One of the largest prisons in Scotland, Glasgow’s Barlinnie jail is now too “outdated and antiquated” to save its purpose.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, an inspection of the Barlinne detention centre in Glasgow was carried out. The inspectors raised concern about the holding cells in the reception area which were “first condemned 25 years ago”.
The Barlinne inspection proved that no improvement was made to the cells as they are overcrowded and in breach of the human rights for prisoners.
A report said: “The Inspectorate had deep concerns about the adverse environmental conditions in the healthcare facility, compounded by the impact of the high population numbers on the delivery of care.
“The severe state of disrepair of the rooms used to deliver healthcare that were seen throughout the inspection, and the consequent risk posed to both patients and staff requires urgent attention.”
Inspectors say the medical rooms were so damaged that it prevented them from being cleaned “in line with infection prevention and control guidelines”.
The prison was holding about 1,489 prisoners when the inspection was made, which is 45.8% above the maximum number it was designed to hold.
Wendy Sinclair-Gieben, the chief inspector of prisons said: “The pressures of overcrowding meant that significant numbers of prisoners were constrained to the minimum requirement of one hour’s exercise in the open air with very little additional out of cell time.
“Insufficient activity opportunities were available for the very high numbers incarcerated in Scotland’s largest prison, with inadequate opportunities for social interaction or rehabilitative focused activity.”
According to the inspectorate, plans have been made to replace the prison by 2025. The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) officials have acquired a 22-hectare site in north-east Glasgow, where they are planning to construct the new detention centre.