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17 November 2004

ABERDEEN PRISON REPORT PROVES EXEC’S SHODDY LEADERSHIP

Shadow Deputy Justice Minister Mr Stewart Stevenson MSP has today (Wednesday) said that the HM Inspectorate of Prisons report into conditions at Aberdeen Prison were further proof of the Executive’s lack of action to improve conditions in Scottish jails.

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said:

“While some progress has been made at Aberdeen prison, this is more a result of the work of staff than action from the Scottish Executive.

“The Executive has already been challenged over human rights issues because of the state of our prisons and this is yet another example of shoddy leadership.

“One quarter of inmates are unable to provide a negative test for drugs which is worrying enough but the fact that the building itself is substandard is cause for greater concern.

“Windows that are broken cannot be replaced due to a lack of funds and instead are filled with wooden blocks that are clearly not fit for purpose. This combined with severe overcrowding could cause the Executive further problems.

“This situation is untenable and the Executive must stop burying their heads in the sand pretending that the problem will go away, otherwise my greatest concern is that we won’t of seen the last of compensation claims from prisoners.”

Stewart Stevenson
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