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HM Inspectorate of Prisons: report on HMP Edinburgh: unannounced full inspection 12-21 January 2009

Edinburgh Prison is almost entirely new. With the exception of one hall built 11 years ago the whole prison has been rebuilt in the last five years. Different stages of this rebuilding have been welcomed in previous inspection reports; at each stage, however, the difficulties of managing a prison while massive rebuilding work was taking place on the same site were observed.

The building work has at last been completed. The investment has been at least £120 million. There is clear evidence in this report of benefits that the rebuilding has produced. Living conditions for all convicted prisoners are good. There are three disappointments in this report. On every occasion when the workshops were visited some (sometimes many) of them were empty. There is very little provision indeed for anything good to happen at weekends.

Some groups of prisoners have a noticeably worse experience of imprisonment in Edinburgh than others. Remand prisoners have living conditions, out-of-cell activities, access to induction, relationships with staff and recreation opportunities that are by far the worst in the prison.

Scottish Government