8 January 2018
Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant, is frustrated to have it confirmed that there will be no facilities for women to serve their sentences in the new prison to be built in Inverness.
Highland councillors recently approved planning permission in principle for the prison to be built on a site near Inverness Retail Park with building work understood to be due to start this year.
Rhoda said ,
“The Scottish Prison Service has confirmed to me that future custodial arrangements for women from the north will remain as they are at present.
" Under current plans women will continue to serve their sentences in Peterhead.
“This is unacceptable in the 21st century.
"Women offenders need to be accommodated closer to home to allow loved ones, particularly children, to visit easily.
" It is neither acceptable nor right that families in the north should have to travel these distances to visit.
“I appreciate the old Inverness Prison is over 100 years old but the SPS needs to move with the times and come into this century.
“I have contacted the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Michael Matheson, previously about this, and I have also now asked the Chief Inspector for Prisons to intervene to ensure there are facilities in the north for women to serve their sentences.”