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11 February 2005

STEVENSON COMMENTS ON PRISON RULING - MSP CALLS FOR INVESTMENT IN PETERHEAD

Following the news that the Scottish Executive has lost their appeal in the slopping out case local MSP and SNP Prisons spokesperson Stewart Stevenson commented:

“The slopping out case has been a fiasco from start to finish. In Peterhead Prison, the Scottish Prison Service had a sensible, well thought-out proposal from the staff which would have allowed prisoners access to night sanitation, but SPS management chose to reject this out of hand.

“The Scottish Executive are fully aware of the state of Scotland’s jails. Funds were available but they chose to ignore the problem and after this ruling I suspect we will be faced with even more claims and no doubt more payouts.

“A short term Executive saving has resulted in a long term public cost. It is the taxpayer who is going to have to pay the price for compensation claims as they will ultimately have to foot the bill.

“With accommodation issues surrounding all 3 prisons in the North of Scotland – Porterfield at Inverness, Peterhead and Craiginches – it is time for the SPS to look at making a substantial investment in new facilities. The logical place for that to happen is Peterhead.”

Stewart Stevenson
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