

6.23 Visits for prisoners in the Segregation Unit are only available during the day, Monday to Friday and in the afternoons at weekends. This can limit access for prisoners whose families work during the day.

6.24 A nurse visits the unit on a daily basis to administer medication. There is no evidence that all prisoners serving a period of cellular confinement are seen by a doctor within 24 hours of the punishment being awarded, as required under Rule 36 of The Prisons and Young Offenders Institutions (Scotland) Rules 2006. It is recommended that all prisoners given a period of cellular confinement are seen by a doctor within 24 hours of the punishment being awarded.

6.25 Prisoners within the Segregation Unit have access to a telephone during the day. There is no access to the telephone in the evenings. The telephone is within an enclosed cubicle which offers a high degree of privacy.

6.26 A limited number of books are available and in-cell education can be made available for those who request it.


Learning, Skills and Employability

Introduction and Context

7.1 The inclusions manager has overall responsibility for managing learning, skills and employability ( LSE). The SPS contract for the provision of LSE is with Motherwell College. A Learning Centre Manager, employed by Motherwell College, is responsible for learning provision and the employability manager ( SPS) has responsibility for production and work parties.

Staffing and Resources

7.2 Learning Centre staff are well qualified and have a high level of skill and expertise which is demonstrated in their work with prisoners. All benefited from Annual Staff Career Development Reviews organised by Motherwell College and can access a range of Continuous Professional Development ( CPD) opportunities. A few staff have gained recognised certification in physical instruction or adult literacy. SPS staff were actively involved in delivering offending behaviour programmes. Resources in the Learning Centre are good. Prisoners using the Learning Centre have access to a good range of IT equipment and other learning resources. However, protection prisoners in 'D' Hall have only limited access to the Learning Centre.

Access to Learning, Skills and Employability

7.3 All prisoners are introduced to LSE during induction. This is usually through a structured interview but it does not give prisoners the opportunity to tour the Learning Centre or meet staff. The prison operates the SPS Core Plus model. There are sufficient work places for prisoners which are allocated by the Labour Allocation Board ( LAB). The LAB makes good attempts at identifying prisoner interests before allocating a work party. However, access to training is limited. The prison operates an enhanced workshop system where prisoners access production jobs with a bonus paid depending on their work and output. Prisoners leaving to attend education are at a financial disadvantage as they automatically lose their bonus. Attendance at the Learning Centre was low with around 30% of the prison population listed to attend education. Protection prisoners have limited access. Their regime had changed and classes reduced by almost half. The work pattern means that prisoners work in the mornings for one week, and the afternoons the following week. As a result, most protection prisoners can only access education once per fortnight. Prisoners in the National Induction Centre have some links to the Learning Centre. However, since prisoners sometimes spend the first two years of their sentence there, they should have increased access to learning.

7.4 Learning Centre staff regularly review the range of courses on offer in an attempt to encourage greater numbers to attend and also to reach those protection prisoners who have an interest in education. There is no access to LSE in the evenings or at weekends.

Assessment of Need

7.5 On admission all prisoners complete an 'Alerting Tool' as part of induction. This is intended to highlight significant needs in literacy and numeracy. Staff from the Learning Centre generally visit prisoners in the halls to discuss the assessment and the range of courses on offer. Prisoners do not have an opportunity to tour the Learning Centre to find out more about the facilities available. Learning Centre staff use the information gathered to create an agreed Individual Learning Plan ( ILP). All ILPs are reviewed on a six monthly basis.

7.6 Processes for assessment of need are sufficient. However, prisoners often refuse to complete the 'Alerting Tool' when it is administered by SPS staff in the halls. The Learning Centre manager tracks all aspects of progress, including anticipated dates for review. There are no links between staff involved in work parties and those in the Learning Centre to identify and support prisoners' needs particularly in literacy and numeracy. Peer literacy tutors provide an important link in identifying and supporting learning needs. This is an area of good practice which should be further developed.

Delivery of Learning

7.7 Staff provide a calm, purposeful learning environment. They engage very well with prisoners and prisoners particularly appreciate their personal approach. They are skilled in using a variety of methods to engage prisoners in the learning experience. Staff plan their work well and prepare for classes using a variety of materials and resources. They use a range of teaching methods to maintain interest and develop knowledge and understanding. This includes group work, practical work, demonstration and practical tasks. Staff have a very good understanding of prisoners' needs, talents and interests. They ensure that, where possible, the learning experience is interesting to them. There are insufficient links between learning taking place in out-of-cell activities, workshops and the Learning Centre.

Prisoners' Learning Experiences

7.8 The Learning Centre is spacious, bright and attractive. Classrooms are well organised and well utilised for the range of learning opportunities on offer. For example, the Art room provides ample work space and areas to display completed work. Two rooms are equipped with a number of computers and support very well the work in ICT and Computer aided design. Prisoners can take responsibility for their own learning and peer tutors support others in their learning. They were gaining confidence in supporting each other and collaborating on their tasks, for example where some prisoners were working on Open University qualifications. Prisoners attending the Learning Centre were very positive about their experiences in LSE. In particular, they were enthusiastic about the support and encouragement they had received from Learning Centre staff. Prisoners' views of LSE are sought through discussion and surveys. Staff make good use of this information to review the range of courses and opportunities on offer. More formal learning experiences in PE were at an early stage of development.


7.9 A number of prisoners have made significant achievements through their learning. All participants observed and spoken to in the Learning Centre were purposeful and knowledgeable about their learning and its positive role in their present situation. Participants in the Learning Centre had made good progress in a number of certificated programmes offered by Motherwell College and accredited by the Scottish Qualifications Authority ( SQA) and other providers. These include courses in ICT, Arts and Humanities. There is a high quality exhibition of prisoners' art work each year which recognises the achievements of a small number of Art students. However, prisoners would benefit from more regular events to celebrate and promote achievement through all aspects of learning in the prison. Recognition of the work of the prison to external social enterprises and charities is limited. Prison staff have not yet recognised the personal development programmes offered in the National Induction Centre as part of orientation and tackling offending behaviour within the broader curriculum of learning.

Ethos and Values

7.10 The Learning Centre provides a positive learning environment. There were good relationships between staff and learners in the classes observed. The quality of interaction was high and prisoners were effectively supported in their learning. There are good personal relationships between staff and prisoners working in the library and workshops. Tutors were relaxed and directive as required. Prisoners contrasted their positive experiences in the Learning Centre with previously negative educational experiences. Staff involved in PE have developed good and supportive relationships with prisoners.

Quality Assurance

7.11 Motherwell College has arrangements for systematically evaluating and improving the quality of the prisoner experience within their activities in the Learning Centre. Physical Instruction staff have started to develop monitoring and quality assurance systems, but these are at the early stages of development. However, there is no systematic approach to quality assurance across the full range of LSE and in other areas of the work of the prison such as the National Induction Centre. As a result, there are significant missed opportunities to enhance and coordinate workshop activities, programmes to address offending behaviour and learning experiences. This was particularly apparent in the prison's approach to the development of literacy and numeracy, vocational skills and ICT.


7.12 Whilst the learning experience in the Learning Centre is positive, overall prisoner access to education is too limited. For those who were able to attend classes in the Learning Centre, their experience was good. There are sufficient work places which are mainly linked to production work. However, opportunities to access training are too limited. The lack of joint working between Employability and Learning was having a detrimental effect on prisoners. Protection prisoners have too few opportunities to access education. LSE providers do not yet work sufficiently closely together and as a result some learners are at a disadvantage.


7.13 The location of the library had recently been changed. It is still cramped and although prisoners have timetabled access to it, many do not choose to use the facility. The links between the Learning Centre and the library require further development.

Other Out of Cell Activities

7.14 Prisoner access to out-of-cell activities is good. There are regular, planned social activities including a Burns' supper and pantomime. An Art exhibition is organised each year and families can visit to view the range of work on display. Access to leisure-based physical education is good. Prisoners have timetabled access to the gymnasium and can access the fitness and weights area. Staff were developing the use of certificated physical education. The range of activities on offer has expanded to include racquet sports. Links with health professionals and learning are at an early stage of development.


Health Services

Physical Accommodation

8.1 The Health Centre is clean and bright and has adequate capacity for all the relevant activities. There is no healthcare activity in the residential areas apart from methadone dispensing, The areas from which methadone is dispensed are drab and cluttered. The facilities in Kerr House are particularly poor with the nurses working in a corridor that is otherwise unused. These facilities should be improved.


8.2 At the time of inspection the staffing complement in the Health Centre was two lower than the agreed level and this was having an impact on the services being offered. There was only one nurse dedicated to mental health issues which does not compare favourably to other SPS establishments. There is money available for a second Mental Health Nurse in 2007-08.

8.3 The staff group has changed almost completely over the last 18 months, with several of the new members of staff also new to prison healthcare. Although the atmosphere and relationships were good, there may still be a settling in process occurring, reflected in the plans to introduce more nurse-led clinics.

Access to Health Services

8.4 A triage system is in operation, in common with other SPS establishments. Prisoners complete a form in the morning and this is considered by nursing staff who decide if the prisoner needs to see a doctor. Prisoners are informed in the evening about what is to happen and if they need to see a doctor. This will usually happen the following day. Any prisoner who needs to see a GP urgently can be accommodated on the day they make their original request.

8.5 The triage system was the most complained about aspect of healthcare during the inspection. At present, prisoners who do not go to work because they are 'sick' are put on report. This is reversed only if it turns out that they need to see a doctor. Prisoners feel that this discourages people who may be genuinely ill from reporting sick in case the report will affect their progression through the prison system. The healthcare manager is aware that both staff and prisoners regard the current system as unacceptable and has taken steps to engage prisoners in coming up with a better approach. It is recommended that the triage system is improved. Consideration should also be given to reintroducing the Healthcare Forum which used to be in place.

8.6 Nurses run clinics for Asthma, Epilepsy (when needed), Diabetes, Coronary Heart Disease, Dermatology and Sexual Health. Prisoners can access condoms at the sexual health clinic. However, all of these clinics are ad hoc and should be run on a regular and planned basis. Smoking cessation courses are held and groupwork is available for Anxiety and Insomnia. The appointment of a Blood Borne Virus nurse, funded jointly with Lanarkshire Health Board, has been a positive development for the prison and means that the capacity for close liaison with local NHS services is good for staff and patients alike.

Medical Services

8.7 The doctor works in the prison six mornings per week and in addition does an addictions clinic on two afternoons.

8.8 The doctor feels that relationships across the healthcare team are good and this was reflected in discussions with a number of staff. Nurses or Healthcare Assistants are present at all doctor/patient consultations. The need for this should be established.

Mental Health

8.9 Meetings of the Multi-Disciplinary Mental Health Team include nurses, social work, psychiatry and chaplaincy, with occasional psychology input.

8.10 Psychiatry services are provided by NHS Lanarkshire and the State Hospital. Waiting times to see a psychiatrist are currently comparable to those across SPS health services. The Mental Health Nurse has a caseload of around 100 prisoners and the plans to recruit a second Mental Health Nurse are to be welcomed.

8.11 Urgent referrals to a psychiatrist can be seen on the same day if necessary, while non-urgent referrals might wait for several weeks.

Learning Difficulties

8.12 There is no particular nursing support for prisoners with learning difficulties.

Pharmacy Services

8.13 Pharmacy services are provided by Alliance. A pharmacist comes in to the prison weekly to check prescriptions and the controlled drugs. A pharmacy assistant works with the pharmacist and healthcare staff on a day-to-day basis, ensuring sufficient stocks are maintained.


8.14 The dentist who has been providing services for almost ten years was due to leave shortly after this inspection. Recent provision had been variable and waiting times for an appointment had risen. The prison has devoted significant effort to resolving the situation. Waiting times and appointments were reviewed in September 2006 and a database created which showed where individuals were in relation to their treatment. Contact was made with a Dental Agency later in 2006 to obtain additional cover to tackle the waiting list. Efforts have also been made to recruit a permanent dentist but with no success to date. Prisoners themselves did not raise any issues. The prison continues to monitor the system to find a permanent solution.

Allied Health Professionals

8.15 Access to the services of Allied Health Professionals - podiatrists, opticians, and physiotherapists - is adequate.


8.16 The addictions service is moving towards a healthcare model. Staffing levels have been increasing gradually and are now sufficient. The addictions team comprises a general practitioner, an addictions strategy co-ordinator, three addictions nurses, three Phoenix caseworkers and officers from the Drug Testing Unit. There is also a Blood-Borne Virus Nurse.

8.17 Active steps are being taken to prevent the introduction of drugs into prison but the prison is not drug free. Policies and protocols for delivering services are driven by the SPS drugs strategy and healthcare standard 10.

8.18 The range of services offered is wide and includes advice on harm reduction, one-to- one counselling, alcohol awareness groups and Alcoholics Anonymous, HIV/Hepatitis C awareness, smoking cessation and relapse prevention. There are protocols covering the use of methadone, subutex and lofexidine, removals from prescriptions, and arrangements for linking with community treatment services.

8.19 Addictions staff are working well together. Decisions about treatment are taken at the Addictions Intervention Group ( AIG) which has wide representation.

8.20 The main clinical intervention is the methadone programme. Prisoners either arrive at the prison already prescribed methadone or are placed on it following an assessment. At the time of the inspection almost 150 prisoners were receiving methadone. If prisoners are still receiving methadone when they leave the prison arrangements are made with community services or within the SPS to ensure that this will be continued.

8.21 There is no waiting list for methadone as such. However, the assessment period of 4-6 weeks can lead to backlogs. Addictions staff said that the main reason for offering the methadone programme is that the treatment 'has credibility with prisoners'. They also felt that treatment is 'needs led'. Prisoners participating in the programme are seen by the addictions nurses or Phoenix staff at least monthly and more frequently on request. The main objective of the programme is to stabilise prisoners so that they can participate constructively in activities. The likelihood is that maintenance would be long term 'because this is a long term jail'. The service operates a warning system and methadone may be withdrawn after two infringements of the code of conduct agreed with the prisoner at the outset. Prisoners confirmed that the onus was on them to initiate steps to reduce their prescription and stop taking methadone.

8.22 Managers reported that prisoners had responded well to the voluntary testing programme (an 89% response - which is higher than in other prisons). There was also some 'suspicion testing' taking place as well as testing which was required to progress to open conditions.

8.23 Phoenix staff undertake all initial addiction assessments. They have had more requests for assessments since the introduction of the ICM procedures. Phoenix work together with addictions nurses as 'key workers' as well as providing counselling. They contribute to the SPS alcohol education group and provide some one-to-one help with alcohol problems. They also offer smoking cessation advice and counselling. With the exception of this latter service, the counselling undertaken by Phoenix staff counts towards progression in the same way as a formal programme.

8.24 The written assessments from Phoenix are linked to the PR2 system. It would be helpful if the team could have another computer terminal.


Integrated Case Management

9.1 Integrated Case Management procedures have been in place since June 2006. They provide for all prisoners serving sentences of four or more years, all sex offenders and other identified high risk offenders, to be involved in meetings to review their progress and agree an action plan including interventions. A meeting must be held within the first six months of sentence and thereafter annually. As prisoners approach liberation a Community Integration Plan is developed.

9.2 The SPS Prisoner Records System ( PR2) functionality is a good support to the ICM process ensuring that all service providers have the ability to update the system as they work with prisoners and complete their assessment or intervention. Not all staff who need to use the ICM functionality on PR2 have been trained in the process leading to potential gaps in information on the system.

9.3 The enhanced ICM procedure applies to all prisoners subject to post release supervision. Admissions to Shotts since June 2006 are progressing from Sentence Management to ICM as their review dates approach. This has led to significant double checking of data, part of the reason for which is that the PR2 functionality to support ICM did not roll out at the same pace as the Integrated Case Management with the consequence that significant data had to be added to PR2 retrospectively.

9.4 ICM coordinators are appointed to schedule and run the case conferences: there are two such officers in Shotts. Risk assessors (28 in Shotts) collate relevant paperwork and complete a form designed to record specific information about the prisoner and his circumstances. They attach a rating to each area of information prompting a full assessment of needs.

9.5 Risk assessors prepare action plans following the case conference. If the prisoner is considered to be high risk he must be referred to the prison Risk Management Group

9.6 By the time a prisoner arrives at Shotts the integrated case management process will normally have commenced. The initial core screening, which identifies immediate needs on admission should have been completed. Depending on how long the individual spends at their admission establishment the first case conference at the six month stage may also have taken place.

9.7 Prisoners are invited to attend 'their' case conferences and may invite their families. Case conferences are normally chaired by an ICM coordinator or a risk assessor. They may be attended by any member of staff who has a contribution to make, although in practice this is usually a coordinator, a prison based social worker, the risk assessor and a representative of the social work department from the area to which the prisoner will return on release. Funds have been provided to establish video links so that community based staff can participate without having to travel long distances. This facility is being used in some instances. The prison averages around 40 ICM case conferences per month.

9.8 The ICM case files are set out on easy to access shelves and housed in a roomy office which also provides accommodation for the two coordinators and provides an area where staff can access and read files. This room can also double as a team meeting room if necessary. Case conferences normally take place in the Multi-Faith Complex.

9.9 Prior to a case conference a prisoner should receive a copy of the joint risk assessment and other relevant paperwork although this is not happening on a regular basis. Prisoners will very often only get a verbal update of the information to be discussed at the meeting a few hours before it is due to commence or in some instances immediately prior to going into the meeting. This does not allow for proper understanding and time to prepare a response.

9.10 An inspector attended three ICM case conferences as an observer and inspectors met a group of prisoners to learn about their experience of the ICM process. Each case conference involved the prisoner but no family member: in one instance a family member had wanted to come but the timing and logistics of getting there had ruled this out. The paperwork had not been made available to the prisoners in advance of the conferences. This meant that a substantial amount of time during the meeting was spent reading out what was written down. This should be addressed. There was a degree of inconsistency in the way in which information provided to the case conference was analysed and in how the meetings were facilitated. Training should be provided. A clear summary of what has been decided should be given to the prisoner, and training should also be provided to minute takers.

9.11 Some of the small group of prisoners met said that they were not clear about the purpose of the ICM process. They also said that they had not been able to go over the paperwork in advance and that, in some instances, papers had been mixed up. With regard to options that might be made available as part of the ICM planning process they observed that the prison offered very little vocational training. They expressed real concern about the availability of the Violence Prevention Programme (discussed in more detail below) and thought that this could block their progression. They also raised concerns about changes in the criteria for moving to the Open Estate. If a prisoner is assessed as retrospectively requiring the Violence Prevention Programme (discussed below) he will be referred to the Risk Management Group where an in-depth assessment of progress will be made and a decision taken on whether or not it is necessary that he be put on a waiting list for the programme, particularly if he is at that part of his sentence where he is being prepared for transfer to a top end or an open establishment.

Interventions to Address Offending Behaviour

9.12 Shotts have a Unit dedicated to delivering programmes to address offending behaviour. It comprises six full-time staff who are trained to deliver the range of programmes on offer. The Unit also has a significant input from psychologists. Facilities are good with four classrooms in the Links Centre and one room in the NIC.

9.13 The following interventions were available:



Cognitive Skills (will be replaced by Constructs)


Anger Management

Not Accredited

Alcohol Awareness


Self Management and Recovery Training ( SMART)






Strategies Thinking Awareness Relationships Techniques ( START)


Encouraging the Long Term Fathers ( ELF)


Violence Prevention Programme

Awaiting Accreditation

9.14 There are significant issues surrounding the Violence Prevention Programme ( VPP). Shotts piloted the VPP in Scotland and has completed five programmes. The VPP is an intense programme designed for prisoners assessed as being at high risk of offending with instrumental (ie planned) violence. Each programme involves ten prisoners and takes over six months to complete. Assessments by a psychologist can take up to two days and these are considered in ICM meetings which then trigger the need for participation in the programme. The prison completed one programme in 2006-07.

9.15 Every prisoner serving a life sentence or a determinate sentence for two or more crimes involving serious assault must be assessed. The type of prisoner held in Shotts means that more prisoners need to be assessed than in any other prison. Developments elsewhere in the SPS (eg Glenochil and Perth now have fewer long-term prisoners due to new build; and Shotts has taken prisoners from the top end in Edinburgh) mean that over 50% of the prisoners in Shotts are serving a life sentence.

9.16 The VPP has created an expectation that cannot currently be met. The same problem was reported in the HMCIP October 2006 report on Glenochil. The Parole Board has an expectation that the programme will be completed by those who qualify for it. Other prisons to which Shotts prisoners might move also have an expectation that it will be completed. However, a significant number of prisoners meet the criteria for a fuller assessment to be carried out by the Risk Management Group as to whether they require the VPP. There are long delays before these assessments are carried out and this is causing frustration and anger amongst many prisoners. Further, once assessments have been carried out, and a prisoner is identified as requiring the VPP, there is no guarantee that a place will be available. As a result, some prisoners who are close to transfer to a top-end or open conditions are now being held back, and prisoners who should be given places on the programme are not receiving them. Shotts is actively trying to increase the number of programmes completed and have advertised for an additional psychologist to deliver the programme. The recommendation made in the October 2006 inspection of Glenochil is repeated here. It is recommended that a balance is found between the levels of delivery of the Violence Prevention Programme and the expectations created.


9.17 At the time of inspection there was very little progression within the prison or out of it. Kerr House had previously been designated a transitional 'top-end' to which prisoners could progress. Kerr House offered a drug free environment where prisoners could eat together, have separate visits and use their own recreation area. This was in the process of becoming a national 'top-end' and local prisoners were not moving internally until arrangements had been finalised. There was no internal progression for protection prisoners, nor between 'B' and 'C' Halls. Prisoners in the NIC progressed to 'B' or 'C' Halls or out of Shotts to Glenochil, Perth or Kilmarnock. In reality this cannot be described as 'progression'.

9.18 As described elsewhere in this report there is a long waiting list for the Violence Prevention Programme. Establishments which would previously have taken prisoners from Shotts are now waiting for them to complete the VPP if a prisoner had been assessed as requiring it. As a result prisoners are delayed in their progression towards a top-end or to open conditions.

Partner Organisations

9.19 JobCentreplus meets with prisoners approximately one month prior to release and provides assistance with compiling a CV and completing benefit forms. Housing only becomes involved when required and are usually contacted by the social work department.

9.20 Alcoholics Anonymous visits Shotts on a weekly basis to support prisoners with alcohol problems. The prison has a very effective service level agreement with AA which clearly sets out the responsibilities of the prison and the partner organisation.

9.21 The HOPE group provide support to prisoners in 'D' hall and offer a befriending service to those prisoners who do not receive family visits.

9.22 The prison is involved in a number of fund raising activities such as the local St Andrews Hospice where they take part in sponsored gym activities or donate paintings. They also have a link with the local junior football team who organise the main contributors for the prison Burns Supper. Prisoners have painted Burns scenes and presented them to the club.

9.23 The NIC craft workshop makes articles on request for local charities and local schools. There are a number of pictures around the establishment depicting the handing over of cheques or gifts to a range of organisations.

Preparation for Release

9.24 Shotts had 77 liberations in 2005-06. As indicated above JobCentreplus pay a monthly visit to assist with pre-release preparation. The final ICM case conference takes place approximately three months prior to release at which the details of the Community Integration Plan are finalised. Appointments with the various community based providers are made following this meeting.

9.25 There are no specific pre-release programmes for those prisoners who are liberated from Shotts. Prisoners who move on to a top end or to open conditions do not receive any specific preparation for this very important transition. A significant number of prisoners (18 out of 46) are returned from open conditions and this may be due to the fact that they are not fully prepared for the challenges which face them at the Open Estate or when they go on a Home Leave.


10.1 Prisoners in the Segregation Unit can receive an extra exercise period in the open air based on behaviour and demand (paragraph 2.27).

10.2 The canteen arrangements (paragraph 2.45).

10.3 The system of procedural review during the night (paragraph 3.31).

10.4 The arrangements for the updating of training of night duty staff (paragraph 3.32).

10.5 Arrangements for maintaining family contact (paragraph 5.4).

10.6 The peer literacy tutors (paragraph 7.6).


11.1 When a toilet is located inside a cell it should be screened (paragraph 2.18).

11.2 Suicide risk management processes and procedures should be improved immediately (paragraph 3.22).

11.3 Prisoners should be medically examined following Control and Restraint removals and this should be recorded on the post incident form (paragraph 3.25).

11.4 All prisoners given a period of cellular confinement should be seen by a doctor within 24 hours of the punishment being awarded (paragraph 6.24).

11.5 The triage system should be improved (paragraph 8.5).

11.6 A balance should be found between the levels of delivery of the Violence Prevention Programme and the expectations created (paragraph 9.16).


12.1 A number of cells in Kerr House should be repaired and decorated (paragraph 2.10).

12.2 A method should be found which stops litter being thrown out of the windows which do not have restrictors and illicit articles being scooped in, but still lets in sufficient fresh air (paragraph 2.19).

12.3 Staff should check rigorously that hall cleaners are fulfilling all of their duties to the highest standard (paragraph 2.21).

12.4 The cells in the National Induction Centre should be redecorated (paragraph 2.22).

12.5 All prisoners should be encouraged to keep their cells as clean as possible (paragraph 2.23).

12.6 Coats should be available to allow as many prisoners as possible access to the open air regardless of weather (paragraph 2.25).

12.7 The prison should consider dispensing cereal in a way which reduces waste (paragraph 2.34).

12.8 Senior managers should eat with prisoners occasionally (paragraph 2.36).

12.9 Consideration should be given to allowing prisoners to have small refrigerators in their cells (paragraph 2.40).

12.10 Steps should be taken to stop prisoners throwing duvet covers out of windows, and the practice of automatically issuing new covers in such circumstances should be reviewed (paragraph 2.48).

12.11 Qualification based training should be made available in the laundry (paragraph 2.49).

12.12 Written information should be available in the Reception holding room (paragraph 3.9).

12.13 All risk assessments in Reception should be carried out in privacy (paragraph 3.11).

12.14 Information in languages other than English should be posted on Reception notice boards (paragraph 3.12).

12.15 A monitoring system should be put in place to ensure that all prisoners receive a standard induction which addresses their needs (paragraph 3.20).

12.16 Prisoners' cell buzzers should be attached to a timer to record how long it takes for staff to respond to a call (paragraph 3.29).

12.17 At least one member of staff who is trained in first aid should be on duty every night (paragraph 3.30).

12.18 The prison should review whether one Equality and Diversity meeting in a year is adequate (paragraph 4.7).

12.19 The prison should ensure that there is no discrepancy in contractors prices in the visits room tea bar (paragraph 5.5).

12.20 The children's play area in the visits room should be supervised (paragraph 5.5).

12.21 A non-uniformed member of staff should attend the Internal Complaints Committees (paragraph 6.17).

12.22 Management should review the practice of using excessive punishment as a substitute for Rule 94 (paragraph 6.22).

12.23 Opportunities for Continuous Professional Development for Learning Centre staff should be systematic and comprehensive (paragraph 7.2).

12.24 Protection prisoners in 'D' Hall should have more access to the Learning Centre (paragraphs 7.2, 7.3).

12.25 Access to training should be increased (paragraph 7.3).

12.26 Prisoners leaving a workshop to attend education should not be financially disadvantaged (paragraph 7.3).

12.27 Prisoners in the National Induction Centre should have better access to learning (paragraph 7.3).

12.28 Prisoners should have the opportunity to tour the Learning Centre during induction (paragraph 7.5).

12.29 The 'Alerting Tool' should be administered by Learning Centre staff (paragraph 7.6).

12.30 There should be links between staff involved in work parties and those in the Learning Centre to identify and support prisoners' needs (paragraph 7.6).

12.31 There should be sufficient links between learning taking place in out-of-cell activities, workshops and the Learning Centre (paragraph 7.7).

12.32 The prison should hold regular events to celebrate and promote achievement through learning (paragraph 7.9).

12.33 There should be a systematic approach to quality assurance across the full range of Learning, Skills and Employability and in other areas of the work of the prison (paragraph 7.11).

12.34 Access to education should be increased (paragraph 7.12).

12.35 The links between the Learning Centre and the library require further development (paragraph 7.13).

12.36 The areas from which methadone is dispensed, particularly in Kerr House, should be improved (paragraph 8.1).

12.37 Clinics in the Health Centre should be run on a regular and planned basis (paragraph 8.6).

12.38 The need for a Nurse or Healthcare Assistant to be present and all doctor/patient consultations should be established (paragraph 8.8).

12.39 Consideration should be given to providing Phoenix staff with an additional computer terminal (paragraph 8.24).

12.40 All staff who need to use the ICM functionality on the Prisoner Record System should be trained to do so (paragraph 9.2).

12.41 Paperwork relating to ICM case conferences should be made available to the prisoner well in advance of the meetings (paragraphs 9.9 and 9.10).

12.42 Training should be provided in how ICM case conference information is analysed and meetings facilitated (paragraph 9.10).

12.43 A clear summary of what has been decided at case conferences should be given to the prisoner (paragraph 9.10).

12.44 Training should be provided to the minute takers of case conferences (paragraph 9.10).

12.45 All prisoners should be fully prepared before transferring to the Open Estate or going on a Home Leave (paragraph 9.25).

Sources of Evidence

Written material and statistics received from the prison prior to Inspection

Prison's self-assessment
Governor's briefing
SPS Prisoner Survey
Prison Records
SPS background material
Discussions with prisoners
Discussions with prisoners' families
Focus groups with prisoners
Interviews with prisoners
Interviews with prison staff
Focus groups with staff

Inspection Team

Andrew R C McLellan

HM Chief Inspector

John T McCaig

HM Deputy Chief Inspector

David McAllister

HM Assistant Chief Inspector

David Abernethy

HM Inspector

Sandra Hands

Associate Inspector

Alastair Delaney

Education Adviser

Lesley Brown

Education Adviser

Phil Denning

Observer, HMIE

Rhona Hotchkiss

Healthcare Adviser

John Waterhouse

Addictions and Social Work Adviser

Dr Chris Valentine

Associate Inspector