The empty youth wing of a north-east super jail is being employed to train staff and host meetings rather than housing young offenders.
The HMP Grampian facility in Peterhead closed its youth wing following a 15-hour riot in 2014 – just months after the jail opened – when inmates caused £150,000 worth of damage.
The young offenders were moved to YOI Polmont, and four of the six men involved were eventually found guilty of a reduced charge of causing a breach of the peace when a protracted trial finished last month.
However, the Scottish Prison Service has maintained it is “not in a position” for the youths to return to the £140million facility.
Instead, a Freedom of Information request has now revealed that the premises are being used to host training sessions and drug testing.
The Scottish Prison Service confirmed it will continue to assess the facility’s future.
In a statement, the organisation added: “While the facility at HMP and YOI Grampian is not currently used to accommodate young men, it is used for a number of other purposes.
“[These include] carrying out compulsory drug testing, training, incident command training and office and meeting space for project teams.”
Last night, north-east MSP Lewis Macdonald said he was “disappointed” with the situation at the jail.
He added: “Clearly, it could be brought back into use for exactly what it was built for.
“I hope – whatever they are doing – they don’t close the door on that possibility in the future.
“Hopefully, it can be opened if another government or management takes over in the future.”
Peterhead councillor Alan Buchan previously criticised the cost of the prison. And he said yesterday: “A lot of parents were very unhappy they have closed the wing because they spent so much money to get relatives close to get regular visits.
“We have been left with a wing empty so they have now had to find uses for it – something it wasn’t meant for.
“There are plenty of meeting rooms around the town and country and this can be better used for what it was intended. It angers me.”