Bar-L in­mates are packed in ‘like sar­dines’

Evening Times - - NEWS - BY TONY DIVER

BARLINNIE prison is op­er­at­ing at more than 130 per cent of its ca­pac­ity and pack­ing in­mates into cells “like sar­dines”, new fig­ures show.

New data on the state of Scot­tish prisons show that HMP Barlinnie in Glas­gow is the most over­crowded in the coun­try, with 1371 in­mates in a space de­signed for 987.

Just four in 10 prisons in Scot­land were run­ning un­der ca­pac­ity, the lat­est fig­ures from De­cem­ber show.

Other crowded jails in­cluded In­ver­ness, run­ning at 137 per cent of ca­pac­ity, and Perth, at 110 per cent.

The fig­ures, re­leased by the Scot­tish gov­ern­ment in re­sponse to a writ­ten ques­tion from the Scot­tish Lib­eral Democrats, were de­scribed by the party’s spokesman as show­ing prisons “burst­ing at the seams”.

Liam McArthur, the Scot­tish Lib­eral Democrats’ Jus­tice spokesman, said: “These new fig­ures show that our prisons are burst­ing at the seams with the ma­jor­ity now full or over­crowded.

“Peo­ple are be­ing packed in like sar­dines.

“Those work­ing in prisons have warned that the pop­u­la­tion surge is putting ser­vices at risk and jeop­ar­dis­ing progress.

“Prison ca­pac­i­ties are set for a rea­son. Staff need to work in a safe en­vi­ron­ment.

“Over­crowd­ing makes it harder for them to work with in­di­vid­u­als and help re­ha­bil­i­tate them.”

A Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment spokesman said: “Scot­land has the high­est rate of in­car­cer­a­tion per 100,000 of pop­u­la­tion of any Western Euro­pean coun­try, which is why we are fo­cused on ac­tion to stop peo­ple go­ing to prison in the first place.

“We are com­mit­ted this year to ex­tend­ing the pre­sump­tion against short prison sen­tences in favour of more ef­fec­tive com­mu­nity penal­ties.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.