Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Prisoner progression failing inmates and staff, chief inspector warns

A report by HMIPS has warned prisoner progression in Scottish jails is not currently working as it should (Anthony Devlin/PA)
A report by HMIPS has warned prisoner progression in Scottish jails is not currently working as it should (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Progression processes for inmates in Scotland are failing to meet their needs and those of staff, the chief inspector of prisons has warned.

In a report by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons for Scotland, Wendy Sinclair-Gieben said an “urgent re-evaluation and further investment” is essential.

The review placed a host of recommendations with the Scottish Prison Service (SPS), including better resourcing programmes to prevent delays in inmate progression.

Progression is used as a way to test the responsibility and safety of inmates by allowing them to advance to lower levels of security to ultimately achieve parole.

After more than 500 prison staff and 600 prisoners gave their views to the report, it concluded: “The progression system is simply not working.

“The current system is not achieving its stated aims, with, for example, unacceptable delays for many prisoners in accessing programmes that they have been assessed as needing to manage risk effectively and which are therefore currently essential to their prospects at a parole board hearing.”

It said prisoners are often being told by the parole board that they have to go on a programme to be considered at their next hearing, but they are then “denied the opportunity to do so timeously”.

Ms Sinclair-Gieben said: “The whole system is currently not meeting the needs of the Scottish Prison Service and is therefore in urgent need of re-evaluation and investment.”

The report added that inmates feel “frustrated” at the lengthy delays in progressing to the top end or open estate stages, and the lack of clear information on how to progress.

It added: “Worryingly, some personal officers were also not clear or sometimes actually wrong in their knowledge.”

It comes as the early release of around 500 inmates is set to go ahead from the end of the month following extreme capacity levels which see staff responsible for around 8,000 inmates per day across 17 establishments.

The report also found a common complaint among staff is a lack of training, with the “overwhelming majority” referring to themselves as “self-taught” on progression.

A Scottish Prison Service spokesperson said: “We welcome this HMIPS report which will help inform our ongoing review of risk management and progression.

“We are confident that this transformational change in the way in which we support the rehabilitative journey of those in our care, improve their life chances, reduce the risk of reoffending, and help build safer communities will address the recommendations made in the report.

“The progression and rehabilitation of those in our care is a responsibility we share with our partners across the justice sector, and we are determined to work collaboratively to deliver for people leaving custody and the communities they will return to.”