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Abbey National Bank
Securicor

March 4, 2003
Two security guards have been robbed at gunpoint of about 100,00 at a bank in Edinburgh.  They were confronted by two masked men brandishing a shotgun as they replenished a cash dispenser at the Morningside Road branch of the Abbey National.  One of the security guards, who work for Securicor, was slightly injured when he was hit in the mouth.  (BBC News)

HMP Addiewell
Sodexho (Kalyx)
April 25, 2012 STV
The company which runs Addiewell prison has been criticised over the way they recorded a prisoner’s medication. Richard McGhie, 41, was found dead at the jail in West Lothian in November 2010, less than a month after beginning a three-month jail term for assault. A fatal accident inquiry heard the private prison's record keeping was "haphazard" and noted that it had failed to make clear notes of what drugs were dispensed to inmates. Mr McGhie suffered from epilepsy and died when he had a fit in his prison cell. Staff tried to revive him but it was too late. On Wednesday, Sheriff Graeme Fleming delivered the findings of a Fatal Accident Inquiry into Mr McGhie’s death. He said all efforts had been made to save the prisoner and placed no blame on the prison or other parties. However, he did tell Sodexo, the company which runs the prison, they need to improve their record keeping.

March 26, 2012 STV
An epileptic prisoner who died in his cell may have suffered a rare type of fatal seizure, a court has been told. Richard McGhie, 41, was found dead in Addiewell Prison in West Lothian in November 2010, less than a month after beginning a three-month jail term for assault. A fatal accident inquiry heard that the private prison's record keeping was "haphazard" and noted that it had failed to make clear notes of what drugs were dispensed to inmates. Dr Richard Leitch said it was difficult to establish if Mr McGhie had been given the medication he needed, but added that he could not fault the care he received while in the jail. Dr Leitch also dismissed a suggestion that the prison should introduce movement alarms for epileptic prisoners, as they would trigger too many false alarms. The consultant neurologist said he was unable to identify whether Mr McGhie suffered a cardiac arrest, abnormal heart rhythms or some kind of fit.

January 23, 2012 Deadline News
FIREFIGHTERS today tackled the second blaze at a Scottish private prison within 11 days. Crews from three stations were called to Addiewell Prison, Addiewell, West Lothian, after a fire in a prisoner’s cell shortly after 7.30am. A spokeswoman for Lothian and Borders Fire Brigade said: “Once we gained access, the prisoner was removed and was placed in the care of the ambulance service.” Fire crews were called out to a blaze on the evening January 12 at the jail, which houses 700 inmates and has been dubbed the “Addison” because of its supposedly hotel-like luxury. Addiewell and Kilmarnock are Scotland’s only private prisons and have been criticised for being “cushy”, offering prisoners flat screen televisions and snooker tables to pass the time. On January 2 it was reported that as many as 70 prisoners went on a riot, firing snooker balls as missiles and setting fires after taking control of a wing for three hours. No-one was available for comment from Sodexo, the private company that runs the jail.

January 3, 2012 Daily Record
PRISONERS at Addiewell private jail went on the rampage last night after a crackdown on drugs. Inmates set fire to furniture and threatened prison officers. It is believed the riot was sparked by a clampdown on the illegal trafficking of drugs into the jail over the festive period. A prisoner at the West Lothian prison said: “There has been a problem with the supply of drugs into the jail over Christmas and New Year because they are getting stricter at visiting times. “And they’ve been raiding the cells for drugs and mobile phones. “The guys are not happy that their drugs are being taken away from them and they decided to do something about it. “It was like a powder keg over New Year.” Around 12 inmates out of more than 40 in Lomond Hall took part in the riot. A Scottish Prison Service spokesman said last night: “I can confirm there was an incidental HMP Addiewell which was dealt with locally by Addiewell staff. “The incident was contained to one part of the prison and the rest carried on as normal. “There have been no injuries to staff or prisoners.” A spokesman for Sodexo Justice Services, who run the jail, said the rest of the prison continued to run as normal during the riot.

December 3, 2011 The Scotsman
A PRISONER suffered serious cuts to his body after he was attacked by a fellow inmate at Addiewell prison. It is understood the prisoner was left with deep slashes to his chest and arms and lacerations to his face after he was attacked in the private prison on Wednesday night. It is believed he was struck with a crude weapon that had been fashioned from a glass jar or a similar implement. The man, believed to be in his 30s, was treated at the ERI. Today, an Addiewell spokeswoman said: “We do not comment on individual prisoners.” It is understood that the incident is now the subject of an internal investigation. Despite being one of Scotland’s most modern prisons, HMP Addiewell has seen several incidents of violence since it opened in December 2008. Prisoners at the £130 million West Lothian jail enjoy flatscreen televisions and en-suite showers. Despite these, over the past 18 months officers recorded 37 prisoner-on-staff assaults, and 75 prisoner-on-prisoner assaults at the private jail, run by Sodexo Justice Services. An incident in December last year saw one inmate throw scalding water over another who was allegedly bullying him, and stab him in the back twice with a makeshift weapon. The jail was also the scene of a major disturbance in October 2009 which saw seven prison officers assaulted, while damage in Lomond B wing was estimated at around £5000. Four prisoners were later given jail sentences totalling 17 years yesterday for their part in the disturbance. Police confirmed they had been called to the prison in connection with a fight, but said neither party was making a complaint and, as a result, no charges were made.

September 22, 2011 STV
A former prison officer has been accused of dealing drugs in jail. Garry McDonald worked at HMP Addiewell Prison, near Whitburn, West Lothian. Mr McDonald, 22, appeared on petition at Livingston Sheriff Court facing five offences under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. The charges all cover offences of being concerned in the supply of drugs, He also faces an allegation that he took an unauthorised communication device into Addiewell. Mr McDonald, from Falkirk, has been charged under sections of the Prisons (Scotland) Act which cover mobile phones and sim cards.

May 30, 2011 The Scotsman
INMATES at privately-run Addiewell Prison make more complaints about conditions than prisoners in any other Scottish jail, with around 80 grievances lodged every week. Prisoners at the £130 million West Lothian jail, who enjoy flat-screen televisions and en-suite showers, have made 8921 official complaints since it opened in December 2008. The figures, which included 756 complaints over the quality of food and 47 over clothing issued to prisoners, meant it had more than double the number at any other Scottish jail. Sodexo Justice Services, which runs the facility once dubbed "Hotel Addiewell" due to allegedly excessive comfort for inmates, said many of the complaints were linked to it being brand new.

March 10, 2011 Daily Record
SCOTLAND"S showpiece private prison is more violent than any other jail of its size in the country, a shock report by inspectors has revealed. Addiewell jail has been dubbed the Addison - after the Radisson hotel chain - because cons enjoy flat-screen TVs, Sky Sports and en-suite bathrooms in their cells. But there were more attacks on staff and inmates at Addiewell in 12 months than at Saughton in Edinburgh, Perth or Kilmarnock prisons, which are about the same size. And the West Lothian jail has been hit by two major riots since it opened little more than two years ago at a cost of £130million. As he unveiled his first ever report on Addiewell, Scotland's chief inspector of prisons, Brigadier Hugh Monro, said: "I worry about the violence here, as I do in all Scottish prisons - particularly the staff assaults." And politicians described the level of attacks on Addiewell officers as "unacceptable" and "deeply disappointing". Addiewell staff suffered 49 "minor" attacks - almost one a week - in the 12 months to October 2010. There were also two serious assaults on officers. That compares to just 14 "minor" attacks and two serious staff assaults in the same period at Saughton, seven "minor" assaults at Kilmarnock and only five "minor" attacks at Perth. Addiewell was also worst for attacks by cons on other prisoners. There were 16 serious assaults - more than at Saughton (15), Perth (11) and Kilmarnock (11). The reports also records 278 "minor" prisoner-on-prisoner attacks at Addiewell. The figures for Saughton, Perth and Kilmarnock were 274, 195 and 154 respectively. Rioting erupted at Addiewell in October 2009. About 20 cons ran amok and an officer needed treatment in hospital. Just three months later, an officer was hit with a pool cue as violence erupted again. Reacting to the inspector's report, Tory justice spokesman John Lamont MSP said: "Addiewell has, in a short space of time, developed a poor history of protecting staff. It is deeply disappointing that they have not addressed this problem. "The level of violence in this prison is unacceptable. More must be done to ensure that better safety is provided so staff do not bear the brunt of it."

March 3, 2011 West Lothian Courier
A PRISON officer who smuggled heroin with a potential value of £32,000 into Addiewell Prison for an inmate has joined him behind bars. Kevin Coulter, from Bathgate, was imprisoned for 40 months after a judge told him this week that there was no alternative to custody. The 29-year-old, who was described as “totally unsuited” for the job, took drugs into the privately-run Addiewell Prison after his family came under threat. Lord Woolman told Coulter when he appeared at the High Court in Edinburgh this week: “That a prison officer should be a conduit for the supply of drugs is a matter of great concern.” The judge pointed out that drug use in jail was a major problem and he added: “The commission of this offence involved the breach of an important position of trust. “You did the very thing you were employed to detect and prevent.” Lord Woolman told him he would have faced five years imprisonment, but for his guilty plea. The High Court judge continued: “The supply of Class A drugs to a serving prisoner is a most serious offence.” Lord Woolman said that he accepted that he (Coulter) became involved in the drug smuggling because of threats against his family and that he had expressed genuine remorse. But he added: “You should have immediately reported the threats to your employers and police.” Coulter, of Old Hall Knowe Court, Bathgate, earlier admitted being concerned in the supply of the Class A drug at the prison between July 21 and 26 last year. The father-of-two was employed by Kalyx at the controversial prison since it opened in December in 2008. Management at the jail received intelligence that suggested drugs had been brought into the jail by Coulter on July 26 last year when he announced he was resigning. He was interviewed and appeared “nervous” but initially denied that he had brought drugs into the prison, advocate depute Laura Thomson said. But he then said his wife, mother and family had been threatened and admitted bringing them in for a prisoner. When he was asked if he had drugs in his possession he broke down and confessed he did and removed a bag from his trousers that contained heroin which had a potential prison value of £32,000. The first offender went on to explain that he had met two men at an industrial estate who handed him a package and threw money into his car saying “There’s your wages”. The money was still in his car and £750 was found in the glove compartment. Coulter later admitted he had delivered one package to an inmate at the jail and stored the remainder in his car after being subjected to weeks of pressure and threats. The prisoner had persistently demanded delivery of the remaining heroin and had made excuses why he could not bring it in.

February 25, 2011 BBC
A custody officer who was caught smuggling heroin into a private prison in Edinburgh has been jailed. Kevin Coulter, 29, who also worked as a part-time firefighter, admitted taking the drugs into HMP Addiewell in West Lothian in July last year. The father-of-two had claimed he was smuggling the drug because his family was being threatened. However, Judge Lord Woolman jailed him for three years and four months at the High Court in Edinburgh. The court heard that Coulter was caught with four wraps of heroin at 24% purity, weighing a total of 107g and valued at up to £32,000. During a police interview on 26 July 2010 he admitted he had delivered the drug to an inmate four days earlier.

February 4, 2011 The Scotsman
MORE than one in four inmates who self-harmed in a Scottish jail last year were in the privately-run Addiewell Prison, new figures have revealed. A total of 66 prisoners were recorded as having self-harmed, making the West Lothian jail the worst in the country for people deliberately injuring themselves. Sodexo Justice Services, which runs the Addiewell facility, said its staff "closely monitor every prisoner who displays indications of self-harm" in a bid to reduce incidents. The figures, revealed by Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, also showed that self-harm cases reached a six-year high at Saughton Prison in Edinburgh last year, with 13. But the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) said that "robust reporting" could be responsible for the higher total in 2010. During the previous year, only one case was recorded. The number of cases at Addiewell rose from 24 to 66 during the same period. Gavin Brown, Lothians Tory MSP, said: "We have to get to the bottom of why this is happening. It may be mental health issues or drink and drug problems. We also need to know why the number of incidents is far greater here than at any other prison in Scotland." A spokeswoman for Sodexo Justice Services said: "We recognise that self-harming is a serious issue. At HMP Addiewell, we do everything possible to identify cases quickly and provide help and support to those who need it. "Unlike most other prisons, our reporting system involves recording all cases of self-harm, including instances where prisoners may verbally alert us of their intentions, who may not necessarily go on to physically harming themselves."

February 3, 2011 The Scotsman
A PRISON guard has admitted smuggling heroin at the private jail where he worked. Kevin Coulter brought drugs into HMP Addiewell in West Lothian amid claims that his family had been threatened, the High Court in Glasgow heard. Coulter was eventually snared by bosses and they seized heroin with a potential value of £32,000. The shamed 29-year-old, who also worked as a part-time firefighter, now faces being locked up himself. Coulter was employed by private firm Kalyx, which runs Addiewell, since the scandal-hit jail opened in December 2008.

January 18, 2011 The Daily Record
SHAMELESS killer Brian Venuti is posting a new string of sick taunts on Facebook - just weeks after jail bosses blocked him. Lifer Venuti, 33 - who deliberately mowed down Scotland fan Liam Henderson outside Hampden in his car - has had a new mobile phone smuggled into jail. It allows him to post on the social networking site, where he calls himself "the Devil wearz Lacoste" and jokes about his crime, using the driving caution slogan "Twenty's Plenty". The killer has set up two Facebook pages called "Badd Bhoy" and "Snitches Gets Stitches"- a warning to those who previously exposed his activities. In December, Venuti had his access to Facebook stopped and his mobile seized after the Record tipped off Addiewell prison in West Lothian. At that time, the dad-of-two boasted he was "living the dream" behind bars and called himself the "Devil's son" on his page, to which he posted sexually explicit and racist and bigoted rants.

January 8, 2011 The Sun
WARDERS at a cushy jail kept 60 inmates in their cells for three days over fears a riot was about to erupt. Bosses at Addiewell nick ordered a lockdown after hearing rumours that lags planned to use knives to free a pal and grab drugs. And it was believed staff would be attacked at the private prison in West Lothian. Last night an Addiewell source revealed the panic began when warders nabbed killer William Douglas, 29, of Greenock, who was suspected of trying to smuggle in drugs after a visit. But after he was taken to a medical centre, fellow inmates in Forth C Hall started to bang on their cell doors. Our source said: "The staff believed we were going to riot because they'd jumped Willie. "They received 'intelligence' we were going to cover CCTV cameras, threaten them with knives and force our way to the dispensary to get him and drugs. The riot squad was sent in to round up four 'ringleaders'. The rest of us were left to rot in our cells for three days."

January 6, 2011 West Lothian Courier
ALMOST a third of inmates being released from Addiewell Prison tested positive for illegal drugs. New figures showed that of 69 prisoners tested in the period covering 2009/10, 28 per cent gave a positive result. The statistics, released by Information Services Division (ISD) Scotland, also revealed that in the same period, of 62 prisoners tested entering the privately-run prison, 66 per cent gave a positive result for illegal drugs, with 39 per cent using heroin. Another study of methadone prescriptions revealed that of around 700 Addiewell inmates, 159 were being given the heroin substitute at the end of last year. This is the same number recorded for Saughton Prison in Edinburgh – which has around 770 inmates.

December 13, 2010 Daily Record
STAFF at Scotland's cushiest jail had to buy in teabags from another prison after the cons threatened to riot when they ran out during the big freeze. Officers at Addiewell were left to deal with raging inmates when delivery drivers couldn't reach the West Lothian jail. The 65 million-pound facility is run by private firm Kalyx. A prison source said: "It's set in stone in the prison rules that inmates must have access to tea, exercise and food each day - no matter what the conditions are like. "Each morning, little packs with teabags, coffee, milk and whitener are handed to every inmate. "On Thursday, staff found they had run out of teabags and it didn't go down well. "Cons made it known that if they didn't get their daily allowance, then they would take matters further the only way they know how - by starting a riot. "Someone was dispatched to state-run Polmont, the nearest prison, to buy supplies from them."

December 6, 2010 Daily Record
Crooks banged up at a private jail are looking forward to a £10 festive cash reward - for doing nothing. Cons at Addiewell jail will be handed two £5 bonuses, one at Christmas and one at New Year. Inmates will also get a selection box each and will be offered hand-made cards and a present-wrapping service. Bosses are laying on bingo games where prisoners can win cash, extra phone credit and toiletries. And on Christmas Day, lags including killers and rapists will tuck into a full turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Labour justice spokesman Richard Baker told SNP justice secretary Kenny MacAskill to "get a grip" on the prison treats. He said: "It's time for the Scottish Prison Service to start living in the real world. "Most law-abiding citizens won't be getting a Christmas bonus this year and taxpayers' money certainly shouldn't be funding bonuses for prisoners. "It's impossible to justify extra spending on parties for convicts when their victims are facing pay freezes and austerity." Sodexo Justice Services, who run the West Lothian jail for the prison service, said: "We support and encourage prisoners to take part in purposeful activities."

November 16, 2010 BBC
An inmate has died at Addiewell Prison in West Lothian. Richard McGhie, 41, from Bothwell, was less than a month into a three year sentence for assault to severe injury when he died. He was convicted at Hamilton Sheriff Court on 21 October 2010. His body was discovered on Monday at the privately run prison. Lothian and Borders Police said there were no suspicious circumstances and a fatal accident inquiry would be held.

July 30, 2010 STV
Eleven men have appeared in court accused of taking part in a riot at the privately-run Addiewell jail in West Lothian. One prison officer was seriously injured during the incident in the prison's Lomond Wing last October 11. Twelve prisoners were accused of taking part in the disturbance, but one was released from prison on Monday and failed to turn up for Friday’s hearing at the High Court in Edinburgh. A warrant was issued for his arrest. All 12 men face a charge alleging they formed part of “a mob of evilly disposed persons conducting itself in a violent, riotous and tumultuous manner to the terror and alarm of prison staff”. Two of them are also accused of attempting to hide what was happening by spraying or smearing the lenses of CCTV security cameras. The incident is said to have been sparked by attempts to take 22-year-old John Jenkins to the jail's segregation unit. He is accused of inciting other prisoners to help him. The charge alleges that the mob armed themselves with brushes and pelted prison officers with pool balls, bricks and bits of broken furniture. A total of 16 staff are said to have been assaulted, one to his severe injury and permanent impairment after kicks and stamps to his head.

July 28, 2010 Lynn News
Private sector firms which run prisons and maintain schools and hospitals may face closer scrutiny under Government proposals to make them more accountable to the public. The Scottish Government is considering broadening the scope of Freedom of Information (FOI) laws which give anyone the right to obtain information from publicly-funded bodies such as councils and hospitals about their activities. A 14-week Government consultation will seek views on whether more organisations that deliver public services should be covered by FOI legislation. Those being considered include the private prison contractors running Addiewell and Kilmarnock prisons and those which transport prisoners. The Government believes there are "strong grounds" for Glasgow Housing Association to be covered given "the level of interest that it attracts".

June 30, 2010 The Scotsman
STAFF at the private Addiewell Prison suffered more assaults by inmates than any other jail in Scotland during the last year, new figures revealed today. The controversial jail in West Lothian recorded 45 attacks on staff between last April and this month. The same figures showed Edinburgh's Saughton logged just 16 attacks in the same period, while high-security HMP Shotts reported six. Kalyx, the company which runs Addiewell, said it was "misleading" to compare the jail's assault figures with other prisons because it is subject to a tighter reporting process. But the assaults on staff were today branded "completely unacceptable" and calls were made for violent inmates to be prosecuted to the "full extent of the law".

May 6, 2010 West Lothian Courier
A PRISONER from Livingston is keeping in touch with life on the outside through internet site Bebo from his Addiewell Prison cell. Graham Murray, from Dedridge, believed to have been jailed for assault to severe injury in November 2008, has been talking to his friends for the past month after somehow getting his hands on a smuggled mobile phone. It is illegal for prisoners to have mobile phones in prison. Murray, who describes himself as a “lost soul”, says he needs an “instruction manual to life” and has learned from the “bad times” so he can appreciate “da good times”. The 28-year-old, who says he loves the Kray twins, the film Scarface and Celtic, even updated his site yesterday (Wednesday) morning as he celebrated his team’s victory in the Old Firm match on Tuesday. And a worried parent contacted the Courier after coming across the site and seeing references to Alan Hunter who was killed in Whitburn a fortnight ago. Murray, who appears to have been a friend of the tragic 25-year-old, is kept up to date with the latest developments in the case. One comment, purported to have come from Alan’s father, read: “It’s Alan’s dad using Lisa’s Bebo. Never met you but heard all about you from Alan. Police now have three b*****ds at court on Monday. I hope they get put beside you. Do me a favour mate, cheers.” The concerned woman, who wants to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals, said she found chilling several of the messages left and was worried how the con had such ready access to the internet. They said: “I don’t know how he is on my page. He must be a friend of a friend and added me that way. “I didn’t really look at his page but I saw a comment about him being inside and that worried me. He was bragging to mates about when he was getting out. “It’s concerning that he is able to access the internet and a phone from his cell to have chats with his friends. “I contacted the police and they didn’t seem too bothered about it. They told me it was a matter for the prison service. “If he hadn’t been inside I don’t think I would have been bothered by it but some of the stuff is a bit chilling and close to the knuckle.” A spokesman for the Scottish Prison Service said: “Possession of a mobile phone is against prison rules and information of this kind will be followed up and an investigation will be started immediately.” Addiewell is run by private firm Kalyx. A spokesman for the firm said: “We take such matters seriously and as a result of the information we have received we will be launching an investigation immediately.”

May 3, 2010 Daily Record
PRISONERS in a cushy private jail threatened to riot - over melted ice cream. Cons in HMP Addiewell, West Lothian, went ballistic after their desserts, dished out as a weekly treat, were allowed to melt and were then refrozen. A jail insider said: "Every Thursday we get an ice cream cone with our dinner. It's just like a Cornetto but it is a Smarties one. "When we got the cones last week they had been allowed to melt and then been frozen again. The wafer around the ice cream was all soggy and rubbery." Our source said three inmates triggered angry scenes during which a warden was hit on the neck with a melted cone. The unrest spread and eight prisoners threw their cones at the walls in protest. He added: "There were guys shouting 'This wing is going up in the air if we don't get other cones'. "The screws were visibly frightened and there was almost a riot. It was scary to see that something as trivial as soggy cones could cause such aggression. "The threats and arguments lasted just over an hour. Things calmed down but a couple of prisoners said if the cones are the same again they'll rub them in the screws' faces." Our source said three prisoners were reprimanded for "threatening behaviour" as a result of the incident, which wardens kept under wraps from management. An Addiewell spokeswoman said: "There have been no reported incidents of this kind." Last month, we revealed prison bosses confiscated Xbox 360s and banned inmates from playing video games. Cons at Addiewell - who enjoy flat-screen TVs, Sky Sports and en-suite bathrooms - were the only ones in the country allowed to own the Microsoft consoles, which can access the internet. But the Scottish Prison Service stepped in over concerns prisoners could use them to communicate with the outside world. Last month we also told how a killer and a sex predator were teaching fellow cons English and literacy at Addiewell. Bosses said it was part of a project designed to help reduce reoffending but inmates claim the move is down to teacher shortages. Addiewell, run by private firm Kalyx, opened in December 2008. Just weeks later, cons went on the rampage when they didn't get sweets they ordered. Last summer a warder was put in hospital by a lifer. Another officer was injured in October after 20 inmates ran amok. Sources said staff shortages had turned the jail into a "powderkeg". Former chief prisons inspector Clive Fairweather claimed bosses were cutting back on guards to save money.

April 14, 2010 Daily Record
PRISONERS at one of Scotland's most violent jails are being screened with metal detectors to stop a spate of slashings and stabbings. The cons at privately run Addiewell are now subject to random searches designed to uncover any weapons, including home-made ones they create in their cells. The jail has been hit by two full-scale riots in just over a year of operation and its level of assaults is among the highest in Scotland. But now bosses hope they can cut the violence with the £25,000 metal detectors. Visitors to the West Lothian prison have to walk through detectors before they enter the high-security facility. But until the introduction of the new detector portals, inmates were not subject to similar levels of security. This allowed them to smuggle weapons to attack fellow cons or guards. A source said: "People in prison will always be able to make weapons of some sort. It's quite ingenious some of the ways guys can fashion makeshift weapons. "This place was purpose-built. You would have thought clamping down on contraband and weapons would have been one of the first things the designers thought about." A memo on the prison notice board informed inmates of the change. It stated: "This will lead to a safer custodial environment. Prisoners will be selected for a search on a purely random basis." Just five months after opening, it emerged Addiewell had already seen 32 prisoner-on-prisoner assaults and 19 assaults on staff. In March, it was revealed cons there were caught with the most illegal weapons in any Scottish prison, with many being home-made.

February 17, 2010 The Sun
BOSSES at a scandal-hit jail paid cons NOT to riot when tempers flared following a bungle over their phone accounts. Inmates at private Addiewell prison were each given £5 credit to make calls after they threatened to run amok for the second time in a month. Fury erupted when they discovered cash they'd handed over had not been added to accounts they use to phone home. Bosses forked out a total of £3,750 to keep them happy - and recovered the cash when the problem was fixed. An insider said: "We were told the woman who takes cash from prisoners during the day had forgotten to credit it into the system at night. "The cons were going bonkers because they couldn't phone their wives and girlfriends. "They were threatening to riot again - so the bosses called in an IT man. He credited all the accounts with a fiver, so everyone could phone home." Around 100 cons rioted at the nick last month after some were denied heroin substitute methadone. Inmates armed themselves with iron bars and ripped water mains from the walls, flooding a wing and causing thousands of pounds-worth of damage. A warder at the West Lothian nick, which houses around 750 lags, was injured after being battered with a pool cue. One officer described the scenes as "carnage" after inmates trashed furniture and daubed the walls with graffiti. Last night a spokesman for operator Kalyx confirmed lags were given the "temporary" phone credit. They said: "It was taken back once the glitch had been resolved."

February 16, 2010 The Scotsman
A SHERIFF has raised concerns about the "inexperience" of staff at the privately-run Addiewell Prison over an inmate's suicide just weeks after the jail opened. Richard Crompton was serving a five-year sentence for drug offences at the controversial West Lothian prison when he was discovered hanging in his cell. The 41-year-old Livingston man had been assessed on his arrival at jail by a staff member with just one hour's mental health training. His death sparked a fatal accident inquiry to determine whether the prison, run by private company Kalyx, was at fault. Sheriff Mhari Mactaggart concluded there was "nothing to suggest" that the level of training given to Kalyx staff contributed to the death, and ruled that "no reasonable precautions" could have prevented him from taking his life. But she highlighted concerns that the recruitment of "inexperienced staff may have been part of the ethos of Kalyx". And she said many lacked any previous experience of working with inmates. It comes after the West Lothian jail – dubbed "Hotel Addiewell" because prisoners enjoy en-suite facilities and flat-screen TVs – hit the headlines last month after reports of rioting by up to 100 inmates left two guards injured. Since opening in 2008, the jail has been at the centre of repeated reports of violence and high levels of drug abuse among prisoners, leading to concerns over staffing levels. Sheriff Mactaggart said Kalyx had accepted the need to roll out extra training for staff in dealing with prisoners' mental health issues following the suicide. Drugs courier Crompton, who was jailed in October 2008 after police caught him with £320,000 of cocaine, was found dead in his cell on 19 January last year. He had been transferred to the jail ten days before, having previously been an inmate in Barlinnie where he had also been assessed as "no apparent risk". In a report following the fatal accident inquiry, Sheriff Mactaggart said: "There was clear evidence at the inquiry that the majority of staff recruited by Kaylx were inexperienced within the prison service." She added that prison custody officer Emma Dyet, who carried out the risk assessment on Crompton upon his arrival, "expressed concern that she had only received one hour of mental health training" as part of the jail's nine-week training programme. The sheriff wrote that recruiting inexperienced staff "may have been part of the ethos of Kalyx, in an attempt to move away from the old style of prisoner management". But she added that there were "no defects in any system of working" which contributed to the death after reviewing its risk assessment procedures. A Kalyx spokeswoman said: "The report found that there was nothing to suggest that the level of training given to Kalyx staff in any way contributed to the death of Mr Crompton."

February 16, 2010 The Scotsman
TODAY is not the first time that the spotlight has been shone on the quality of staffing at Addiewell Prison. Following recent disturbances at Scotland's second private jail, questions were raised over manning levels and the training standards required of officers who worked there. Today, following the tragic suicide of a young prisoner a sheriff has concluded that staff could have nothing to prevent his death. But she too has expressed concerns that the company that runs the jail appear to have hired inexperienced staff , some of whom have little knowledge of mental health issues. It is to be hoped that Kaylix take heed of this further warning and take steps to remedy the situation.

February 8, 2010 Edinburgh Evening News
TWO inmates at Addiewell prison were taken to hospital yesterday after an outbreak of violence. There were reports that one had been stabbed, and a prison officer had been punched, suffering bruising and a black eye. A police spokesman said: "We were notified yesterday at about 2:15pm to say that two prisoners had been injured and required hospital treatment. The incident had happened at about 11am." Private firm Kalyx, which runs the West Lothian jail, said that it was only aware of one injured prisoner. A spokesman said: "We can confirm an altercation took place at HMP Addiewell. One prisoner has been treated for injuries. The situation was brought under control quickly." The violence comes just two weeks after more than 100 inmates went on the rampage at Addiewell, barricading themselves into wings B and C and attacking a warder with a pool cue, leaving him in need of hospital treatment.

January 28, 2010 Edinburgh Evening News
IT WAS hailed as a jail of the future. But just a year after opening and rocked by a series of controversies, HMP Addiewell has only served to reignite the debate about whether prisons should be privately run at all. The West Lothian jail – dubbed "Hotel Addiewell" because prisoners enjoy en-suite facilities and flat-screen TVs – hit the headlines again this week after reports of rioting by up to 100 inmates left two guards injured. Since opening in 2008, the jail, run by private firm Kalyx, has been at the centre of repeated reports of violence and high levels of drug abuse among prisoners. Today, in the wake of the latest incident, concerns have been raised over whether the problems are a result of low staffing levels. David Melrose, the chairman of the Scottish National Committee of the Prison Officers Association, said the POA were always "saddened and disappointed" to hear that a member of staff has been injured. He added: "It is our opinion that these incidents and assaults are solely attributed to the low levels of staff operating in the private prisons. "We are afraid that these types of incident will continue unless there is a substantial increase to the staff complements in recognition of the dangers associated with the category of prisoners held in custody." The £130 million prison was opened in December 2008 and was hailed as the country's first "learning prison", with 120 computers allowing inmates to take a huge variety of training courses. The en-suite cells ensured there would be no slopping out and gave prisoners privacy to shower, although the inclusion of flat-screen TVs – some with access to satellite sports channels – did raise more than a few eyebrows. Early teething problems included the sacking of 12 staff last January after it emerged they had criminal records and, just a month later, up to 40 prisoners were involved in a three-hour riot. Just five months after opening, the prison emerged as one of the worst in Scotland for violent attacks, with 32 prisoner-on-prisoner assaults and 19 assaults by inmates on staff recorded. In October, rioting broke out again, with the violence this time leading to four members of staff being injured in a five-hour stand-off that saw prisoners attack guards with mop handles. The problems are similar to those encountered in the first few years of operation at Scotland's first private prison, HMP Kilmarnock. Opened in 1999, it suffered numerous riots and concerns about the number of violent attacks among prisoners, the level of drug use and the time inmates spent in their cells. The Chief Inspector of Prisons at the time was Sir Clive Fairweather, who attributed many problems to low levels of inexperienced staff, with 91 per cent of staff initially employed having never worked in a prison before. While he has never visited the West Lothian prison, he agreed that the problems faced at Addiewell were similar to those he saw at HMP Kilmarnock. Sir Clive, pictured left, said: "What you get with private prisons are very good facilities and these are generally far above what you would get in an older prison – things like medical facilities and cells, as well as the security of the prison themselves. So there are benefits. "Unfortunately, private prisons are run to make a profit. Ultimately, the company in charge of them has to deliver for their shareholders and so they have to find ways to make money. "The way to do this is by having fewer staff, paying low wages, investing less money in training and pensions, and this impacts on the running of the prison. "For a prison to run properly, you need the guards and the prisoners to understand each other and work with each other, and that requires experienced guards. "That takes an investment in training and keeping staff, which can be at odds with the need to deliver a profit." HMP Addiewell currently houses 701 low, medium and high-security convicts – it has the capacity to house 796 – and while Kalyx yesterday refused to give details on how many guards are employed, it stated before the prison opened that it would employ 350 staff, including 160 prison officers. The Scottish Government is known to be opposed to private prisons, with justice secretary Kenny MacAskill abandoning plans for a private firm to build and run a £100m jail at Low Moss, near Glasgow, in 2007, saying prisons "are for public safety, not private profit". The Scottish Prisons Service said the contract agreed with Kalyx over the running of HMP Addiewell required it to "run the prison effectively" but that Kalyx ultimately could decide what the level of staffing needed to be. It also said there were financial penalties in place for the company if it failed to comply with the terms of the contract. "In terms of training, all guards are required to be trained to deal effectively with situations such as the one at HMP Addiewell, and we would expect privately-run prisons to give their staff the same level of training," a spokesman said. "The incident at HMP Addiewell was contained by staff, to minimise damage, and was brought under control within five hours, which a lot of professionals within the service would agree suggests it was handled in an extremely professional manner." A Kalyx spokesman said: "The staffing levels at HMP Addiewell are appropriate for the prisoner mix and environment according to a risk assessment of each block. "All prison officers at HMP Addiewell are trained in control and restraint as part of a nine-week programme which they have to complete before starting work. "The Scottish Prison Service monitors and certifies all staff and training for HMP Addiewell and, like all other prisons in Scotland, Kalyx invests heavily in training staff to deal with circumstances such as Monday's incident." A turbulent 13 months 15 December, 2008: HMP Addiewell opens to inmates. The £130 million prison boasts en-suite cells with flat-screen TVs, prompting some criticism about the level of comfort. -- 3 January, 2009: Twelve members of staff are sacked after disclosure checks reveal they have criminal records. -- 10 February, 2009: Up to 40 prisoners are involved in a three-hour riot in the Douglas Hall section on the ground floor. Claims that the riot was sparked by prisoners being denied food are flatly denied. -- 5 May, 2009: Figures show the jail has one of the worst records for violent attacks in Scotland, with 32 prisoner-on-prisoner assaults and 19 assaults by inmates on staff recorded in just five months. -- 12 October, 2009: Four staff are injured after rioting again breaks out at the prison, with inmates claiming the violence was a response to brutality towards inmates. -- 1 December, 2009: The prison is criticised after figures show it has one of the worst records for drug seizures in the country. Over the first 12 months of its operation there were 206 suspected drug finds. -- 25 January, 2010: Violence erupts once more at the prison, with reports that more than 100 inmates barricaded themselves into Douglas B and C wings.

January 26, 2010 Deadline
OFFICIALS have denied reports of a full-scale riot at what has been branded Scotland’s plushest prison. Two prison guards were taken to hospital after inmates went on the rampage at HMP Addiewell in West Lothian at around 7pm on Monday night. But last night it emerged that prison staff lost control even after their riot team charged into the building. Ambulance crews reported that staff lost control of the situation for a second time after their riot team had gone in. They also confirmed that they took a 29-year-old warden to hospital with a cut to the back of his head and a “burst mouth”. A spokesman for the Scottish Ambulance Service said: “We had our first response car at the prison by around 8pm. Riot -- “Our crews reported a 29-year-old male with a cut to the back of the head and a burst mouth, who we transported to St John’s Hospital in Livingston. “The crew advised that there was an ongoing riot and we mobilised our special operations team, which provides care in difficult situations. “By 9.30pm the crew reported that the prison was going into lockdown. “The prison’s own riot team went in at 9.45pm, but it seems that the trouble flared up against at around 11pm. “Our crews stayed on the scene until 1.10am.” It is understood that a second warden was taken to hospital by prison staff later on. However, Kalyx, the firm who run the private jail and Lothian and Borders Police insisted that only a small number of prisoners were involved and said that staff were in control at all times. Damage -- A spokesman for Kalyx, said: “We can confirm that a contained incident, involving a small number of prisoners, took place in one of the wings at HMP Addiewell on the evening of Monday 25th January and was brought under control. “There has been minor damage caused, mainly as a result of burst pipes. “Two prison officers were injured during the incident and were treated at hospital but have now been discharged.” A police spokesman said that around 10 cons had been involved in the disturbance, which saw police on standby outside the prison for around five hours. He said: “Lothian and Borders Police attended at Addiewell Prison last night to assist staff following a disturbance within. The prison staff remained in control of the prison throughout. Violence -- “A prison officer was taken to St John’s hospital for treatment to minor injuries and later discharged. “Enquiries are now ongoing to identify those responsible for this incident.” Kalyx will now have to carry out an investigation into the disturbance at the prison, which has been rocked by violence and riots in the past year. The report will then be reviewed by the Scottish Prison Service, who oversee all of Scotland’s jails. A spokeswoman for the Scottish Prison Service added: “I can confirm that there was an incident which started at 6.45pm on Monday and was concluded before midnight. Mops -- “There is an ongoing police investigation and we cannot comment any further.” HMP Addiewell is a 750-prisoner facility with ensuite cells and flat screen TVs. It opened in December 2008 and has been plagued by problems ever since.

January 26, 2010 BBC
A prison officer was taken to hospital with head and facial injuries after a disturbance broke out at Scotland's newest prison. Emergency services were called to Addiewell Prison in West Lothian after up to 10 prisoners rioted on Monday. The 29-year-old officer was taken to St John's Hospital in Livingston at about 1950 GMT. His injuries are not thought to have been serious. The incident was brought under control a short time later. It is understood the disturbance was sparked by an inmate being told his methadone was to be reduced. A spokesman for private company Kalyx, which manages HMP Addiewell for the Scottish Prison Service, said: "We can confirm there was an incident in one of the wings. "It was brought under control last night. One prison officer was injured." Two ambulance special operations response teams stood by outside the jail from 2030 GMT until 0100 GMT following reports of an ongoing riot in the prison. Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service also waited outside until shortly after midnight after a fire alarm inside the jail was set off at about 1930 GMT. A former chief inspector of prisons in Scotland told BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme that he believed some prisoners were taking advantage of lower staffing levels in privately-run jails. Clive Fairweather, who has previously inspected the private prison at Kilmarnock, said they had to make a profit, which can put pressure on staff numbers and training. He added: "The difference between a privately-run prison and the rest of the prison estate is that first and foremost it's innovative and really has cutting-edge systems, but it comes with a bit of a problem which the governor always has to overcome, which is it's got to make a profit. "To make a profit the only place you can cut corners is on staffing. "Therefore you have the minimum number of staff, you have the minimum amount of training and it's certainly my experience with Kilmarnock that violence and the like was a problem until eventually staffing levels got to a slightly better stage." Segregation unit -- Mr Fairweather said prisoners in jails such as Addiewell and Kilmarnock have "never had it so good". But he added: "They didn't want to go anywhere else, but they are taking advantage of the fact there aren't the same staffing levels as there are in other major prisons. "Indeed, were there to be major riots in somewhere like Addiewell or Kilmarnock, I'm pretty certain the riot shields and those to deal with it would actually have to come from the rest of the SPS."

January 22, 2010 The Daily Record
A PRISON officer has been sacked for smuggling in a mobile phone for a killer. Cara Wright was caught after prison bosses were tipped off she was supplying banned items to pal David Allan. The 25-year-old thug - jailed for life for the murder of Scott McNeil - had boasted to other cons what Wright had done. Furious bosses at privately run Addiewell prison near West Calder, West Lothian, searched Allan's cell and found the phone hidden in a drawer. Wright was fired on the spot after she confessed to smuggling it in. Her bosses reported the incident to the police and she could face criminal charges. A source said last night: "The word is Allan was close to her. She was always talking to him and sneaking into his cell. "Smuggling prohibited items into a prison is serious enough in itself but she got caught smuggling a prohibited article for a con, so she was in deep trouble. "The powers made her tell them the name of the con she was smuggling the phone in for. "Cara got her marching orders and David Allan was taken back to the solitary confinement block. "Everyone had been suspicious for a while something shifty was going on between the two of them. "Allan's not too bright and the two of them were talking on Bebo and Allan was posting photos of his shower and flat-screen telly. "Cara did seem a bit naive and, to be honest, it was only a matter of time before some greasy snake got their hooks into her because she was too nice to work in this place. "Allan's turned on the charm and got her running little errands for him. "Now it's lost her her job and could end up with a criminal record." Allan was jailed for life with pal Shaun McGrath, 22, for kicking dad-of-one Scott to death as he walked home from a birthday party in Cambuslang, near Glasgow. The pair were jailed in May 2006 and ordered to serve at least 12 years. Addiewell is run by private firm Kalyx.

January 10, 2010 Sunday Mail
PRISON chiefs have ordered a major probe after a killer was caught drunk with bottles of vodka. John McAvoy, 49, was found paralytic by officers at £65million private jail Addiewell in West Lothinan. Wardens were stunned to discover several empty and full litre bottles of Smirnoff in the canteen where he works. Furious bosses believe they must have been smuggled inside by a staff member. A prison source said: "Litre bottles of spirits aren't the sort of thing you can send in with a letter or hand over at a visit. "He must be having them brought in by someone working at the prison. "McAvoy worked in the canteen preparing food and serving fellow inmates. "His free run of the kitchen allowed him to plank bottles when they were given to him. "When he was caught, staff also found empties which he hadn't been able to get rid of." McAvoy admitted the bottles were his and was sent to the segregation block. He is serving 15 years for murdering trainee maritime engineer Tony Blair, 23, and attempting to murder Veronica Miller, 28. He was found guilty of starting a fire at ex-partner Veronica's home in Airdrie. The pregnant woman had to leap for her life from a first floor window. The 2006 blaze killed her new partner Tony. Since opening 13 months ago, Addiewell has been criticised for pampering inmates. who have en-suite loos and flat-screen TVs. Operators Kalyx said: "Due to the ongoing investigation, we are unable to comment."

January 6, 2010 The Sun
JAIL bosses have been forced to raise an 18ft fence by another 10ft - to stop drugs being hurled into the prison. Troubled Addiewell nick has redesigned its perimeter near the exercise yard, where lags could pick up packages from the outside. Bosses at the West Lothian facility acted after criminals were cashing in by nabbing drugs lobbed over the fence. A source said last night: "It was a major design flaw. "It seemed every time cons went out for exercise a package was hurled over. Addiewell is rife with drugs and this was only making the problem worse for everyone. "Now an extra 10ft has been added to the top of the fence - and you would need to be a champion shot-putter to get anything in." Last year the privately-run jail had one of Scotland's worst records for illegal substance seizures, with 206 suspected finds. The 750-prisoner facility - which has en-suite cells with individual flat screen TVs showing Sky Sports - was also dubbed the country's most violent adult jail. And last February rioting lags went on the rampage because they hadn't been fed for TWO DAYS. A spokesman for Kalyx, which runs the private prison, said: "This is a further enhancement to what is an already secure perimeter."

January 2, 2010 Daily Record
INMATES at Scotland's cushiest jail have turned their cells into DIY saunas. Prisoners at Addiewell are using plastic bags to seal in the steam created by running the showers in their cells' en-suite bathrooms at full blast. The privately run jail has been nicknamed the Addisson - after the swish Radisson hotels. A prison source said: "There are no extractor fans or vents in the toilet area to let the steam escape. "Once the hot water is blasting out the shower all you have to do is sit on the toilet and enjoy the steam opening up your pores. "Some smart guy came up with the idea one night and by the time he had bragged about it the next day to a couple of people, everyone ended up knowing about it and trying it out. "Soon everyone in here will have lovely soft skin and great complexions." Each cell at the jail has its own shower unit and toilet pan - where prisoners sit to enjoy the steam. The loo can be sealed off from the rest of the cell by a frosted perspex door. The plastic bags are used to block up the gap under the toilet door - keeping the steam in. The insider said: "Almost everyone is stripping off and getting into it." Cons then open their cell window to let the steam out. Inmates at the £65million complex also enjoy flatscreen TVs, computers and extra visits from relatives and friends. They were even offered a gift-wrapping service before Christmas. The 750-prisoner prison in West Lothian was recently hailed a success just a year after opening, despite a catalogue of riots, brutal assaults and drug finds. Owners Kalyx were contacted for comment yesterday but did not give a response.

December 15, 2009 Daily Record
INMATES at Scotland's cushiest jail are being offered handmade cards, a gift-wrapping service and cash bonuses this Christmas. Cons at Addiewell Prison will also be treated to selection boxes and a turkey dinner with all the trimmings. And to add to the festive fun, there will be "cash and surprise packs" handed out to winners of games including pool, bingo, quizzes, Monopoly and Scrabble. Over the Christmas period, inmates at the private jail will be allowed to spend £30 a week - double their usual allowance - on tobacco, sweets and other treats in the prison canteen. Every inmate at the 769-place jail, near Livingston, West Lothian, will also get a £5 bonus at Christmas and again at New Year. And there's free tea, coffee, mince pies and treats for visitors. A prison insider said: "Nothing like this has ever been seen before. No one could believe how generous the top brass are being. "In other prisons, you are lucky if you get a bit of turkey roll and a shot on the pool table. "This is to try and keep everyone happy. None of the guards want to see a riot over the coming weeks." A spokeswoman for Kalyx, who run the prison, said: "What we do at Christmas is very similar to other prisons in Scotland. "It can be a difficult time for prisoners' families and we try and make it more pleasant for everyone." Addiewell's cushy facilities have made headlines before. Inmates have en-suite cells, with individual flatscreen TVs, showing Sky Sports. But the luxuries haven't stopped trouble at the jail. In October, a warder needed hospital treatment after he was assaulted by rioting inmates. And in August the Record revealed how drugs were being smuggled into the prison inside dead seagulls which were being lobbed over the wall.

December 1, 2009 The Scotsman
SCOTLAND'S newest jail already has one of the worst records for drugs seizures, new figures have revealed. Addiewell prison in West Lothian, which opened just 12 months ago, has recorded 206 suspected drugs finds since the start of this year. Only Glasgow's Barlinnie jail and Edinburgh's Saughton prison had a higher total. Today, one opposition politician said the failure to stop drugs getting into Addiewell was a missed opportunity to tackle the problem. The figures, revealed in an answer to a parliamentary question from Tory MSP John Lamont, showed suspected drugs finds at Scottish jails total 1,705 so far this year, including 225 at Saughton and 256 at Barlinnie. Mr Lamont said that meant there was now an average of more than one find every five hours. He said: "The figures show the problem of drugs in prison is even blighting our newest prison. "One would have hoped a new prison would have systems in place better able to stop drugs coming in. "It is disappointing the government has not taken the opportunity to implement one of our key policies, drug-free prisons or wings." He said the policy would allow prisoners who want to come off drugs to be removed from the availability and the temptation. "If they stay clean, they should be given privileges. If they test positive, then they are removed from the drugs-free wing and the privileges are withdrawn." Addiewell, which can house up to 700 prisoners and is run by private firm Kalyx, opened last December amid criticism over the "luxury" facilities for inmates. Earlier this year, figures showed Addiewell had one of the worst levels of violence among Scotland's prisons. In February, up to 40 inmates took part in a riot.

November 16, 2009 The Sun
FRIGHTENED warders are begging a crisis-hit jail's toughest CONS for protection - because they are bullied. Staff at privately-run Addiewell jail are grovelling to feared lags and handing out favours in return for their safety. Now bosses at the £65million prison, in West Lothian, admit they're struggling to keep guards - with up to 10 quitting last month. Last night a source said: "Addiewell has become such a soft touch for cons that the hardest are being asked for protection by guards. "The warders are sick of inmates screaming abuse at them and they're too inexperienced to deal with it." Hardened cons including Joe Henderson - who strangled his teenage fiancée - and Paul Steadward - who stabbed a bakery workmate through the heart in a row over tea breaks - are said to run the prison. They make sure other lags stay in line at the facility, which holds 700 cons, and in return their lives inside become much easier. The source added: "One day Henderson decided he wanted a Kit Kat Caramel, which had just gone on sale in the shops. "We couldn't pick it up in the jail yet. He told one of the guards that he was after it and, sure enough, the next day he had one. "That's the kind of relationship that's built up in Addiewell now. "It's unhealthy for anyone and the managers just don't know what to do." In its first six months since it opened in December last year, 19 assaults on staff were recorded at Addiewell.

October 12, 2009 Deadline Press & Picture Agency
PRISON bosses are facing a double probe into a riot that left a jail guard in hospital. Chiefs at HMP Addiewell in West Lothian are piecing together just what sparked trouble there on Sunday. But they now face a police probe into assault claims at the high security prison. And a second internal inquiry which must be presented to Scottish Prison Service bosses. More than 20 lags rioted at the high security prison for six hours before on-site officers took control of the situation.Lothian & Borders Police were called out to the West Lothian high-security facility to support prison staff, but prison officers on-site dealt with the riot. Damage -- A spokesman for Kalyx said: “We can confirm that an incident took place in one area of one hall at HMP Addiewell, yesterday 11th October 2009. “The incident, which began about 11am, was concluded at approximately 5.30 pm. “It was dealt with by staff locally and was subject to minimal superficial damage of property. “Incidents of this type regrettably occur in all prisons, but there are robust procedures in place to deal with them should they arise. “This incident is now subject to a Police investigation and so it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time. “A member of staff was taken to hospital and kept overnight as a precautionary measure and was released this morning.” Luxury -- The incident is the second time this year that prisoners at the facility have rioted. In February inmates trashed more than 60 LCD televisions and other luxury goods that the jail is fitted with after claiming they had not received any food for two days. The maximum-security prison is home to many of Scotland’s worst murderers and rapists. The leader of the rioting prisoners has claimed that they attacked staff because of bad treatment at the hands of guards -- A spokesman for the Scottish Prison Service said: “We’ve had an incident report from Kalyx but any investigation would have to wait until the police have carried out their investigation. “We have procedures with our contractors and we have a team that monitor the contract. Contained -- “But the most important report is the police report which is to come. “It was a concerted peace of indiscipline and while it’s not a mild incident we shouldn’t get carried away, it started at 11 and was resolved by 5.30 and it was all contained within the prison. “The important thing is that staff are trained properly to deal with this situation.” In May Addiewell was exposed as having the second worst record for inmates attacking each other and inmate attacks on staff. In the jail’s first six months 32 inmate on inmate attacks occurred, with only Polmont young offenders’ institute ranking higher, with 56 in the same time period. 19 attacks on staff were recorded, second to Cornton Vale women’s prison, which experienced 20 attacks on staff in six months.

October 12, 2009 Edinburgh Evening News
FOUR staff were injured and a woman guard rushed to hospital when rioting broke out at West Lothian's Addiewell prison. Sources claimed the incident at Scotland's newest jail had been sparked by claims of brutality towards inmates. The female guard was taken to St John's Hospital in Livingston with a head injury after the melee involving 20 prisoners. By the time police attended to assist at the £65 million privately-run jail, the situation had been brought under control. Special negotiators were also brought in to bring an end to the five-hour stand-off. It is the second major riot there this year, following on from a similar event in February involving 40 inmates amid claims they had not been fed for two days. On this occasion sources said the riot was a direct result of inmates standing against "beatings" from prison guards. Those allegations are in contrast to the widely held view that the jail is relatively luxurious, with en suite cells, flat-screen televisions and satellite channels, which bosses said would help the rehabilitation of offenders. It is understood the riot broke out in the Lomond B Hall when prisoners barricaded themselves in and fought with staff. One prisoner, who contacted the Press straight after the incident, said the guards were struck with mops as part of the attack. He said: "We just decided to fight back this time. "A short-term inmate was hit by a member of staff and we all got involved. We attacked five of the staff with mop poles and drove them out of the hall. "Staff are lifting their hands to the boys who are then moved to another prison and nothing is ever done about it. Enough is enough. "Everyone reckons the Addiewell is cushy, but lads are getting doings in here. It's got to stop." Recent figures have exposed Addiewell as the second worst in Scotland for inmate-on-inmate attacks, with only the Polmont young offenders facility having more recorded flashpoints. In its first six months of operation, it also notched 19 assaults on staff. A spokesman for prison operators Kalyx said: "We can confirm there has been an incident involving around 20 people which has been brought under control and is now being managed. "This has taken place in one area of the hall. The rest of the prison is operating normally. At this stage however, we cannot really go into any more detail."

October 12, 2009 STV
At least 20 inmates went on a rampage at HMP Addiewell on Sunday. Inmates at Scotland's newest prison rioted for six hours on Sunday. At least 20 prisoners were involved in the incident, which is reported to have left four staff members injured. The disturbance at Addiewell Prison in West Lothian began at around 11am on Sunday. It was handled internally by staff and concluded at around 5.30pm. Lothian and Borders Police said they had been made aware of the incident but had not been called on to respond. A spokesman for the prison's operators, Kalyx, said: "We can confirm that an incident took place at HMP Addiewell yesterday which was managed by staff at the prison. We are unable to give any more details at present." A spokesperson for the Scottish Prison Service said: “The incident at HMP Addiewell was concluded around 1730 hours last night. It included a number of prisoners and was managed in house by staff. "Damage has been superficial and the incident will be subject to a police investigation. The SPS take a very dim view of people behaving in this manner” It is the latest in a series of incidents at the privately-run facility. In February, up to 40 inmates were involved in a riot which caused thousands of pounds worth of damage. Opposition politicians have also hit out at the level of comfort provided by the purpose-built facility, saying it doesn't act as a strong enough deterrent to reoffending.

August 20, 2009 Edinburgh Evening News A DRUG trafficker who was freed early from jail was caught throwing cannabis over a wall into Scotland's newest private prison. Stephen Dickson was originally jailed for 42 months in August 2006 after he was caught with heroin worth about £52,000 on the streets. Dickson, 27, of Magdalene Gardens, Edinburgh, was allowed early release from the sentence on licence. But, on 29 July this year, he threw a package containing cannabis over a wall into Addiewell Prison, West Lothian. Dickson later admitted a contravention of Scottish prison legislation by introducing or attempting to introduce a drug into the jail, when he appeared at Linlithgow Sheriff Court.

August 19, 2009 Daily Record
SCOTLAND'S cushiest jail is getting Sky Sports - so pampered prisoners can keep up with Scottish Premier League action. Inmates at Addiewell jail, West Lothian, had threatened a revolt because they feared they wouldn't see any SPL games. But on Saturday, hundreds of inmates enjoyed the first televised match of the new SPL season - which saw Celtic beat Aberdeen 3-1 at Pittodrie - after bosses arranged a Sky Sports satellite package. A prison insider said: "With the coverage moving to Sky, everyone was facing the prospect of not seeing a single goal. "Some of the lags were infuriated and had made noises about starting trouble, so the decision was taken to get Sky Sports 3 in." Live matches last season were screened in the prison through satellite firm Setanta. But the Irish broadcasters lost the rights earlier this year, leaving the prison without football coverage.

August 18, 2009 Daily Record
A WARDEN has been brutally beaten at a "powderkeg" private jail. Steven Johnstone needed hospital treatment after being set upon by a lifer at HMP Addiewell. The Record told yesterday how whistleblowers had branded the prison "unsafe" and "drug-ridden". We have been inundated with calls from friends and relatives of prisoners backing our story - and voicing their concern over the lax regime at the jail. The latest incident saw warden Steven Johnstone attacked by a convicted murderer serving a life sentence. The assault happened around 6pm on Saturday in the jail's Forth C Hall. A source said: "It all kicked off just after 6pm and the poor man was given a ferocious beating. "He was punched repeatedly about the head and ended up with injuries to his face and jaw. "He's a relatively inexperienced member of staff and it is horrible. Bosses are trying to work out what happened. Although the guy is a convicted prisoner, he's actually a relatively trusted inmate in terms of the Addiewell system - which speaks volumes for the system. "There was only one other warden there. She's only been in the door a week and didn't see a thing." A spokesman for Addiewell operators Kalyx said yesterday: "Whilst we cannot comment on individual members of staff or prisoners, we can confirm there was an altercation on Saturday evening which resulted in a member of staff going to hospital as a precautionary measure. "The matter is now being investigated by the police." The Record told yesterday how whistleblowers at the jail say "scandalous" staff shortages and a shoddy anti-drugs regime have turned the brand new jail into a "powder keg" where cons and guards alike were at risk. Our insiders told how drugs are being smuggled in after they're chucked over the walls inside dead gulls and old socks. It's claimed more drugs flood in at visiting times, with just one or two wardens sometimes left to watch scores of inmates and their friends and families. One source said: "The bottom line is the place is totally unsafe - for staff and prisoners. "Addiewell has 12 wings with about 60 prisoners each and there should be several staff per wing. "The other day, there were one or two per wing, which is scandalously low." Addiewell is a private prison and Kalyx signed a contract with the Scottish Executive in 2006 to design, build and manage the jail. Kalyx insisted that there were intensive anti-drugs efforts and rejected claims of inadequate staffing and training.

August 17, 2009 Daily Record
DEAD seagulls stuffed with drugs are being thrown over the wall to cons at Scotland's showpiece private jail. Drugs are also being chucked over the walls inside tennis balls and old socks. And bigoted lags at £65million Addiewell prison in West Lothian are being sent flutes through the post so they can play The Sash in their cells. Whistleblowers at the jail say "scandalous" staff shortages and a shoddy anti-drugs regime have turned the brand new jail into a "powder keg" where cons and guards alike are at risk. One source said: "There are so many problems with drugs and staffing and so on that it would take all day to go through them. It's shambolic. "The bottom line is the place is totally unsafe - for staff and prisoners." Last night, the private company who run the phone, Kalyx, insisted that there were intensive anti-drugs efforts and rejected claims of inadequate staffing and training. Sources at Addiewell told Record investigators that prisoners at the jail, which opened last December, use a bizarre range of methods to get drugs into the jail. An insider claimed: "There are giant skylights in the roof within throwing distance of the perimeter. "The prisoners ring in drug orders on mobiles, then tell the staff to open the skylight because they're feeling hot. "Dead seagulls have been launched in stuffed with drugs. The prisoners just lift them. "Drugs are also being stuffed inside tennis balls or socks. "It's an easy throw through the skylight - the package can land right on one of the pool tables in the hall. "If the throw misses, the stuff will land in the exercise hall outside, where it's picked up later easily enough. "A builder's ladder was found the other day against the wall at the back of one of the halls where stuff was being tossed over the wall." The source said cons were also collecting drug shipments in their cells by getting pals to throw packages over the wall in knotted socks and hooking them with the cables of their PlayStation consoles. It is claimed that even more drugs flood into Addiewell at visiting times, with just one or two warders sometimes left to watch scores of inmates and their friends and families. One source said drugs were passed across the counter at the visiting room snack bar, which is staffed by prisoners instead of WRVS volunteers. And the whistleblower claimed the CCTV system installed to monitor visits had never been used. The "main man" in Addiewell's drug trade is said to be a well-known "international player" who is "running the show" inside the jail. One insider claimed: "Intelligence reports on him are flying about. "An obvious start would be to move the guy to another prison to at least break the chain. But he is being given free rein - he has even had his two bodyguards moved into cells on either side of his. "The guy walks about the prison with these goons on either side of him. "One used to be in the French Foreign Legion and the other is a convicted Polish killer whose speciality is biting his victims' ears off." And drugs are not the only items which are finding their way into Addiewell. One of the whistleblowers claimed: "There is a big sectarian culture in the prison and several prisoners have had their flutes sent in. One guy went to collect his using a property request marked "musical instrument". The warden couldn't believe it . "Some of the prisoners will demand no Catholics next to them and belt out The Sash and such like on their flutes as soon as their cell doors are shut." Illegal mobile phones are also a major problem at Addiewell, with cons even phoning the Record from their cells to try to sell us stories. One violent offender called us last week to tell how he and his pals were given ice lollies when they got the "munchies" after smoking cannabis. "This place is brilliant," he bragged. An insider said: "The bosses are recruiting some staff straight from school." Our source added: "Addiewell has 12 wings with about 60 prisoners each and there should be several staff per wing. The other day, there were one or two per wing, which is scandalously low. Another whistleblower said prisoners are rarely drug-tested, claiming: "It costs about £120 a pop and it's only likely to return a positive result anyway. "It's only used on prisoners about to be moved to open jails, as they know that a negative result is a condition of their transfer." It is also alleged that even when Addiewell's staff find drugs, they struggle to cope. A source said: "Last week, drugs were posted in to a prisoner doing time for robbery. "The warden delivering the mail opened it to check it and when the prisoner saw his hash had been spotted, he grabbed it off the guy. "The warden hit his alarm button, which means a guard from each of the 12 wings is supposed to rush to his aid. Just three officers arrived. "All they could do was get the prisoners, who were milling around watching, back in their cells. "In Scottish Prison Service prisons, dozens of staff would have been on the scene in seconds. The guy's cell would have been searched and he would have been drug-tested." Addiewell is a private prison and Kalyx signed a contract with the Scottish Executive in 2006 to design, build and manage the jail. The company's website calls Addiewell "an operationally designed prison within which it will be possible to address offending behaviour and contribute to a safer Scotland". The website adds: "A custodial environment can have positive outcomes. Everyone should be given a second chance." But the inside sources claim that the majority of guards have no previous experience in jails. A Kalyx spokesman said: "HMP Addiewell, like all other prisons, concentrates its efforts on stopping illicit items from entering the prison. "All officers are aware of the policies and procedures when illicit items are discovered in the prison. "There have been no complaints about prisoners playing sectarian tunes submitted to the director. If this is found to be happening then appropriate action will be taken." The spokesman added: "All new officers employed by Kalyx, regardless of their previous experience, undergo an extensive nine-week training course, approved by the Scottish Prison Service, before they start work at the prison."

August 5, 2009 The Sun
A DISGUSTED mum told last night how she was robbed of more than £250 in valuables - while visiting her partner in JAIL. Nicola Ringrose, 22, had put her possessions into a visitors' locker at private Addiewell nick as she went to see boyfriend Sean Higgins, 27. But when she returned, brazen thieves had snatched £120 cash, a £130 mobile phone, her bank card, house keys and even her two-year-old daughter Mikaela's NAPPIES. Last night Nicola said: "I can't believe I was robbed in a prison. The place seems to be a shambles." Nicola of Airdrie, told how Mikaela lost the locker key in the visiting room - but guards were quickly informed. She said: "When I got back the door was open and the key in the lock. Everything except a receipt was gone." Plush Addiewell, in West Lothian, is dubbed the "Addieson Hotel" by lags. Last night a spokesman for its operator Kalyx said: "The matter is being investigated by police."

July 7, 2009 The Sun
A MONSTER serving life for the torture and murder of a 91-year-old woman is using internet site Bebo to boast about his easy life in jail. Patrick Docherty, 45 — who left victim Margaret Irvine with a duster stuffed in her mouth — brags about his plush cell and his “working day” in sickening posts. He showers praise on Addiewell jail, dubbed Scotland’s cushiest, on the social networking site. Cons at the West Lothian jail enjoy ensuite bathrooms and flatscreen TVs. Docherty crows:“It’s great being able to jump out of bed straight into a shower to freshen up before staff even start to unlock at 8am.” He reveals he gets paid to cut other cons’ hair, and “passes the time” drawing pictures as an art teacher. Docherty and pal Brendan Dixon, 43, were caged for at least 25 years in 2005 for murdering Margaret at her home in Galson, Ayrshire. She was found with her hands tied in an apparent botched robbery. But despite his comforts, dad Docherty, who has always protested his innocence. also tells that he contemplates suicide. He adds on the Bebo page: “Many a night I lay awake thinking how easy it would be to take my own life. “It may release me from this pitiful existence that is my so called life, but it won’t get justice for Mrs Irvine if I am dead.” Docherty wed second wife Elizabeth, 44, in Shotts jail in 2007. He has 54 convictions, 14 for violence, and has been in Addiewell four months. In 2006 he and Dixon were given the go-ahead to challenge their convictions, claiming there was no DNA or fingerprint evidence. But last night Margaret’s nephew Charles Keers, 56, blasted Docherty’s cushy life. He said: “The justice system in this country is a joke.” Addiewell is run by private firm Kalyx. An insider claimed the lag most likely had “someone on the outside” to use Bebo for him. Kalyx said: “Prisoners do not have access to the internet.”

June 13, 2009 The Sun
BOSSES at Scotland’s cushiest jail splashed out on hundreds of electric fans — after pampered cons moaned they were too hot. Addiewell prison chiefs sent guards out to buy scores of the desk devices to keep whingeing inmates happy. Lags at the West Lothian pokey already enjoy flat-screen tellies and en-suite showers. And last night an insider said: “It’s getting ridiculous — the things must have cost a fortune. “The prisoners are in there to be punished, but seem to get everything they want. “Some of them were moaning the jail was too warm for them during the hot weather we’ve been having. “The guards then ran out and bought fans for them to cool down. It’s getting to the stage where the inmates are running the jail and telling the guards what to do.” Snooze -- Tory justice spokesman Bill Aitken blasted the easy ride inmates are getting at the country’s newest nick. He said: “Many law-abiding people cannot afford fans. “If the cons find it too hot in jail then they have an easy solution — stop committing crime and getting sent there. On Thursday we told how lazy prisoners in Scotland are being allowed to snooze through their sentences Outgoing chief prisons inspector Dr Andrew McLellan said Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill was right to brand life in our jails “a skoosh”. In his final report the jail watchdog said: “They spend most of their time lying in bed.” Dr McLellan also said his seven years in the job had seen living conditions “transformed” with cons enjoying “first-class” prison buildings. Plush £130million Addiewell — operated by private company Kalyx — opened in December last year. And last month it was branded “a dangerous place for staff and inmates” — as it was revealed to be Scotland’s most violent adult jail. Attacks -- Kalyx’s facility has already seen 32 prisoner-on-prisoner assaults — an average of two every week — and 19 attacks on staff this year. Last night a spokeswoman for Kalyx said: “Due to the hot weather we have been experiencing, we used the profit generated from the prison shop to purchase fans for prisoners to use in their cells.”

May 5, 2009 The Scotsman
SCOTLAND'S newest jail already has one of the worst records for violent attacks, new figures have revealed. Addiewell prison in West Lothian is second in the league tables both for assaults by prisoners on each other and for attacks by prisoners on staff. The 700-capacity jail, which is run by private firm Kalyx, opened last December amid criticism over the "luxury" facilities for inmates. Prison bosses argued the conditions – including cells with en-suite toilets and TVs – would help in the rehabilitation of offenders. But new figures show that so far this year, Addiewell has seen 32 prisoner-on-prisoner assaults – second only to Polmont young offenders institution, where there have been 56 such incidents. The jail has also recorded 19 assaults by inmates on staff. Only Cornton Vale women's prison is worse, with 20 prisoner-on-staff attacks. Politicians claimed at the time that the "level of comfort" at the jail would not provide a deterrent to re-offending. Today, Tory justice spokesman Bill Aitken said the figures were disgraceful. He said: "The more we pander to prisoners the less well they behave. We cannot tolerate the situation where prison staff find themselves victims of assaults. It is essential that the most serious possible view is taken of this type of behaviour." A spokeswoman from Kalyx was not available for comment. Earlier this year, a sacked prison guard claimed prisoners at Addiewell were "running the jail". Paula Gardner, 36, from Livingston, was dismissed after prison bosses discovered she had a minor conviction 20 years ago. She claimed prisoners were smoking heroin and using banned mobile phones as under-trained staff struggle to keep order. In February, up to 40 inmates took part in a riot at the jail. Inmates in the Douglas Hall section on the ground floor of the jail barricaded themselves into the wing and smashed up equipment during the three-hour stand-off. It was initially reported prisoners went on the rampage as they had not been fed for two days but Kalyx insisted it was triggered by one inmate's personal issue.

February 22, 2009 Sunday Mail
A BLUNDERING prison guard who lost a bunch of cell keys has been promoted - as a boss at riot-hit Addiewell jail. Ivan Millar's mistake forced all the locks at Arbroath Sheriff Court to be changed in case cons found his keys. Now he is a unit manager at the private prison in West Calder, West Lothian. A spokesman there said: "We have a stringent recruitment process." Last month five prisoners mounted barricades, lit a fire and staged a three hour riot at the £80million jail.

February 11, 2009 The Herald
Five prisoners at Scotland's only jail dedicated to tackling recidivism faced the threat of new sentences yesterday after riots which are believed to have followed a complaint about sweets. The five were among a group of around 40 inmates at Addiewell Prison in West Lothian when trouble flared, forcing prison staff to lock down the jail while order was restored. All five have been isolated and reported to the procurator- fiscal over the incident on Monday night. The disturbance will be an embarrassment given the jail's status as Scotland's first "learning prison" with a remit to reduce repeat offending by inmates. Initial reports that prisoners were protesting because they had not been fed for two days were flatly denied yesterday by the Scottish Prisons Service (SPS) and Kalyx, the private firm that runs Addiewell. But while the SPS stressed that the matter was currently being investigated, it said it was thought that the disturbance may have come about after an inmate complained about a lack of sweets at the jail's canteen. A spokeswoman for the SPS said: "It was over canteen facilities, not the kitchen. It was definitely not about food. They had had all their meals." While it was originally claimed that dozens of television sets were wrecked during the rioting, the spokeswoman described the damage as "minor and superficial". She admitted that "some" TVs may have been damaged during the incident, which she said took place in a wing holding "about 40" prisoners. Most were not involved, the SPS said. Kalyx issued its own firm denial that the trouble broke out over concerns about food shortages and said that it was caused by a single inmate. A spokesman for Kalyx said: "We can categorically confirm that there has been no issue regarding the provision of meals and all prisoners have been receiving their meals as normal. "On the evening of Monday February 9, one prisoner instigated a disturbance over a personal matter in one wing of HMP Addiewell." Prison staff imposed a lockdown at the prison between around 8.30pm and 11pm while the rioting was brought under control. There were no injuries to staff or prisoners and both Kalyx and the SPS said proper procedures were followed. The £130m jail on the outskirts of Addiewell, near West Calder, only opened in December. It has a dedicated academy for "flexible learning" to offer the 700 prisoners it is designed to hold a greater chance to prepare themselves for getting paid work when they are released from jail. A Kalyx spokesman added: "The police are investigating the circumstances around the disturbance at HMP Addiewell and therefore it is not appropriate for us to comment any further."

February 10, 2009 Scotsman
A disturbance has taken place at Scotland's newest private prison, authorities said today. Dozens of inmates went on the rampage at Addiewell Prison in West Lothian last night. Up to 48 prisoners were involved in the disturbance at the privately run jail. Trouble flared when inmates took control of a hall in one wing of the prison, the paper said, using pool tables and furniture to make barricades. Police, the fire service and ambulances rushed to the scene as violence erupted, a fire service spokeswoman said today. The disturbance is said to have gone on for several hours until prison staff negotiated an end to the trouble. No-one is thought to have been injured in the incident and no inmates are believed to have escaped. An SPS spokeswoman said: "There was an incident at the jail last night but it is over now." A spokeswoman for Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service said: "All three emergency services attended. "We didn't do very much, we were just standing by." HMP Addiewell, near Livingston, is a 700-capacity prison run by private firm Kalyx. It opened in December.

December 4, 2007 Press Association
Taxpayers face being "ripped off" by many flagship projects funded through the private sector, justice secretary Kenny MacAskill has told MSPs. Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and the new private prison planned for Addiewell in West Lothian, both had their value called into question by Mr MacAskill. He was giving evidence to Holyrood's Justice Committee on the impact of of next year's budget on his justice portfolio. The SNP has always opposed the used of public private partnerships to help fund the construction of projects like schools, hospitals and prisons. The issue is not just ideological, but also a matter for the public purse, Mr MacAskill told Labour's Paul Martin. "I believe and this government believes, that our people have frankly received poor value, if not been ripped off, in many instances, by many flagship projects. "And they're as inappropriate in prisons as they are in health." Mr MacAskill told the committee that the new prison being built at Addiewell, agreed by the last administration, is likely to cost about £24-25 million annually over the next 25 years. This is more than £600 million in total. "I have to say that 25 times 25 is significantly more than what a prison costs in construction, something in the region of £120-140 million," he said. "The fact of the matter is we can build a prison for significantly less than we will end up paying in annualised payments. I think the taxpayers of Scotland are entitled to ask why we signed that off in the first place," he said.

May 20, 2007 Scotsman
PLANS to build two new prisons using private money are set to be scrapped by the SNP, in the first major change of policy since it gained power at Holyrood. Labour insiders claim the plans will cost as much as £750m over the next 20 years, and will lead to lengthy delays in easing the current overcrowding crisis. The move to bring two jail projects back into public control will place the SNP in direct conflict with prison chiefs and civil servants who have already started signing off the deals with private firms to construct the desperately needed institutions. The row centres on two 700-capacity prisons at Low Moss near Bishopbriggs and in Addiewell in West Lothian. Construction work has already begun at Addiewell, with a private consortium having been given the contract to start. A bid to construct Low Moss in the public sector was knocked back by prison chiefs earlier this month, paving the way for another private deal. The SNP insists that moving the two jails into the public sector will bring an end to firms profiteering from imprisonment and - in the long term - benefit the public purse. The decision by the new SNP government to challenge the move is set to be one of the first major flashpoints of its period in office.

October 1, 2006 Sunday Herald
PLANS by ministers to extend the use of private jails in Scotland have been condemned as “mistaken” and “short-sighted” by a leading expert on penal systems. Baroness Vivien Stern, a cross-bench peer in the House of Lords and a senior research fellow at the International Centre for Prison Studies at King’s College London, also revealed that when the country’s second private jail – Addiewell – opens in 2009, Scotland will have, proportionately, more inmates housed in private prisons than any other country in the world. The new £65 million jail is being built on a 35-acre site in West Lothian. It is to be run by Royal Bank Project Investments, Sodexho Investment Services and Interserve PFI 2005 under the name Addiewell Prison Ltd. But Stern predicted that further privatising the jail system would drive down wages, waste taxpayers’ money and hamper efforts to reduce re-offending. She said: “My view is that this is a mistaken route. The point is that the contract ties you in for 25 years, which means that any new ideas about penal policy that develop in the next 25 years will come up against a contract that’s been signed and has to run.

January 30, 2004
OBJECTIONS to a new jail in West Lothian are more than just "nimbyism", SNP Lothians MSP Fiona Hyslop has told the Scottish Parliament.  And she appealed for communities close to the proposed site for the 700-inmate prison near Addiewell to be told whether it would be privately-built and run.  Ms Hyslop said the issue of whether the new jail was public or private was a matter of concern for locals, 300 of whom had attended a public meeting about the plans.  "The majority wanted to express they were not just interested in nimby arguments. They are interested in whether it’s to be a private prison. Is it right that private profits should be made as a result of the state’s decision to incarcerate someone?"  (Scotsman)

May 30, 2003
A SITE in central Scotland has been identified as the preferred location for a 700-inmate high security jail and could become Scotland's second privately-run prison.  Danny Russell, Addiewell community council secretary, said: "The survey we carried out was only just against the prison, but a lot of people didn't take part because they thought it wouldn't materialise. Personally, I am against it. I just can't see it bringing in as many jobs and money as they say. I wonder what would have happened had the community known the plan was at this stage before the election."  News of the privately financed project prompted an angry reaction from the Prison Officers Association of Scotland (POAS), which pointed to problems experienced at Kilmarnock, Scotland's sole privately run prison.  Last year it was revealed two inmates were released incorrectly and in another incident a prisoner went missing inside the jail, run by Premier Prisons.  A spokesman for POAS said the union was against private funding of prisons, adding: "We are outraged that another privately-run, privately-built prison has been given the go-ahead, given the performance at Kilmarnock."  (The Herald)

Dungavel Immigration Centre
Group 4 (formerly run by Premier)
September 11, 2011 Scotland on Sunday
HUNDREDS of thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money is being spent holding asylum-seekers at Dungavel detention centre for months at a time. Scotland on Sunday has learned that almost £500,000 has been spent housing 13 long-term detainees, several of whom have been at the former prison in South Lanarkshire for more than a year. Asylum-seekers are supposed to stay at so-called pre-departure centres for no more than a week. But in a number of cases, delays in the deportation system mean the UK Border Agency is holding people for an unspecified period. For the duration of detention, the Home Office pays security firm G4S £110 a day for each asylum-seeker. At Dungavel, two men have been held for two years and four months, while others have been held for more than a year, at a cost to taxpayers of about £480,000. Detaining Christian Likenge, 27, a former law student from the Democratic Republic of Congo, who has been held for 28 months, has cost £100,000 to date. Likenge, a Christian preacher, is being held after the UK rejected his application for asylum but officials in his native country refused to give him the necessary identification to return home. "It's very difficult and frustrating being here this long," he said. "It's mental torture. I feel depressed. You miss your people, you miss your friends. You feel half-dead."

May 19, 2010 Morning Star
Concrete evidence of the Con-Dem government's contempt for the most vulnerable was already surfacing on Wednesday after one of their headline pledges was shown to be a farce. Anger erupted among human rights campaigners after it emerged that the coalition's announcement that it was committed to ending child detention for immigration purposes had already been severely undermined. Immigration Minister Damian Green boasted on Wednesday of the new government's quick progress that, "with immediate effect, children will no longer be detained overnight at Dungavel Immigration Removal Centre. "This is something which many groups in Scotland have been calling for and we are now delivering this positive outcome." But it emerged that the detention of those children and their mothers would continue, as they are instead being transferred to the notorious Yarl's Wood Immigration Centre in Bedfordshire. And Scottish Education Secretary Mike Russell wrote to new Home Secretary Theresa May on Wednesday detailing his "strong concerns" when he found out that, on Monday, Pakistani woman Sehar Shebaz and her eight-month-old daughter Wanya were taken into Dungavel. The two are due to be moved to Yarl's Wood. Glasgow MSP Anne McLaughlin said: "The House of Commons has been highly critical of child detention in Yarl's Wood and we must see this practice brought to an end across the UK as soon as possible." Yarl's Wood made the headlines earlier this year after women, many of whom are rape and torture survivors, went on hunger strike against the alleged inhumane treatment they were suffering at the hands of the centre's staff, who are employed by security giant Serco. Black Women's Rape Action Project co-ordinator Cristel Amiss said the pledge to end child detention should be extended to mothers, pointing out that the trauma of a mother and child being separated causes suicidal feelings in mothers and symptoms such as nightmares and bed-wetting in children. She said there was no evidence that detention of mothers and children was necessary as the UK Border Agency itself has admitted that there is no risk of absconding. "No mother wants to rip her child out of school and put them through lying low somewhere - it doesn't happen." Ms Amiss also highlighted that Britain was a signatory to the UN Convention for Refugees, but "successive governments have dismantled that to the point where Britain does not give protection and safety, particularly for those who are the most vulnerable. "Women have told us they had to seek asylum and had to come to Britain because Britain has been involved in promoting wars they have fled and providing arms for rebel forces." The Home Office insisted that detention would continue while a review was carried out into alternatives. End Child Detention Now spokeswoman Esme Madil said: "We see absolutely no reason to delay this while the review is taking place. "Immigration detention should have ended immediately."

May 18, 2005 BBC
Chief Inspector of Prisons Anne Owers said provision for children at the Dungavel immigration detention centre in Lanarkshire was "inadequate". Ms Owers also attacked the "seriously deficient" protection of children at Tinsley House near Gatwick. Home Office Minister Tony McNulty said detention must be carried out with humanity and dignity. Ms Owers said the Dungavel centre, which holds failed asylum seekers before deportation, had failed to implement recommendations made during a visit two years earlier. She said she was "extremely concerned" about children at the centre, and in all the immigration removal centres she had inspected. "Obviously the detention of children is a very sensitive matter which should be exceptional and only for a very short period," she told BBC News. "The problem was that in neither of those centres were there proper independent procedures in place so that the welfare needs of those children could be properly identified and met, and so that any serious concerns could be raised quickly." Dungavel House is Scotland's only immigration removal centre. On Tinsley House, Ms Owers said there was no dedicated child protection officer, and inadequate criminal record checks on staff. The privately-run centre was also attacked for weak complaints and race relations procedures. Linda Fabiani, deputy convener of the Scottish Parliament's cross-party group on refugees, condemned the "disgraceful" provision of care for children at Dungavel. "This report is a damning indictment of the centre and the Scottish Executive's policy on the handling of asylum seekers," the Scottish National Party MSP said. "The executive must now tell the Home Office that it is not acceptable that these children are being failed on Scottish soil and demand action now." The Scottish Socialist Party MSP, Rosie Kane, said: "Dungavel detention centre is Scotland's national disgrace. "The detention of innocent men, women and children on Scottish soil is an abuse of human rights, of the right under international law to seek asylum.
"The detention of children is absolutely barbaric."

July 25, 2004
An investigation has been launched after a man was found dead at the Dungavel immigration centre.  The Home Office confirmed that there was a death on Friday night, but refused to give any further details.  It is understood that the death at the Lanarkshire centre is not being treated as suspicious.  Human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar claimed that the man had committed suicide after he was moved from a centre in west London following a riot.  There was a disturbance at Harmondsworth earlier this month after a 31-year-old detainee was found hanged.  (BBC)

Edinburgh Court of Appeal
Edinburgh
Reliance
November 24, 2004 BBC
A man is due to appear in court after a security guard was allegedly stabbed inside the Court of Appeal building in Edinburgh on Tuesday afternoon.
The man was arrested after the incident in which the guard, who is in his 50s, was injured. A Reliance spokesman said: "We are investigating the situation and co-operating fully with the police and the Scottish Prison Service in their investigations." The security firm only started operating services in the capital last month after it successfully completed a shadowing operation in the Lothian and Borders force area.

Executive
July 28, 2010 Lynn News
Private sector firms which run prisons and maintain schools and hospitals may face closer scrutiny under Government proposals to make them more accountable to the public. The Scottish Government is considering broadening the scope of Freedom of Information (FOI) laws which give anyone the right to obtain information from publicly-funded bodies such as councils and hospitals about their activities. A 14-week Government consultation will seek views on whether more organisations that deliver public services should be covered by FOI legislation. Those being considered include the private prison contractors running Addiewell and Kilmarnock prisons and those which transport prisoners. The Government believes there are "strong grounds" for Glasgow Housing Association to be covered given "the level of interest that it attracts".

December 8, 2009 UK Press Association
Private prison operators and contractors who build schools and hospitals may become subject to freedom of information laws. The Scottish Government is to formally consult on extending the legislation, which already applies to public authorities. Organisations that would be affected are the firms running Addiewell and Kilmarnock prisons and those which build and maintain schools and hospitals.

May 20, 2008 Scotland on Sunday
PLANS to build two new prisons using private money are set to be scrapped by the SNP, in the first major change of policy since it gained power at Holyrood. Labour insiders claim the plans will cost as much as £750m over the next 20 years, and will lead to lengthy delays in easing the current overcrowding crisis. The move to bring two jail projects back into public control will place the SNP in direct conflict with prison chiefs and civil servants who have already started signing off the deals with private firms to construct the desperately needed institutions. The row centres on two 700-capacity prisons at Low Moss near Bishopbriggs and in Addiewell in West Lothian. Construction work has already begun at Addiewell, with a private consortium having been given the contract to start. A bid to construct Low Moss in the public sector was knocked back by prison chiefs earlier this month, paving the way for another private deal. The SNP insists that moving the two jails into the public sector will bring an end to firms profiteering from imprisonment and - in the long term - benefit the public purse. The decision by the new SNP government to challenge the move is set to be one of the first major flashpoints of its period in office. New Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Kenny MacAskill, is expected to meet chiefs from the Scottish Prison Service this week. The new SNP administration has made the matter an "urgent priority" as they seek to prevent more private-public partnerships being introduced. The two new jails were first backed by ministers in 2002 to house 1,400 inmates. An SNP source said: "We are committed to our position. There is no contract signed at Low Moss so it is simply a matter for ministers to decide over. We will look at Addiewell as well." The SNP has said previously it may consider building the new jails through not-for-profit trusts. It argues that, over the long term, such deals would be far cheaper because the government would not have to pay out hefty fees to the private firms who run them. But Labour insiders insist that bringing Low Moss into the public sector would increase costs from £750m over the next 20 years to more than £1.5bn.

December 4, 2007 Press Association
Taxpayers face being "ripped off" by many flagship projects funded through the private sector, justice secretary Kenny MacAskill has told MSPs. Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and the new private prison planned for Addiewell in West Lothian, both had their value called into question by Mr MacAskill. He was giving evidence to Holyrood's Justice Committee on the impact of of next year's budget on his justice portfolio. The SNP has always opposed the used of public private partnerships to help fund the construction of projects like schools, hospitals and prisons. The issue is not just ideological, but also a matter for the public purse, Mr MacAskill told Labour's Paul Martin. "I believe and this government believes, that our people have frankly received poor value, if not been ripped off, in many instances, by many flagship projects. "And they're as inappropriate in prisons as they are in health." Mr MacAskill told the committee that the new prison being built at Addiewell, agreed by the last administration, is likely to cost about £24-25 million annually over the next 25 years. This is more than £600 million in total. "I have to say that 25 times 25 is significantly more than what a prison costs in construction, something in the region of £120-140 million," he said. "The fact of the matter is we can build a prison for significantly less than we will end up paying in annualised payments. I think the taxpayers of Scotland are entitled to ask why we signed that off in the first place," he said.

September 5, 2007 The Herald
Low-paid prison officers employed in the private sector are more vulnerable to the temptation of corruption, according to Kenny MacAskill. The Justice Secretary told MSPs yesterday that is one of the reasons why he does not want to see private companies running prisons. He said the only way corporations can run prisons more cheaply than the public sector is by having lower wages for staff, compromising security and morale. Appearing before Holyrood's Justice Committee, the Justice Minister disclosed the wide gulf in prisoner-warder ratios between the public sector and Kilmarnock Prison, with 4500 staff for a prison population of more than 7000, while the Ayrshire prison has 200 staff for 550 inmates. Mr MacAskill said some of that was because of the design of old prisons, and that the only saving from the private sector provision of prisons is in the wage bill: "I believe the prison officers in Scotland do an excellent job in very difficult circumstance, and I think we have to reward and treat them fairly. "I believe any strategy seeking to reduce what they are paid would not only damage them, it would damage security in our prisons." His appearance before the committee came days after the minister promised a radical shift in prison policy.

August 23, 2007 BBC
Plans for a £100m prison to be run by the private sector have been scrapped, Scottish ministers have said. The 700-cell jail, to replace Low Moss near Bishopbriggs, which closed in May, will instead be run by the Scottish Prison Service. Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said prisons should be owned and operated by the public sector. Labour leader-elect Wendy Alexander said it was right to proceed with a privately built but publicly run jail. The closure of Low Moss, which held 200 inmates, came after a prison review in 2002, under the previous Labour/Lib Dem government. The review resulted in a decision to build a private prison at Addiewell in West Lothian and a second prison at Low Moss for which the public and private sector would compete. However, Mr MacAskill said the Addiewell jail, along with the current private prison at Kilmarnock, could not be brought under public control. "Prisons are sadly required in our society - we don't live in a Utopia," he told BBC Scotland. "But they should be owned and operated by the public sector." Wider strategy -- The justice secretary added: "Prisons are for public safety, not for private profit. So we are drawing a line in the sand." "Had we not made this change at Bishopbriggs, Scotland would have veered towards a situation where a quarter of our prisoners would have been in private prisons. "That would be the highest in the developed world - greater than in the United States, and even in Arnold Schwarzenegger's California." The procurement process for the Low Moss replacement is to be suspended and bids will instead be invited from the private sector to design a prison that will be operated publicly.

May 26, 2007 The Scotsman
THE new Nationalist government is studying radical plans to nationalise Scotland's only privately-run prison, The Scotsman can reveal. Kenny MacAskill, the cabinet secretary for justice, has asked Executive civil servants urgently to tell him what it would cost to bring the controversial jail into the public ownership. The plan, which has been confirmed by John Swinney, the cabinet secretary for finance, comes after moves by the new government to stop the building of two new private prisons in Scotland. Mr MacAskill is looking at ways of preventing the proposed 700-capacity prison on the site of the existing Low Moss jail, near Bishopbriggs, from being run by the private sector. He has asked officials how much it would cost to buy out the contract for the Addiewell jail being built in West Lothian. Now he and his colleagues have gone a step further, asking civil servants if they can abolish private jails altogether - a longstanding policy of the SNP. The confirmation of the policy came from Mr Swinney. When asked by The Scotsman whether the SNP would try to take Kilmarnock into the Scottish Prison Service, he replied: "We have to look at what options are available to us and that's what we will do." Asked whether they would reverse the policy of the previous Labour/Lib Dem administration which supported the use of Kilmarnock as value for money, he added: "That's where I get into the ground where I would have to unpick existing arrangements." Mr MacAskill was unavailable to comment. An Executive spokeswoman confirmed that the new ministers were against private prisons. She said: "The new government has set out its commitment to a publicly-owned and run prison service." Derek Turner, the assistant secretary of the Prison Officers' Association, said: "We welcome any attempt by the SNP government to bring private prisons into the public sector." Last night, Labour, which had backed private prisons when in government, refused to reiterate its support for the policy. Margaret Curran, Labour's justice spokeswoman, said only: "Any SNP plans to bring these services back under direct public control will be scrutinised in depth by Scottish Labour. "What will be vital is that they are delivering the best possible value for the public pound, without compromising standards of delivery."

May 20, 2007 Scotsman
PLANS to build two new prisons using private money are set to be scrapped by the SNP, in the first major change of policy since it gained power at Holyrood. Labour insiders claim the plans will cost as much as £750m over the next 20 years, and will lead to lengthy delays in easing the current overcrowding crisis. The move to bring two jail projects back into public control will place the SNP in direct conflict with prison chiefs and civil servants who have already started signing off the deals with private firms to construct the desperately needed institutions. The row centres on two 700-capacity prisons at Low Moss near Bishopbriggs and in Addiewell in West Lothian. Construction work has already begun at Addiewell, with a private consortium having been given the contract to start. A bid to construct Low Moss in the public sector was knocked back by prison chiefs earlier this month, paving the way for another private deal. The SNP insists that moving the two jails into the public sector will bring an end to firms profiteering from imprisonment and - in the long term - benefit the public purse. The decision by the new SNP government to challenge the move is set to be one of the first major flashpoints of its period in office.

May 24, 2002
The Scottish Executive's plans for three new privately-built, owned and operated prisons in Scotland seem in serious trouble.  Jim Wallace, the justice minister who has to defend the proposals, had a bruising encounter before the Scottish Parliament Justice 1 committee yesterday.  Other than Mr.Wallace and Tony Cameron, chief executive of the Scottish Prison service, no-one seemed to have a good word for extending private prisons employing their own guards on the scale envisaged (it would mean more than one-third of Scotland's prisoners in the private sector, one of the highest proportions in the world.  Elaine Bailey, managing director of the company that owns Scotland's only private jail, at Kilmarnock, was this week publicly reprimanded by Christie Grahame, convener of the justice committee, for taking eight months to provide parliament with information about the contract.  That is not good enough.  Prison officers need a sense of vocation, something the public sector is best placed to promote.  Schools and hospitals are built by the private sector but publicly run.  There is no reason why prisoners should be nay different.  (The Herald)

May 23, 2002
Justice Minister Jim Wallace has defended plans to build three new private prisons in Scotland.  Appearing before the Scottish Parliament's Justice 1 committee on Thursday, Mr. Wallace said it was the best way to modernize the prison system.  But one committee member queried the need for extra prisons, and said non-custodial sentences could ease the prison population.  Following the Prison Estates Review, the Scottish Executive announced controversial plans to build three private prisons and close those at Low Moss and Peterhead.  (BBC News)

April 20, 2002
Justice Minister Jim Wallace has delivered his keynote speech at the Liberal Democrat party's Scottish conference in Perth. Mr Wallace was pressured by delegates over contentious plans for three new private prisons in Scotland. Delegates at the conference overwhelmingly passed a motion that expressed concern over proposals to build and run jails for profit. One speaker described the proposals as "abhorrent". George Lyon MSP said the party's rank and file were unhappy with the private prisons' plan and should make their feelings known. He said: "No one in the party, from ministers down, are comfortable with the contents of the Prison Estates' Review. "It is up to everyone in the party to make their views known." (BBC News)

April 18, 2002
The Liberal Democrat leader has gone to the defense of Scotland's justice minister over plans for private prisons. Charles Kennedy said the proposals by the party's Scottish leader Jim Wallace were not the "preferred option" but the issues needed to be examined. Mr Kennedy conceded that he did not envy the "dilemma" Mr Wallace has been confronted by when there was no enthusiasm for private prisons within the party. Conference managers will consider a call for an emergency debate on the prisons issue. The motion expresses regret for the executive's proposals and calls for an alternative solution which would preserve the pay and conditions of prison staff. (BBC News)

April 16, 2002
Trades unionists have renewed their opposition to plans for three new private jails in Scotland. An emergency motion condemning profit-making from incarceration has been passed at the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) annual meeting in Perth. A high-profile campaign is now being planned against the Scottish Executive's strategy. A review of the Prisons Estate earlier this year by leading accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers said the private jails could save the executive some £700m. But this figure has been branded "fundamentally flawed" by a report from two Scottish academics.  STUC delegates said the concept of private prisons was "morally repugnant" and was a clear attempt to drive down the terms and conditions of public sector workers. As well as the three new private jails, there are plans to close Peterhead jail and Low Moss prison, near Bishopbriggs in Dunbartonshire. Prison officers say the move would mean a third of prisoners in Scotland being housed by the private sector - a higher proportion than almost anywhere else in the world. Meanwhile, wives of prisoners at Peterhead are planning to march through the town in protest against plans to close the jail. There have been warnings of industrial action if the executive presses ahead with the policy. (BBC News)

April 15, 2002
Plans to open three new private prisons in Scotland have been strongly criticised in an independent report. Academics at Strathclyde and Stirling universities have described as "fundamentally flawed" the figures used to justify the decision to create the new jails. The costs were drawn up by the leading accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, which said the private option could save the Scottish Executive £700m. It based its figures on a projection that the prison population would rise by 1,000 over the next 10 years to 7,200. But the universities' report, compiled by Professor Christine Cooper and senior lecturer Phil Taylor, says the firm has "hugely inflated" the cost of new prisons being funded solely by the taxpayer. It argues that if prison populations fall - as ministers insist will be the case - the private option is likely to be very costly. "Making a profit from what society has deemed to be criminal behaviour requiring incarceration is seen as ethically wrong," it goes on. Officers also point to the sometimes troubled history of Kilmarnock, Scotland's only private jail in operation so far. (BBC News)

March 29, 2002
Justice Minister Jim Wallace announced his plans for the construction of three new private prisons in Scotland last week - with one expected to be built in Rutherglen. Despite leaked information from the Scottish Prison Service indicating that Farme Cross in Rutherglen is in the frame for a new-build private prison the Deputy First Minister refused to comment on or even admit Rutherglen was on the Scottish Executive's short list. (The Reformer)

January 13, 2002
The prisons watchdog has been sacked by the Scottish Executive after he published a string of damning reports identifying a growing culture of crisis within the country's penal system.  Sources say Clive Fairweather - who last year branded conditions in Scotland's biggest jail as "vile" - was only told his £50,000 post would be advertised the day before it appeared in the national press.  His sacking has sparked accusations that the Executive has removed him to make way for its controversial plan to further privatise the prison system.  Fairwether, a former SAS colonel, has consistently railed against more private jails for Scotland, arguing that it would be too expensive and erode public sector morale.  (Scotland on Sunday)

April 11, 2001
The Scottish Trade Union Congress was today expected to accuse Justice Minister Jim Wallace of encouraging "modern day slavery" by allowing the proliferation of private prisons in Scotland.  A motion, in the name of the Prison Officers' Association (Scotland), condemns privately run jails as "morally repugnant".  The motion, which has the support of the STUC leadership, reads: "This congress condemns any further proliferation of private prisons in Scotland.  "In doing so, congress recognises that it is morally repugnant to lock someone up and remove their freedom for the sake of profit.  "Congress further recognises that such a practice is the 21st century equivalent of modern-day slavery, where a person is sold to someone profit." (Evening News-Edinburgh)

Group 4
9 November 2013 heraldscotland.com

A PRISONER has escaped from custody while on an escorted visit to a relative. Police have warned Sean McGregor, 31, may be a danger to the public and should not be approached. He escaped from G4S custody at about 1.45pm on Thursday while on escorted leave to visit a relative in Patna, East Ayrshire. McGregor was imprisoned for four years for assault and robbery in September 2011. At the time he was serving 16 months for possession of a weapon, imposed in February 2011. The Ayrshire area is being searched and officers are appealing for information about his whereabouts. Detective Chief Inspector John Hogg, of Ayrshire CID, said: "I would advise that Mr McGregor may present a danger to the public and people are advised not to approach him if seen but to contact police. Officers are continuing with a search of the area, making contact with known associates and checking CCTV in an effort to trace Mr McGregor. "I would appeal to Mr McGregor to give himself up and make contact with Police Scotland with a view to handing himself in. I would also like to reassure people that Police Scotland will have an increased high-profile police presence in the Ayrshire area until Mr McGregor is traced and arrested." McGregor admitted assaulting a shop assistant and snatching hundreds of pounds from her till after brandishing a knife at her on January 18, 2011. When he was sentenced, the High Court in Edinburgh heard he had panicked when challenged by a customer, dropping cash and his knife as he tried to flee. Lord Bannatyne said at the time that his record was "wholly dreadful". A G4S spokesman said yesterday: "The prisoner was granted this special leave on licence which means he was authorised to be out of prison custody but subject to certain conditions. "On-licence leave is a privilege that is earned. Therefore, it is disappointing the prisoner made the decision to undermine the trust placed in him. "As is the normal procedure, a full report into the circumstances of the incident will be submitted to the Scottish Prison Service."

August 16, 2009 Sunday Mail
A SECURITY guard took a day off... so he could steal £40,000 from a shop where he usually delivered cash. John Liddell used his own motor as the getaway car and was caught when it was spotted speeding away from the scene on CCTV. He later claimed he had been paid £1000 for information which he used to pay off drug debts. Liddell, 33, sat in the car with an unnamed getaway driver while a third gang member Gary Owen pounced on his Group 4 Securicor colleagues. Owen, 21, snatched the cash from guards Ann McIntosh and Roderick O'Donnell, who were delivering money to fill the cash machine at a Spar store in Barrhead, East Renfrewshire. The female guard was barged to the ground before being punched and kicked on the head. Prosecutor Andrew Miller told the High Court in Glasgow: "The shop would normally have been covered by Liddell. "However, he and his usual partner were on leave with the result McIntosh and O'Donnell dealt with the delivery." Shamed dad-of-one Liddell, of Carmyle, Glasgow, was identified as being the front passenger in the car. His home was searched and £8580 from the raid was seized. The remaining £31,420 was never recovered. Liddell admitted the Ford Mondeo getaway car was his but denied knowing who committed the robbery. He claimed he had been "afraid" of the people behind the raid and had been paid £5000 from the stolen money. Mr Miller added: "He stated that he told 'them' where the security van with the money would be and that he provided this information to repay a drug debt of £1000." Liddell and Owen, of Shettleston, Glasgow, face jail when they are sentenced next month after admitting assault and robbery. The pair were also accused of stealing a security box holding £40,000 at a shop in Castlemilk last March. Owen faced further allegations that he was involved in two other security raids, stealing a total of £35,300. However, not guilty pleas to those charges were accepted. G4S Cash Services said: "This employee was immediately dismissed upon being charged."

May 2, 2008 Edinburgh Evening News
TWO security guards who stole £10,000 of bank notes while on a collection run have been jailed for six months. Group 4 Security workers Gary Docherty, 41, and Hugh Drummond, 47, each helped themselves to a £5000 bundle of £20 notes when a bag burst in their van. Staff at the Royal Bank of Scotland in Edinburgh immediately realised there was something wrong when the pair delivered a case which should have contained £50,000 with only £40,000 in it. Police were called in after they found notes in Drummond's rucksack and the officers recovered the rest from Docherty. They previously pleaded guilty to stealing £10,000 on March 28 this year – Docherty's birthday – and were sentenced today. The pair had been collecting cash in plastic cases from branches of the bank when one of the cases burst at Bruntsfield Place. They continued with their run, arriving at the RBS cash collection centre in The Gyle, where the theft was discovered. Solicitor Andy Gilbertson said Docherty, of Clermiston Drive, had worked for the firm for 14 years before he carried out the "spontaneous" crime and had lost his job as a result. He said Docherty had been suffering stress. "It wasn't a matter of if this crime would be detected but a matter of when," Mr Gilbertson added, appealing for a community service order instead of custody. Solicitor Nigel Bruce said Drummond, of Victoria Road, Harthill, Lanarkshire, had spent seven years with the firm, before the "moment of madness".

Kilmarnock Prison (Bowhouse)
Serco (bought Premier, formerly run by Wackenhut)
March 1, 2012 STV
Scotland's first private prison has been criticised by inspectors for the "limited" activities provided for inmates.HM Chief Inspector of Prisons Brigadier Hugh Monro has now called for improvements in the work and education programmes at HMP Kilmarnock. He also called for the overall standard of healthcare at the facility to be reviewed. The latest inspection report claimed out-of-cell activities at the jail were "limited and lack stimulation". It said "too few prisoners" attended the workshops, and that "too few prisoners also attend education and the educational facility is under-utilised". The report complained that "large numbers of prisoners are not engaged in purposeful activity". It also stated that access to activities was not good enough, with only 40% of prisoners out of the house blocks during the day. Just 200 prisoners were taking part in work during the latest inspection, and Brig Monro said: "I was not satisfied that the quality of work was sufficiently good. In some workshops some prisoners have no work to do and spend much of the time drinking tea or watching other prisoners who do have work allocated to them." Brig Monro recommended that access to work, vocational training and education at the jail is improved, and the quality of education and work should also be better. The report described the education programme as "limited and under-developed". It added: "Low numbers of prisoners access education programmes. A total of 139 prisoners out of a prison population of approximately 640 regularly attend education classes. This represents only 22% of the prison population." Brig Monro accepted there were "good points in the prison's healthcare provision, not least the mental health area, smoking cessation, dental treatment and alcohol programme".

July 3, 2011 Scotland on Sunday
A PRIVATE prison has been confirmed as the "softest" in Scotland with one in three inmates who break the rules escaping punishment. Kilmarnock prisoners committed more than 17,500 offences in the past five years, the highest of any adult prison in Scotland. The figures include almost 2,000 cases of assault, drug abuse and destruction of prison property. But statistics for punishments handed out show that a third escaped with a caution, no action or had their case dismissed. The same figures reveal Shotts has the toughest discipline. Despite having fewer cases of drugs and assaults than Kilmarnock, it only lets off 7 per cent of prisoners. Critics of Kilmarnock have claimed that, to save cash, it operates with fewer staff per prisoner, meaning inmates are effectively in control. Details of how Kilmarnock operates are difficult to extract because of strict confidentiality surrounding the private deal, which will cost taxpayers £130 million over 25 years. But the statistics on offences and punishments suggest staff are struggling to control its 550 inmates.

December 3, 2010 Kilmarnock Standard
A NURSE claimed he was ‘outed’ as gay by prison bosses during an investigation into homophobic bullying at HMP Kilmarnock. Steven Ross, from Coatbridge, has been at a tribunal this week. He lodged a grievance in December, 2008 against colleagues at the jail who he said made homophobic remarks. Mr Ross was sent on gardening leave in January, 2009 while the investigation was carried out. At an employment tribunal in Glasgow, before judge Shona MacLean, Mr Ross has lodged a claim against Serco, who run the Kilmarnock prison, claiming he was discriminated against on the grounds of his sexual orientation. Mr Ross told the tribunal that he was subjected to bullying and harassment by colleagues who made comments such as he took “fag breaks” and about him “eating fairy cakes”. Mr Ross, who worked as a mental health nurse at the prison, told the hearing someone asked if he could be trusted on the nightshift alone because he was gay. Mr Ross, represented by lawyer Louise Bain, also said he was asked if he was a ‘giver or a taker’. He described feeling isolated and said he could not sleep and had poor concentration. The tribunal heard that afterwards Mr Ross gave Iain Donnelly, the deputy director of custodial health at the prison, names of those who allegedly made the comments and also witnesses. However, in February, during a conversation with Mr Donnelly, Mr Ross was shocked to learn 38 people had been interviewed. Mr Ross, who appeared upset and close to tears, said: “I couldn’t believe Iain Donnelly had outed me to so many people in the prison. I could not believe he had done this, I was devastated.” He added: “I felt that my human rights had been violated by this man.”

August 5, 2010 STV
A prisoner who died in a privately-run jail after complaining of chest pains was told he had indigestion, an inquiry has heard. William Scott, 58, told other inmates at Kilmarnock prison that he had been feeling increasingly unwell before his death in September 2009. His son Darren, 33, who was also an inmate at the Serco-operated prison, said his father was looking grey and had reported chest pains shortly before his body was discovered in his cell. But Mr Scott said his father was informed he probably had indigestion, a fatal accident inquiry heard at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court. Prison nurse Karen Smith, 50, said Mr Scott was "relaxed and cheerful" when he saw her on the evening before his death. Ms Smith said: "He told me he'd had indigestion and could he have something for it. I asked him how he knew it could be indigestion as it could have been other things." Mr Scott, of Ayr, told her he had a burning pain, the inquiry heard. Ms Smith added: "I dispensed Gaviscon and said if it didn't help to let me know." A prison officer suggested that Mr Scott might have asked when a doctor would be available, but Ms Smith said that she had “no recollection” of such a request. Ms Smith, a nurse for 30 years, admitted that she forgot to record details of the consultation on Mr Scott's medical records. She said she wrote on a Post-it note that Gaviscon had been dispensed but forgot to transfer it to his notes because of a later emergency at the prison. Lorna Grierson, 30, a prison custody officer, said she had looked in on Mr Scott when it was time to wake the prisoners but he was in his bed so she left him there. But later that morning Mr Scott's cell mate asked her to go and check on him. Ms Grierson said: "He appeared not to be breathing so I called the medical response." Other prison custody officers tried to revive Mr Scott without success. Ms Grierson admitted prison rules stated officers should get a verbal response from prisoners when waking them up in the morning. The inquiry has now ended and Sheriff Elizabeth McFarlane will issue a formal determination at a later date.

July 28, 2010 Lynn News
Private sector firms which run prisons and maintain schools and hospitals may face closer scrutiny under Government proposals to make them more accountable to the public. The Scottish Government is considering broadening the scope of Freedom of Information (FOI) laws which give anyone the right to obtain information from publicly-funded bodies such as councils and hospitals about their activities. A 14-week Government consultation will seek views on whether more organisations that deliver public services should be covered by FOI legislation. Those being considered include the private prison contractors running Addiewell and Kilmarnock prisons and those which transport prisoners. The Government believes there are "strong grounds" for Glasgow Housing Association to be covered given "the level of interest that it attracts".

May 10, 2010 BBC
A man has died while on remand in Kilmarnock Prison, the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) has said. Paul Murdoch, who was 24, had been awaiting trial on an attempted murder charge after appearing at Ayr Sheriff Court in February. He died in the privately-run jail on Saturday. The SPS said his family had been informed. A fatal accident inquiry into the death of Mr Murdoch will be held at a later date.

February 10, 2010 Evening Times
Two inmates at Scotland’s first private jail were involved in a late-night disturbance causing damage to a prison wing. Emergency services were put on stand-by at HMP Kilmarnock in Ayrshire after trouble flared around 8.30pm and lasted several hours. Police were alerted and an ambulance team were standing by at the privately run facility. Two inmates were said to be unhappy about being in Kilmarnock and sparked a disturbance. Damage was cause to Bravo wing and at one stage prison officers were forced to withdraw. The inmates tried to encourage others to get involved but their attempts failed. An investigation into the incident is expected to get under way later today. A prison source said: “Two prisoners tried to get a bit heavy with the staff and caused a disturbance which went on for several hours. “Staff had temporarily to withdraw but the situation was then dealt with and the prison returned to normal within a few hours.” Although emergency services were on the scene, no one is believed to have been injured.

September 9, 2009 BBC
Scotland's Information Commissioner has ordered the release of key financial data from a £50m PFI contract for Kilmarnock jail. The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) and the private jail's operator had resisted giving the information to the union Unison. They argued it would substantially prejudice the contractor's commercial interests. Unison said it was "a major victory for the public's right to know". The prison is operated by Serco on behalf of the Scottish Prison Service. The SPS said it was "currently considering its response". Information Commissioner Kevin Dunion said the significance of the financial model data had diminished substantially since the 25-year contract was signed in November 1997. Unison's Scottish organiser Dave Watson said the union had long argued there was too much secrecy around PFI and Public Private Partnership (PPP) contracts. "Too often the public is denied information about the costs of hospital, school and prison contracts on the grounds of commercial prejudice or commercial confidentiality," he said. "This decision is extremely important and should help pave the way for greater access to information about all PFI/PPP contracts." Unison had also requested the Full Business Case (FBC) for the Kilmarnock Prison, but Mr Dunion accepted this was not held. Mr Watson added: "The fact that there is no Full Business Case for the prison speaks volumes about the way public funding has been wasted on PFI/PPP. "The public was always told these projects would deliver value for money but has seen these claims unravel spectacularly over the years. "The figures have frequently been manipulated, or withheld, or in this case, were not even calculated beforehand in any meaningful way."

May 24, 2009 Sunday Mail
A ROOKIE guard has been awarded almost £120,000 for stress she suffered in a prison riot. Ann Hinshelwood says prisoners battled with warders when they did not get milk and cornflakes for breakfast. The 40-year-old was trapped behind a glass partition and forced to watch the riot unfold, which she claims caused her post-traumatic stress disorder. She said: "A lot of prisoners didn't get the milk and breakfast they were entitled to and they were bawling and shouting." Hinshelwood also says her training was so bad she had to ask inmates how to lock their cells. Once she even locked prisoners out of their cells by mistake because she did not know how to use the keys properly. Hinshelwood added: "I didn't know what I was doing and didn't have anyone to help me. I didn't have a clue. "I felt inadequate and stupid because I didn't know the routine and prisoners were trying to tell me what to do." Hinshelwood joined HMP Bowhouse in Kilmarnock as a guard having been a prison office clerk. She was trained from textbooks and, during the sevenweek course, had no practical experience. The riot escalated after fellow custody officer Mark Ritchie challenged an inmate to a fight. The riot was finally brought under control by a response team. Hinshelwood has been on sick leave for the last eight years since she was caught in the middle of the riot in 2001. She launched the claim against private prison operators Premier Custodial Group for post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and stress. Hinshelwood, of Strathaven, Lanarkshire, was awarded £116,210 last week at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court after a four-year legal battle. The award was based on her past and future loss of earnings. The court was told that Hinshelwood had been singled out for promotion and would have been earning upwards of £30,000 a year by now. She has also launched a separate claim for legal costs and, if successful, Premier may be forced to pay out a further £50,000. In his judgment, Sheriff Colin Mackay blamed Ritchie and his bosses for the events which led to her suffering the trauma. He said: "It was the duty of Mark Ritchie to take reasonable care for the safety of fellow members of staff. It was his duty not to get involved in fights with prisoners. In each and all of these duties he failed. "His employers at the time are liable for his fault and negligence." The Kilmarnock prison is regarded as a soft option by many hardened cons. It has been dubbed the "Killie Hilton" because it has facilities such as a recording studio and sports hall. All cells have central heating and inmates are allowed DVD players and TVs. A spokesman for HMP Bowhouse said yesterday: "We are studying the judgment and will decide what further legal action to take."

May 22, 2009 Irvine Herald
AN Irvine recycling firm has been ordered to halt using PRISONERS to sort rubbish from homes across North Ayrshire. The order comes from the local authority after it emerged a load of waste – including confidential letters and bank statements – had been handed over to the jail in Kilmarnock to be sorted by cons. The move sparked fears the prisoners could steal people’s identities as they sorted through bags of waste paper. It was feared the work – at the private prison’s industries unit – would leave the public open to fraud or intimidation because many people fail to shred their waste paper. This week the council said they were not aware of the deal between Irvine based Lowmac Alloys and the nick. A spokesman said only one load had gone to the jail and it had been recovered. He added: “Lowmac have been instructed not to do this again. “This is a joint contract between the company, ourselves and South Ayrshire Council.”

May 21, 2009 Ardrossan Herald
The AUTHORITIES are investigating the prison death of a Saltcoats man. Steven Gibb, of Auchenharvie Road, was found dead in his cell on Saturday. The 27-year-old was seven months into a four-and-a-half-year sentence at HM Prison Kilmarnock. The Scottish Prison Service released a brief statement indicating that next of kin had been informed and that a fatal accident inquiry would be held. The cause of death has not yet been established but members of his family told the Herald they suspect he may have suffered a heart attack. Mr Gibb, who was serving his first prison sentence, had been taking medicine for anxiety.

April 20, 2009 BBC
Workers at Scotland's first private jail have called on ministers to hold an independent inquiry into the prison. The design, construction, financing and managing of Kilmarnock needs to be urgently looked into, according to a petition being discussed by MSPs. Holyrood's petitions committee is discussing a call by William Buntain "on behalf of staff at HMP Kilmarnock". Kilmarnock, which opened in 1999, is operated by Serco on behalf of the Scottish Prison Service. Mr Buntain raised health and safety concerns, including that Kilmarnock Prison employees did not have the same level of access to Pava spray, which he described as "pepper spray", in the event of a major incident. Shortly after coming to power, the SNP scrapped plans for a private £100m prison to replace Low Moss near Bishopbriggs, instead saying it would be run by the Scottish Prison Service. Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said at the time prisons should be owned and operated by the public sector.

April 5, 2009 Sunday Mail
THREE wardens at a private jail have been suspended after an inmate's cell was left unlocked overnight. The incident at Kilmarnock's Bowhouse Prison is being treated as a major security breach although no prisoners escaped. Derek Turner, of the Prison Officers Association, said: "This is a very serious offence. If a prisoner had left his cell in the night he could have taken a member of staff hostage, got access to keys and opened up the whole jail . "But when a prisoner has been left compromised during the night, that is a more serious issue. People could lose their jobs over this." Two officers who finished their shift at 10pm on Monday are said to have failed to lock the cell when they shut down the rest of the prisoners for the night. And a guard who was on nightshift was accused of failing to spot the door was open when he was doing his rounds. All three have been told to stay at home while an investigation is carried out. The blunder wasn't discovered until Tuesday morning when the dayshift came in. The inmate whose cell was left unlocked was also told by prison bosses that if he had stepped outside his cell he would have been charged with trying to escape. A source at Bowhouse, run by service firm Serco, said: "It was fortunate the lad whose cell was left unlocked was nearing his parole hearing or there could have been chaos. "A lifer wouldn't have thought twice about leaving his cell and there could have been real problems." The Scottish Prison Service said: "Disciplinary matters at HMP Kilmarnock are a matter for the contractor. But we will be interested in any outcome." Hmp Kilmarnock said: "Three members of staff are suspended. An investigation is underway."

January 25, 2009 Sunday Mail
A PRISON doctor fired over claims he caused an inmate to fail a drugs test has been offered his job back. Dr Hamid Kopal won an apology from bosses at Scotland's only private jail after an internal inquest found he was wrongly dismissed. But the doctor could refuse to go back and sue Bowhouse Prison for more than £100,000. A prison insider said: "This is a major own goal for the jail. They've had to admit they were wrong and do a U-turn. "Dr Kopal could decide they've made his position impossible and sue them. "He is a doctor with a professional reputation to protect so it would be for a lot of money." Dr Kopal was booted out as prison medic at the Kilmarnock prison, which is run by private firm Serco. A con had failed a drugs test and blamed pills prescribed by Dr Kopal. No record of the prescription for high-strength painkillers could be found. When it turned up later, Italian-born Dr Kopal, 52, was accused of trying to cover up the mistake and fired. But he claimed bosses wanted him out because he criticised medical care standards at the prison. He said he was not called immediately when inmate Andrew Sorley complained of being ill. Sorley died in hospital of meningitis last year. The doctor also clashed with bosses over attempts to cut costs by reducing medication prescribed to prisoners. The insider said: "He's a good doctor and inmates even launched a petition to get him back." Dr Kopal, of Stewarton, Ayrshire, said: "I have been reinstated and I'm not prepared to say anything else." Serco said: "This is an ongoing staff issue so we cannot comment."

November 30, 2008 Sunday Mail
A PRISON doctor has been sacked over claims he caused a con to fail a drugs test. Hamid Kopal is accused of failing to record high-strength painkillers he prescribed - then trying to cover it up. He insists he is the innocent victim of a witch-hunt because he complained about the standard of medical care. Kopal, 52, claimed he was not called immediately when prisoner Andrew Sorley complained of being ill. He died of meningitis in June. The medic has now launched an appeal against Serco, who run Kilmarnock's Bowhouse Prison. A friend said: "He's a good doctor and cares about his patients but the prison authorities just want to run the place as cheaply as possible." Serco bosses claim Italian-born Kopal did not record prescribing painkillers to an inmate, who later failed a drugs test. The doctor insisted records were up to date but a note of the prescription was later found in the prisoner's file. A jail source said: "The doctor made a mistake but it's covering up the mistake that is the problem." Bowhouse said: "This issue is under investigation." Kopal, of Stewarton, Ayrshire, said: "I can't say anything because I have to have a meeting with the prison authorities."

July 18, 2008 Sunday Herald
A PRISONER died from suspected meningitis
afterpleasfor medical help from his cell were overlooked by warders at Kilmarnock Prison, a Fatal Accident Inquiry is likely to hear. Andrew Sorley had previously fallen into a coma with the disease and it will be claimed he knew the symptoms. As he begged to be taken to hospital, it is alleged that staff at Scotland's only private jail dismissed his claims, saying he was "at it". Medics did not attend to Sorley until 13 hours after his initial calls for help and he later died at the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow on June 20. The death, which will be the subject of a Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI), raises questions about public health issues and contagion in prisons. Fellow inmates say Sorley, serving two years for carrying two knives in public, was heard banging on the door of his cell pleading for help. Prisoners later tried to revive him after he had collapsed on the floor of his cell. Prisoner Peter Simpson told the Sunday Herald that warders checked on Sorley three times during the night but he did not receive medical help until 9am. Simpson, serving six years for stabbing a man who had shot him in an earlier attack, said he desperately tried to help Sorley in his cell the next morning. Sorley's medical records were not sent with the patient to Crosshouse Hospital in Kilmarnock, and as a result diagnosis was delayed, Simpson claims. Figures from the Scottish Prison Service reveal that HMP Kilmarnock has a higher than average number of deaths in custody in Scotland, the Sunday Herald can exclusively reveal. The UK has the highest level of deaths in custody in Europe. Prisoners are entitled to prompt medical attention and care under prison rule 33 and the European Convention on Human Rights. Simpson said Sorley had complained of feeling unwell as early as 8pm on the evening of Monday, June 16. He claims: "It is also known that prison staff were aware of Drew's medical status as a head-injured person and that he had previously been in a coma as a result of meningitis. "Drew appeared in some distress. He appeared completely disorientated and needed to lean on the walls to steady himself. It was as if he was drunk. "Drew was by this time lying on the floor of his cell and a prisoner was present when Drew told an officer that he knew what was wrong with him. He told the officer that he had suffered from meningitis in the past and said the last time he had experienced symptoms like this, his family called an ambulance and Drew fell into a coma for three days. Simpson claimed staff said they would see what they could do, but as the officer walked back to the D wing with the prisoner, it is alleged that the second prisoner was told Drew was "at it", and "he was probably suffering from the flu and was only looking for tablets". A month before he died, it is alleged Sorley complained to prison authorities and submitted a formal medical complaint claiming he was being denied access to proper medical care. A Scottish government spokesman said: "The justice secretary Kenny McAskill has repeatedly said that we will put public safety, not private profit, at the heart of our coherent prisons policy." The Crown Office declined to disclose how many FAIs had been held from deaths at Kilmarnock prison, or the total number of FAIs for all prisons in Scotland. Serco, the private company that runs HMP Kilmarnock, confirmed there is a nurse or qualified paramedic on each night shift. A spokeswoman said: "We are not in a position to comment on the cause of death. We are waiting for the post mortem results. "We can confirm that our prison officers have first aid training, but cannot confirm that all the officers working that night had first aid training. A trained nurse was on duty that night. We are running our own internal inquiry into the death of Andrew Sorley." She refused to confirm or deny any of the details of the incident.

June 8, 2008 Sunday Mail
BOSSES at Scotland's only private jail are being taken to court after a con lost his thumb in the jail's workshop. Barry O'Pray claims they are to blame for his finger being severed by a circular saw. Serco - who run Bowhouse jail near Kilmarnock - have been charged with failing to provide adequate training and supervision for inmates. It is the first time a jail has been taken to court by the Health and Safety Executive for putting prisoners at risk. If the criminal action is successful, it is likely O'Pray will sue the jail. Serco said: "We will be defending the charges vigorously." It is thought Serco will argue O'Pray deliberately injured himself to get compensation and took painkillers before his thumb was sliced off in January 2007. They will claim he was heard on the phone after the incident saying: "It's sorted out." O'Pray - who has a string of convictions for various offences, including dishonesty - was taken to hospital but surgeons could not save his thumb. The trial will take place at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court in September. Last night, O'Pray, who is in his 40s, could not be contacted for comment. A woman who now lives in his former council flat in Crosshouse, Kilmarnock, said: "The police are never away from the door looking for him. I had to write to them to say he no longer lives here." Bowhouse opened nine years ago and has been hit by a string of security and safety breaches. Remand prisoner David Martin, 20, was jailed in March for at least 24 years for killing another inmate in the jail's hospital wing last year. Prison wardens were slammed for not helping the victim while he was attacked. Last year, two senior officers were suspended - one for a relationship with a con and the other for allegedly taking bets on when an inmate with cancer would die. Two years ago, the prison was sued for £200,000 by former guard Ann Hinshelwood, who claimed she was so badly trained she locked inmates out of their cells by mistake. Seven men also committed suicide in the prison between 1999 and 2005. But an inspector recently praised Bowhouse for its accommodation and prisoners' treatment. The Government pay £130million over 25 years to have the prison run privately. It has been dubbed the Killie Hilton due to facilities such as a recording studio, gym, sports hall and football pitches. All cells have central heating and inmates are allowed their own DVD players and TVs.

April 27, 2008 Sunday Mail
A PRISONER was caught hiding a contraband mobile phone up his backside - when warders dialled the number. The cheeky inmate had no option but to surrender the handset when staff heard his ring tone. A jail insider said: "They had long suspected he had a phone but couldn't work out where he kept it. "They somehow got hold of the number and decided there was only one way of establishing if it was his. "When it rang he was bouncing off the walls and confessed." The incident at Kilmarnock jail last week comes amid revelations that Scotland's jails are flooded with illicit mobiles. Last year, 748 were found - up from 568 in 2006 and just 26 in 2002. Mobiles allow inmates to conduct crime unchecked from behind bars.

March 20, 2008 BBC
A man who murdered a fellow inmate in a "horrific" prison attack has been sentenced to at least 24 years in jail. David Martin was captured on CCTV in June 2007 as he kicked and stamped on Michael Cameron at Kilmarnock Prison. The judge said questions would be asked about why prison staff had failed to intervene, but Serco - which runs the private jail - defended its procedures. The sentence at the High Court in Edinburgh also covered Martin's killing of Gilbert Grierson in March 2006. Martin was sentenced to life after admitting murdering Mr Cameron and was told he would have to serve a minimum of 24 years before he could apply for parole. That sentence also encompasses his period of punishment for killing Mr Grierson. The 20-year-old had previously admitted culpable homicide by killing Mr Grierson, 46, with knives, scissors, a frying pan and a bottle and setting his home in Irvine on fire. His attack on Mr Cameron happened three months after Martin was remanded for killing Mr Grierson, who was his mother's former boyfriend. The incident, in Kilmarnock Prison's health wing, also saw Martin pour boiling water over his victim. Mr Cameron was on remand at the time, accused of rape. A prison officer witnessed the murder but did not intervene until re-enforcements arrived. Under prison protocol a total of three custody officers should restrain any one prisoner. Martin's lawyer, Bill McVicar, described his client as a damaged individual who had a life of breathtaking deprivation. But the judge, Lord Matthews, said Martin's background was not an excuse for his actions. "You are no stranger to violence and it will be difficult to forget the CCTV images showing what you did to Mr Cameron," he said. "I do not know what kind of warped morality made you think it was appropriate to act in that manner. "No doubt questions will be asked and I know they are already being asked about the fact that this happened in prison while staff were watching." 'Tragic occurrence' -- Serco spokesman Michael Clarke said: "There were four prisoners in the healthcare unit in a ward and there was one prison officer and one nurse in the immediate area when this horrific attack erupted. "He quite rightly called for re-enforcements before entering the ward to stop the incident and within a couple of minutes extra staff had arrived." Figures released last month by the Scottish Government showed a total of 225 prisoners had been assaulted at HMP Kilmarnock in the past seven years. Last year, 49 assaults took place - a record number.

February 22, 2008 BBC
The company running Scotland's only private jail will review the case of an inmate murdered by a fellow prisoner, but said there was no staff shortage. David Martin, 20, kicked and stamped on Michael Cameron and poured boiling water over his head, in an attack captured on CCTV. A prison officer and a nurse witnessed the attack, but the warder could not intervene until reinforcements arrived. Prison operator Serco told BBC Scotland that staff took the correct action. At the High Court in Glasgow on Thursday, Martin, on remand for murder at the time of the prison incident, admitted murdering Cameron. Another prisoner, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was involved on the attack on Cameron on 16 June, 2006. The victim was on remand at the time of the attack, which took place in a four-bed cell in Kilmarnock Prison's health care wing. Serco spokesman Michael Clarke told the BBC's Good Morning Scotland programme that Kilmarnock was a "safe" prison. "It is, however, holding some violent and unpredictable men," he said. Lessons learned -- "Although we do as much as we possibly can to minimise the chances of violence in the prison, given the nature of the people we are looking after there, we cannot guarantee that there will never be any violent incidents." Mr Clarke added: "You wouldn't have enough staff everywhere in the prison to deal with anything breaking out anywhere, because the prison is quiet at night and there was an unprovoked, unforeseeable attack in the health care unit. "Staff were called from other parts of the prison and arrived very quickly." The incident, he added, would be looked at again and assessment procedures on the supply of kettles to prisoners reviewed, to see if lessons could be learned.

February 21,  2008 BBC
A killer has admitted murdering a fellow inmate in a prison cell while on remand at HMP Kilmarnock. David Martin, 20, kicked and stamped on Michael Cameron and poured boiling water over his head, in an attack captured on CCTV. A prison officer and a nurse witnessed the attack. The warder could not intervene until reinforcements arrived. Martin was on remand for murder at the time but the Crown accepted his plea to a reduced charge of culpable homicide. Another prisoner, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was involved on the attack on Mr Cameron on 16 June, 2006 in a four-bed cell in HMP Kilmarnock's health wing. Mr Cameron was on remand at the time. Prison protocol -- Paul McBride QC said prison officer Craig Brennan wanted to stop the attack but was ordered by a superior not to enter the cell until reinforcements arrived. Mr Brennan's boss was concerned for the safety of his staff. Prison protocol dictates three custody officers should restrain any one prisoner. Mr McBride said after Martin had been restrained he attacked Mr Cameron again. He said the accident and emergency doctor who attended to Mr Cameron at Crosshouse Hospital had rarely seen injuries of such severity. HMP Kilmarnock is Scotland's only private prison. Serco, which runs the prison, said: "Our condolences go to Mr Cameron's family for their tragic loss. "We pay tribute to the bravery of our staff who showed real courage in restraining Martin and providing medical assistance to Mr Cameron." Figures released on Wednesday by the Scottish government showed a total of 225 prisoners had been assaulted at HMP Kilmarnock in the past seven years. Last year, 49 assaults took place - a record number.

January 6, 2008 Scotland on Sunday
SCOTLAND’S flagship private jail has emerged as the most violent in the country in a damning report by the chief inspector of prisons. Kilmarnock - which has been vaunted by the government as a blueprint for modern prisons - had the highest number of attacks on warders and the most fireraising incidents of any jail in Scotland. The report by Clive Fairweather - which has been seen by Scotland on Sunday - also reveals that Kilmarnock has the worst staff turnover in the prison service, and that a culture of fear exists among warders. Fairweather’s safety and crime prevention report reveals that in 12 months up to March 1 this year, 21 fires had been started at Kilmarnock and there were 29 assaults on staff - the highest for both categories in the prison service. It shows that prisoner discipline is the worst in any Scottish jail and that violence among inmates is rife. The report, says: "The prison was operating 13 staff under complement at the time of inspection, which was adding considerable pressure to an already difficult staffing situation." Fairweather added: "Custody officers claimed that staffing levels could at times be dangerously low, especially in ‘A’ wing and at weekends. They said that two members of staff had been assaulted over the past year, while there had also been a large number of less serious incidents. "We sensed generally that staff seemed to be even more concerned about safety than they had been a year ago (and being under complement could also have contributed to this). Examples were cited where it was impossible to arrange relief cover for toilet breaks, meaning that prisoners were left unsupervised, except by CCTV, during these periods." The findings of last month’s two-day inspection - the third since Kilmarnock opened in 1999 - are certain to embarrass ministers, who three weeks ago announced controversial plans to build a further three private jails in Scotland. Two anonymous letters, written by concerned staff at the jail and passed to Scotland on Sunday, will also add pressure on the Scottish Executive to scrap the strategy. Critics of the programme say privately operated prisons are most likely to try to save money by cutting back on staff, despite the risk that poses to warders and prisoners alike. Commercial confidentiality means the operators of private jails do not have to reveal their staffing levels. One prison officer claims in his letter that "the only reason that staff have not been seriously injured is because of the goodwill of the prisoners". It goes on: "When staff object or refuse to open wings [containing 60-80 prisoners] alone, they are pressurised by management. There are quite a lot of staff relatively new to the prison and they feel that their jobs are under threat if they do not comply. "I know for a fact that there is not enough staff to monitor all the cameras. There are two members of staff in this area to answer two telephones, operate electronic doors, communicate with radio users and deal with all alarms. It is not surprising that staff have no time to monitor wings or worksheds. "Staff feel that there have never been enough staff in the prison but this has become worse than ever and we feel that urgent action has to be taken." The other prison officer writes: "Staff shortages occur on a day-to-day basis throughout the prison. Staff regularly phone in sick due to stress. Everything the prisoners request they receive - televisions, DVDs, Game Boys, guitars, music centres, ghetto blasters. The phrase ‘inmates taking over the asylum’ comes to mind. It is about time an investigation into Kilmarnock was carried out." The revelations have angered opposition politicians and the prison officers’ union, who have branded Kilmarnock an "explosion waiting to happen". Derek Turner, assistant secretary of the Prison Officers Association Scotland, said: "A lot of things mentioned as being of concern in last year’s report have not been addressed. When you look at the number of custody officers it is no wonder that there are so many assaults against them." Michael Matheson, the SNP’s deputy justice spokesman, said: "What is extremely concerning is that the situation at Kilmarnock, which was bad last year in terms of assaults among prisoners and against staff, appears to have deteriorated further. "Given the extremely serious nature of a number of these findings, [the jail’s operators] Premier Prisons have got a lot of explaining to do. I want to have answers quickly as to what they propose to do to address the problem. It appears to be a prison that is going from bad to worse." A spokesman for Premier Prisons said: "Clive Fairweather’s report makes it clear that Kilmarnock continues to excel in many areas. There have been major reductions in staff turnover. People will use Kilmarnock as a stick to beat the Scottish Executive over the head with regards to privatisation. But they are adopting this policy so someone at the top must think that it is a good idea."

December 13, 2007 BBC
A prisoner has been found dead in his cell at Scotland's private prison, the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) has said. Stewart McBlain, 67, was remanded in custody on Monday and taken to HM Prison Kilmarnock while awaiting trial. Prison officers found him dead in his cell on Wednesday. It is understood he hanged himself. A spokesman for the SPS said: "Police and next of kin have now been informed and a fatal accident inquiry will be held in due course."

September 5, 2007 The Herald
Low-paid prison officers employed in the private sector are more vulnerable to the temptation of corruption, according to Kenny MacAskill. The Justice Secretary told MSPs yesterday that is one of the reasons why he does not want to see private companies running prisons. He said the only way corporations can run prisons more cheaply than the public sector is by having lower wages for staff, compromising security and morale. Appearing before Holyrood's Justice Committee, the Justice Minister disclosed the wide gulf in prisoner-warder ratios between the public sector and Kilmarnock Prison, with 4500 staff for a prison population of more than 7000, while the Ayrshire prison has 200 staff for 550 inmates. Mr MacAskill said some of that was because of the design of old prisons, and that the only saving from the private sector provision of prisons is in the wage bill: "I believe the prison officers in Scotland do an excellent job in very difficult circumstance, and I think we have to reward and treat them fairly. "I believe any strategy seeking to reduce what they are paid would not only damage them, it would damage security in our prisons." His appearance before the committee came days after the minister promised a radical shift in prison policy.

August 19, 2007 Sunday Mail
TWO senior prison officers have been suspended - one over her relationship with a con and another for allegedly taking bets on when an inmate with cancer would die. HMP Bowhouse in Kilmarnock - Scotland's only private prison - has been rocked by investigations into Wendy Hopkins and colleague Robert Crawford. Hopkins was suspended amid claims of an "inappropriate relationship" with prisoner David Goldie after she allegedly secured a job at the jail to be close to him. Crawford was sent home after being accused of running a book on when an alleged sex offender with cancer would die. Both officers deny the claims. Jail bosses told Hopkins, 28, to leave last Friday following an anonymous tip-off about her alleged closeness to Goldie before gathering their own "intelligence". Claims include she smuggled a mobile phone into his cell. But the probe will centre round a tip-off she applied for the job to be close to Goldie after he was sent there to serve a sentence for assault. An insider said: "They were said to have been in a relationship before he was banged up. "It's really bizarre - nobody has ever heard of anything like it before. "The gossip is that they were an item and when he got banged up she got herself a job here so they could be together. "There is CCTV everywhere in here so it isn't exactly the sort of thing that could be kept hidden. "She has been accused of smuggling stuff into him but bosses are staying really tight-lipped about it." At her home near Lesmahagow in Lanarkshire, the prison officer admitted she knew Goldie but denied they were in a relationship. She said: "I have been suspended but I don't even know why. "All they said was that they have received intelligence about me. Some people in the prison don't like me. I don't know what I'm supposed to have done. I am waiting for an interview. I'm gobsmacked by this." Last night a spokesman for Serco, the private firm which operates the prison, said: "As soon as this came to our attention we took action. "If there was an inappropriate relationship then that cannot be tolerated and now the disciplinary process must run its course." Goldie was transferred from Bowhouse to Greenock Prison the day before Hopkins was suspended. Insiders claim the move was linked to the probe but Hopkins said: "He was transferred because he was fighting." Prison chiefs are also investigating claims that Hopkins' colleague Crawford ran a sick sweepstake on when a terminally ill inmate would die. The prisoner is a cancer sufferer on remand as he waits to be charged with sex offences. Crawford faces disciplinary action. A prison insider said: "As in every prison, all suspected sex offenders are reviled but this bloke is on his way out and it is being taken very seriously. "Crawford was told to leave a week past Friday. He's a popular guy and everyone was shocked. But if he was caught doing this it has to go down as a bit of a stupid error. "This does the profession no good at all." At his home in a converted stable block near Kilmarnock, Crawford declined to comment. A spokesman for HM Prison Kilmarnock Bowhouse said: "An employee has been suspended pending a disciplinary investigation. It is very disappointing." The prison is dubbed the "Killie Hilton" because of soft conditions. Inmates have been given Setanta SPL football games for free and there are DVD players, TVs and videos in every cell. There are also personal trainers, gyms and officers bring inmates papers and milk in the morning.

May 26, 2007 The Scotsman
THE new Nationalist government is studying radical plans to nationalise Scotland's only privately-run prison, The Scotsman can reveal. Kenny MacAskill, the cabinet secretary for justice, has asked Executive civil servants urgently to tell him what it would cost to bring the controversial jail into the public ownership. The plan, which has been confirmed by John Swinney, the cabinet secretary for finance, comes after moves by the new government to stop the building of two new private prisons in Scotland. Mr MacAskill is looking at ways of preventing the proposed 700-capacity prison on the site of the existing Low Moss jail, near Bishopbriggs, from being run by the private sector. He has asked officials how much it would cost to buy out the contract for the Addiewell jail being built in West Lothian. Now he and his colleagues have gone a step further, asking civil servants if they can abolish private jails altogether - a longstanding policy of the SNP. The confirmation of the policy came from Mr Swinney. When asked by The Scotsman whether the SNP would try to take Kilmarnock into the Scottish Prison Service, he replied: "We have to look at what options are available to us and that's what we will do." Asked whether they would reverse the policy of the previous Labour/Lib Dem administration which supported the use of Kilmarnock as value for money, he added: "That's where I get into the ground where I would have to unpick existing arrangements." Mr MacAskill was unavailable to comment. An Executive spokeswoman confirmed that the new ministers were against private prisons. She said: "The new government has set out its commitment to a publicly-owned and run prison service." Derek Turner, the assistant secretary of the Prison Officers' Association, said: "We welcome any attempt by the SNP government to bring private prisons into the public sector." Last night, Labour, which had backed private prisons when in government, refused to reiterate its support for the policy. Margaret Curran, Labour's justice spokeswoman, said only: "Any SNP plans to bring these services back under direct public control will be scrutinised in depth by Scottish Labour. "What will be vital is that they are delivering the best possible value for the public pound, without compromising standards of delivery."

October 30, 2006 BBC
An inmate at Scotland's only private prison has died. Jason Ritchie, 30, was found dead by prison staff in his cell at HMP Kilmarnock in East Ayrshire. He was convicted at Glasgow High Court on 8 November 2005 of assault to severe injury and permanent disfigurement. An investigation is under way. A spokesman for the Scottish Prison Service said: "Police and next of kin have been informed and a fatal accident inquiry will be held in due course."

September 22, 2006 Scotsman
The governor of Scotland's only private prison appeared in court yesterday to explain why an inmate was set free. An agent for Bowhouse jail's Wendy Sinclair said the Kilmarnock prison had not received the man's arrest warrant.

September 18, 2006 The Scotsman
A PRISON officer at Scotland's only private jail has resigned after failing a drugs test. The 32-year-old was tested after being suspected of taking the prescription tranquiliser Benzodiazepine at Kilmarnock prison. A spokesman for Serco, the jail's operator, said he resigned before action was taken against him.

June 30, 2006 The Scotsman
TWO teenage prisoners have been sent for trial charged with murdering an inmate at Scotland's only private jail. David Martin, 19, and Andrew Kiltie, 18, are accused of punching, kicking and stamping Michael Cameron, 21, to death at Kilmarnock prison on 16 June.

June 18, 2006 BBC
A 21-year-old prisoner has died following a disturbance at the privately-run Kilmarnock prison. Michael Cameron from North Ayrshire was taken to Crosshouse Hospital with serious injuries at about 2330 BST on Friday but died on Saturday morning. Two other prisoners, aged 18 and 19, have been arrested in connection with the death and are due to appear at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court on Monday. A report will be sent to the procurator fiscal's office.

June 18, 2006 Sunday Mail
A MURDER investigation was launched yesterday after a prisoner was beaten to death in Kilmarnock jail. The 21-year-old victim, a remand prisoner, was attacked in the hospital wing of the maximum security private prison late on Friday night. He was taken to Crosshouse Hospital, Kilmarnock, where he later died from multiple injuries. Two teenage prisoners were arrested yesterday and charged with his murder. Both are expected to appear at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court tomorrow on the murder charge. A police spokeswoman confirmed last night: "A 21-year-old man has died following an incident within HM Prison Kilmarnock. The prisoner sustained serious injuries following a disturbance at around 11.20pm on Friday. "A report has been sent to the Procurator Fiscal. "Two men aged 18 and 19 have been arrested and are presently detained in custody in connection with the death." Police said that the dead man would not be identified until relatives had been informed.

September 14, 2005 The Herald
RELIANCE, the private security firm criticised over a series of prisoner escapes, has lost the multi-million pound contract for tagging offenders in Scotland. The initial £14m deal was awarded to Reliance Monitoring in January 2002 before being extended for a further 12 months, worth £8m, earlier this year. However, Serco, the com-pany which runs Scotland's only private prison, has now been awarded preferred bidder status for the tender to operate electronic monitoring on teenage and adult offenders from next April until 2011. The Scottish Executive is expected to make an official announcement next month. Critics believe the monitoring firm lost favour after its sister company, Reliance Custodial Services, took over prisoner escort responsibilities in April 2004. Just days into the seven-year £126m contract's roll-out, the firm allowed a number of prisoners to escape, including James McCormick, a convicted killer who was aged 17. The decision to award the contract to Serco is also expected to prove controversial. Serco owns Premier Custodial Services, the firm which runs Kilmarnock prison, and was rebuked earlier this year following claims of staff shortages and negligence. A BBC reporter found evidence that warders failed to carry out suicide checks, despite six suicides at the jail in a five-year period. The programme also claimed that officers failed to report offences, including heroin use, which would attract a fine, to protect the income of the jail's operator. The screening of Prison Undercover: The Real Story led to three staff being removed from their duties and an internal investigation by Premier. A fatal accident inquiry earlier this year into the suicide of an inmate at the prison in 2002 was highly critical of failures to monitor him. Premier said a number of improvements had already been introduced.

August 11, 2005 BBC
Nationalist MSP Alex Neil has called on the Scottish Executive to come clean over the cost of running Scotland's only privately operated prison. The executive has always refused to give information about the cost of Kilmarnock Prison, saying that it was commercially confidential. The Scottish National Party MSP's own research suggested it costs £17,602 per prisoner per year at Kilmarnock. But that cost did not include mortgage costs for the prison building, he said. Mr Neil said: "I am writing to the auditor general for Scotland to ask him to carry out a truly independent inquiry into the costs of Kilmarnock Prison and to compare these on a like-for-like basis with the costs of running our publicly-run prisons in Scotland. He added: "Furthermore the secrecy surrounding the contract to run Kilmarnock Prison needs to be ended.
"This is public money which is being wasted on a private prison, which as well as being costly to run has one of the worst performing records of any prison in Scotland."

August 6, 2005 Daily Record
A PRISON officer who claimed he was forced out of his job by smokers has lost his unfair dismissal case. Barry Cochrane said he had to resign after Kilmarnock Prison bosses failed to stop staff and inmates smoking in designated fume-free areas. The 34-year-old said prisoners and officers regularly ignored the no-smoking policy - and chiefs at the private jail turned a blind eye. The tribunal heard 97 per cent of the prison population smoke but are only allowed to light up in certain areas Cochrane, from Irvine, Ayrshire, said when he caught a prisoner smoking in the library with a woman warden, she told him: 'There are worse things a prisoner could do than smoking a cigarette.' Premier Prisons said they planned to put in an extractor system and ensure the no-smoking policy was more strictly enforced but Cochrane left before the grievance procedure ended.

July 21, 2005 Daily Record
A PRISON officer claims he was forced to quit his job because he was constantly subjected to passive smoking.  Barry Cochrane, 34, said bosses at Kilmarnock Prison failed to enforce their smoking policy, leaving him exposed to tobacco fumes.
He claimed his health suffered and he had no option but to walk out.  Mr Cochrane is now suing Scotland's only private prison, claiming constructive and unfair dismissal.  A tribunal in Glasgow yesterday heard that 97 per cent of inmates smoked, but it was only allowed in certain parts of the Ayrshire jail.  Mr Cochrane, from Irvine, claimed prisoners often lit up elsewhere, with staff turning a blind eye. He also said other officers defied the rules.  Mr Cochrane added: 'I got headaches, sore eyes, stress due to grief from prisoners.

May 21, 2005 BBC
A prison guard suspended over allegations that he disguised himself as an inmate to try to get methadone has resigned. The 22-year-old was working at Kilmarnock Prison in Ayrshire, Scotland's only private jail. He is alleged to have gone with a group of prisoners who were due to receive the heroin substitute. Jail operators Premier Custodial Services said inquiries into the incident would continue. It is understood the officer was stopped by a nurse before he reached the head of the queue and claimed his actions had been intended as a joke. He was immediately suspended from duty. Kilmarnock Prison was embroiled in controversy earlier this year when three members of staff were removed from normal duties after an undercover BBC investigation claimed that staff ignored heroin abuse and failed to monitor vulnerable inmates.

May 20, 2005 BBC
A guard has been suspended after claims that he disguised himself as a prisoner and joined a queue for methadone at Scotland's private prison. He is alleged to have gone with a group of prisoners who were due to receive the heroin substitute at Kilmarnock Prison in Ayrshire. The 22-year-old was stopped before he reached the head of the queue. He claimed his actions had been intended as a joke but was immediately suspended from duty. A spokesman for the operators, Premier Custodial Services, confirmed that a member of staff had been suspended following "allegations of a breach of disciplinary procedure". Kilmarnock Prison was embroiled in controversy earlier this year when three members of staff were removed from normal duties after claims of malpractice in an undercover BBC investigation.
Prison chiefs launched an inquiry into allegations that staff ignored heroin abuse and failed to monitor vulnerable inmates despite six suicides at the jail in the past five years.

May 1, 2005 Sunday Mail
A PRISONER has won £1500 compensation from jail bosses - for slicing his thumb in a prison workshop. Now Andrew Halliday, 48, is suing them again - for letting him fall out of his bunk bed. Halliday, 48, who is blind in one eye, is complaining that they made him sleep in a top bunk.  Controversial £130million Kilmarnock Prison came under fire after a BBC documentary led to three staff being removed from duty. The report said prison officers missed suicide checks on vulnerable inmates. Seven men have killed themselves at the prison since 1999.

April 26, 2005 Evening Times
CHILDREN are regularly held in Scotland's only private jail, a report revealed today. Last year five youngsters aged 15 spent up to a week in Kilmarnock Prison, although not at the same time. Andrew McLellan, Chief Inspector of Prisons, who published the report, said there were good reasons to believe children should not be kept in adult jails. He added: "Whenever I find children under 16 in a prison I condemn it. "There is no reason to believe they are not treated properly, but there are very good reasons to believe children should not be in prison. Prison is no place for a child." Last year Justice Minister Cathy Jamieson commissioned research to investigate the problem and the Executive has vowed to increase the number of secure unit places by 40. The report also found that Kilmarnock, which is run by Premier Prisons and has had a controversial history since it opened in 1999, had lower staffing levels and a higher turnover of officers than Scottish Prison Service jails. It also noted educational opportunities were "impoverished" and criticised the standard of food. The lack of proper provision for basic education for adult inmates was very serious, said Mr McLellan and, despite a budget considerably greater than that in SPS prisons, the food was not good. Staffing at the jail was "considerably less than at other large jails". The report said: "Kilmarnock has a total number of staff which is 80 to 120 less than the total number of staff at Edinburgh or Perth prisons, which are frequently compared to Kilmarnock in terms of size and function."

April 26, 2005 BBC
Management at Kilmarnock Prison should take "urgent steps" to provide better numeracy and literacy courses for inmates, a report has said.  The chief inspector of prisons, Dr Andrew McLellan, also said that staffing at Scotland's only private jail remained a matter of concern.  Last month three members of staff at the Ayrshire prison, which is run by Premier Custodial Services, were removed from normal duties after claims of malpractice in an undercover BBC investigation. Prison chiefs launched an inquiry into allegations that staff turned a blind eye to heroin abuse and failed to monitor vulnerable inmates despite six suicides at the jail in the past five years. Premier Prison Services also hit the headlines recently after it was blamed at a fatal accident inquiry for the suicide of a vulnerable prisoner in the jail.  Dr McLellan also expressed concern about the "high proportion" of inexperienced employees. On the issue of educating offenders, Dr McLellan said: "The provision of learning is impoverished - the lack of proper provision for basic education in reading, writing and counting is very serious." The current failure to deliver basic skills of numeracy and literacy during the day should be addressed as a "matter of urgency". The BBC documentary filmed officers turning a blind eye to drugs and alcohol use. It also found some prisoners on suicide watch were not checked regularly. The Prison Officers Association Scotland, which is not recognised at Kilmarnock, said the BBC's Real Story documentary "appeared to uncover significant failings" at the jail. Last month a sheriff ruled that James Barclay, 30, was able to hang himself at Kilmarnock Prison because of the failure of guards to keep watch on the "at risk" inmate. The remand prisoner died on 11 January, 2002, at Crosshouse Hospital, Kilmarnock, after he was found hanging in his cell the previous day.

April 24, 2005 Sunday Herald
CALLS for Scotland’s chief inspector of prisons to resign have been made ahead of the long-awaited publication of a report into Kilmarnock jail. Senior prison sources have told the Sunday Herald that the inspection report by Dr Andrew McLellan will “largely praise” HMP Bowhouse, the country’s only private prison, despite allegations that staff have been falsifying documents to show that suicide watches had been carried out when they had not. The allegations were raised in an undercover BBC documentary last month that led to three staff being removed from duty and prompted an investigation by the jail’s operator, Premier Custodial Services. In addition to the claims that warders failed to carry out suicide checks, despite six suicides at the jail in five years, the programme alleged that staff refused to report offences which would attract a fine for Premier. McLellan, a former moderator of the Church of Scotland, inspected the prison in October last year, the week before the BBC began filming . But despite growing pressure on him to re-inspect the prison and investigate the allegations, McLellan refused to do so. Alex Neil, the nationalist MSP for Central Scotland, who called for a police investigation after the BBC programme was screened, condemned McLellan’s refusal to go back into the jail and the decision to release the report inside Kilmarnock prison. He said: “The chief inspector of prisons is in danger of becoming a cheerleader for Premier, rather than an independent entity. “If this report is glowing, it will give evidence of a co- ordinated conspiracy to hide the facts about Kilmarnock prison. McLellan has already shown that he is not up to the job. He sat on this report for weeks and should resign.”

March 24, 2005 Scotsman
A CONVICTED murderer claimed to a court yesterday that the carrying of knives by inmates of Scotland’s only private jail was "commonplace". James O’Rourke, 34, made the allegation as he was jailed for eight years for stabbing a senior manager at Kilmarnock Prison and, in a separate incident, wounding a Reliance security guard in a court. Gary Allan, O’Rourke’s counsel, told the judge, Lady Paton, that severe criticisms had been levelled recently at Kilmarnock Prison’s management, adding: "The instructions I have is that the place is a shambles and that the carrying of knives among prisoners is commonplace." The High Court in Edinburgh heard yesterday that in June last year, when O’Rourke was being held in Kilmarnock Prison, he assaulted Michael Guy, the assistant prison director, and stabbed him with a piece of metal. It was said that O’Rourke had blamed Mr Guy for the withdrawal of privileges and for being kept in solitary confinement. The attack on Allan Dickson, a Reliance officer, took place on 23 November in Parliament House, Edinburgh, where the Court of Criminal Appeal was hearing an appeal by O’Rourke against his murder conviction. It was ultimately rejected. Judge Paton said she took into account that O’Rourke had pleaded guilty to the two assaults, but added: "Officers carrying out duties in connection with the administration of justice are entitled to the protection of the courts." On Tuesday, the management of Kilmarnock Prison was criticised by a sheriff at an inquiry into the death of an inmate who hanged himself in his cell. Earlier this month, a BBC documentary alleged that staff at the prison ignored drug abuse and failed to monitor vulnerable inmates.

March 23, 2005 Daily Record
A SHERIFF yesterday slammed Scotland's only private prison after an inmate hanged himself while on suicide watch. James Barclay, 30, was found dying in his cell at Kilmarnock Prison in January 2002. Kilmarnock sheriff Colin McKay's fatal accident inquiry report blamed the death on the officers who were on duty - and owners Premier Prison Services. He said rules for prisoners on suicide watch were 'routinely ignored' and 'there were no systems in place to alert senior management to these failures'. Sheriff McKay added: 'When the failures were patent, management ignored them. 'The prison guards simply failed to comply with a specific requirement of their shift.' The two guards blamed, Kevin Beck and Gordon Kelso, have since been sacked. Last night, SNP MSP Alex Neil said: 'The Scottish Prison Service should immediately bring the jail under direct control.'

March 20, 2005 Sunday Herald
THE crisis surrounding Kilmarnock Prison deepened last night after demands were made for a police investigation into the running of Scotland’s only private jail. Nationalist MSP Alex Neil, a fierce critic of the prison since it opened in 1999, called for the chief constable of Strathclyde police, Willie Rae, to order an investigation into allegations raised earlier this month in an undercover BBC documentary. The allegations included drug trafficking, drug abuse and the falsifying of information relating to suicide watches. Neil has written to Rae demanding to know what action will be taken “with a view to bringing the perpetrators of any crime within Kilmarnock Prison to justice”. He is also to submit a parliamentary question this week to Lord Advocate Colin Boyd, Scotland’s senior law officer, to request his assistance in launching a criminal investigation into claims that prison staff tampered with jail records showing they had been carrying out suicide watches when they had not. Neil, SNP MSP for Central Scotland, said: “Falsifying records on suicide watch is a criminal offence. I want the police to investigate that and bring those responsible of wrongdoing to justice. Whoever authorised the falsifying of records has committed a criminal offence in my view.” A BBC reporter found evidence that warders failed to carry out suicide checks , despite six suicides at the jail in five years. The programme also claimed that officers failed to report offences – including heroin use – which would attract a fine, to protect the income of the jail’s operator, Premier Custodial Services.

March 16, 2005 Scotsman
CALLS for the immediate suspension of a private firm’s contract to run Kilmarnock prison were rejected by Cathy Jamieson, the justice minister, yesterday. Three members of staff have been removed from normal duties after allegations of malpractice in an undercover BBC report. Prison chiefs have launched an inquiry into claims that staff at Scotland’s only private jail turned a blind eye to heroin abuse and failed to monitor vulnerable inmates - despite six suicides there in the past five years. Alex Neil, an SNP MSP for Central Scotland, called for the immediate suspension of Premier Custodial Services’ contract to run the jail. "The BBC documentary totally vindicates all the allegations I have been making for six years that the management of this prison is disastrous," he said. Kenny MacAskill, the SNP’s justice spokesman, said the documentary dealt a serious blow to Executive plans for at least one more private prison. "They should bring all of our prison service back into public control," he said. The BBC journalist Steve Allen, who worked as a prison officer at the jail, said he filmed evidence of officers falsifying paperwork to show suicide watches had been undertaken when they had not. Last night Phil Edwards, the chief operating officer for Premier Custodial Group, admitted the footage was "disturbing" and showed "unacceptable behaviour" by prison guards. But speaking on BBC Scotland’s Newsnight Scotland he insisted the company encourages all prison guards to report drug use.

March 14, 2005 Scotsman
LOTHIANS MSP Fiona Hyslop today called for plans to create a privately built and run prison in West Lothian to be scrapped following the shocking revelations of a TV documentary. Ms Hyslop said the Scottish Executive should abandon proposals for the controversial prison near Addiewell after a BBC programme last week highlighted a series of failures at a private Ayrshire facility. The 700-cell prison in the Lothians is expected to be completed by 2007 at a cost of £65 million. An undercover reporter for Real Story filmed officers at Kilmarnock allegedly turning a blind eye to the use of drugs and alcohol. The programme also claimed that warders failed to carry out suicide checks and cell searches - despite six suicides in the past five years. Scottish Prison Service spokesman Tom Fox voiced "real concerns" about the allegations, while the Prison Officers’ Association said it had been making similar accusations since Scotland’s only privately-run jail opened. Ms Hyslop said: "Private prisons fail the public, fail the officers and fail the prisoners who are at risk of self harm.
"I hope the Executive takes on board the revelations and takes steps to rule out the private sector managing at the prison in Addiewell."

March 13, 2005 Scotsman
THE former chief inspector of prisons has launched a blistering attack on ministers, accusing them of failing to take action to prevent suicides in Scotland’s only private jail. Clive Fairweather said he was "shocked" the Scottish Executive had not ordered inspectors into Kilmarnock Prison after a BBC documentary alleged that staff failed to carry out suicide watches. Two years ago, as a direct result of a television programme which revealed young offenders taking drugs on the controversial Airborne Initiative, the Executive sent a social work inspection team into the boot camp immediately. A year later it closed Airborne down. Premier Custodial Group, which runs Kilmarnock Prison, has launched an internal investigation but Fairweather said that was insufficient. Fairweather, who lost his job as HM Chief Inspector of Prisons in Scotland after criticising the country’s jails, said: " If a documentary like this indicates that suicide watches are being falsified, there must surely be immediate action by the authorities, or do ministers not feel that there’s any urgency because it’s only prisoners’ lives?" Fairweather singled out justice minister Cathy Jamieson and her deputy, Hugh Henry, for criticism. An Executive spokeswoman said the current prisons inspector, Dr Andrew McLellan, carried out an inspection at Kilmarnock just days before the BBC investigation began. She added: "He takes the allegations seriously but he thinks the right thing to do is complete and publish his report in the spring."

March 10, 2005 IRR News
Campaign groups calling for a public inquiry into the treatment of immigration detainees have revealed that thirty-five cases of alleged assault have been referred to solicitors. The National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns (NCADC), the Campaign Against Racism and Fascism (CARF), and the Campaign To Stop Arbitrary Detentions at Yarl's Wood (SADY) have revealed details of over thirty-five cases referred to four solicitors' firms (Birnberg Peirce & Co, Hickman & Rose, Christian Khan, Harrison Bundey). Most of the cases involve allegations of abuse at the airport or in transit to the airport. In at least six of the thirty-five cases, the detainee was eventually removed. Two female victims of these 'successful' removals say they needed hospital treatment in their country of origin, as a result of injuries sustained in the deportation process. At a press conference held outside the Home Office on the day after the BBC broadcast Asylum Undercover (a disturbing television programme showing detention custody officers abusing detainees and boasting about assaults) NCADC, CARF and SADY called for a full public inquiry into the conditions of immigration detention in the UK. The Asylum Undercover investigation centred on Oakington Reception Centre and 'in-country escorting' of detainees, exposing the abuse of asylum seekers behind the closed doors of the immigration 'detention estate'. In one of the most shocking parts of the programme, a custody officer described 'taping up' the skirt of an obviously scared female asylum seeker who was defecating through fear during her deportation. (The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that refusal to allow a detainee who has soiled herself to change her clothes is inhuman and degrading treatment) Global Solutions Ltd (GSL), formerly Group 4, which runs Oakington Reception Centre, commented in a press release after the programme that there was 'shock and dismay throughout our company at the scenes of racist and abusive language and behaviour by some staff at Oakington detention centre and in-country escorting'. The company said it was now carrying out a full investigation with the assistance of a team of former senior police officers. It was also conducting a review of management and supervisory systems, recruitment, vetting, training and monitoring. 'If there are systemic or individual failings, they will be addressed,' it stated. 'Furthermore, if these investigations reveal that any offence has been committed by any of our staff, the police will be notified.' GSL and Group 4 have come under the spot-light before. In 1998, during the trial of nine men following a disturbance, detention officers at Campsfield (then run by Group 4) were found to have lied and destroyed property at the centre and then blamed detainees. Group 4 also ran Yarl's Wood Removal Centre, Bedford, which, in February 2002, was burnt down during a disturbance triggered by the restraint of a Nigerian female detainee. And, in December 2003, Yarl's Wood was the subject of a Daily Mirror report which exposed racism and abuse at the centre. In the subsequent inquiry into the Daily Mirror allegations, Prisons Ombudsman Stephen Shaw said 'these were startling and hugely worrying allegations. If true, they would have called into question not just the management of Yarl's Wood ... but the fitness of the contractor (GSL) to run any removal centre ... in this country'. He found that most of the things alleged in the article had happened, but decided that there was 'not a culture of abuse, racism and violence'. However he did recommend that the Home Office investigate the allegations about mistreatment of detainees.
Emma Ginn, of NCADC, told IRR News: 'Stephen Shaw is now conducting a third inquiry into a GSL run removal/reception centre. When will the government learn? GSL appears to have retained its contracts to run Yarl's Wood, Tinsley House, Campsfield House, and Oakington. It was awarded a huge contract, of undisclosed value, to design, build and manage a 750-bed Accommodation Centre at Bicester, just thirty days after publication of the inquiry into the Mirror allegations. GSL was also a partner in the design and build of Yarl's Wood, which was described in the Prison Ombudsman inquiry into the fire, as "astonishingly flimsy" and "not fit for the purpose". This does not fill us with great confidence.'

March 10, 2005 The Herald
MINISTERS were urged last night to ban the private sector from staffing Scottish prisons after a BBC documentary claimed that the Premier group's running of Kilmarnock jail amounted to a catalogue of neglect. Premier, which has managed Scotland's only private prison to date since 1999, confirmed yesterday that it also wanted to build and run a new 700-cell jail at Low Moss, near Kirkintilloch. However, after secret filming at Kilmarnock suggested over-stretched staff were ignoring heroin use and failing to carry out suicide watches, the SNP said Premier's 25-year deal there should be terminated and future work kept in the public sector. Kenny MacAskill, SNP justice spokesman, said: "Rather than follow a failed Tory policy, the Scottish Executive should bring all of our prison service back into public control now. Public safety is too important an issue to be at the whim of private profit." Premier's per capita spending on prisoners is less than half that of the public sector, mainly because of the heavy use of electronic security. The row renewed the pressure on Cathy Jamieson, justice minister, who was under attack for much of last year over Reliance's botched start to the privatised prisoner escort service. According to the documentary, Prison Undercover – the Real Story, staff at Kilmarnock were put in charge of large numbers of violent prisoners with little training or back-up. They were also said to have ignored offences which meant fines for Premier and could have jeopardised pay rises; turned a blind eye to drug abuse to curry favour with inmates; and failed to conduct suicide watches, despite six suicides in five years. The prison's director also failed to ask for details when told that staff had falsified suicide watch logs.

March 9, 2005 Scotsman
THREE prison officers have been suspended from normal duties at Scotland’s only private prison amid allegations that staff failed to carry out suicide watches despite seven deaths in the last six years , it emerged last night. A BBC investigation, Prison Undercover: The Real Story, into Kilmarnock prison also claimed officers turned a blind eye to drug taking, and allowed prisoners wide screen satellite televisions and Playstations in their cells. The programme to be aired tonight shows staff allegedly falsifying suicide watch forms in the prison when checks have been missed. The staff claim checks are skipped because of staffing shortages. Relatives of those who died were said to be "horrified" at the evidence. Myra Mulholland, the sister of one inmate who has died there in the last six years, told the BBC: "It is not just a record you are falsifying, it is people’s lives you are playing with, people who could die as a result of this." Since opening six years ago seven prisoners have killed themselves. Two Premier officers were sacked in 2002 after checks were missed and a prisoner found hanged. Premier Custodial Group, the company running the prison, was unavailable for comment last night. In a statement issued to the BBC, the firm said Kilmarnock was a "well run and safe" prison where staff and prisoner relations were good. "Premier treats any alleged breach of procedure very seriously," the statement said.

March 5, 2005 Sunday Mail
A BBC reporter posing as a prison officer ended up battling convicts in a jail riot. Using the name Steve Allen and false references he landed a job at Scotland's only private prison at Kilmarnock. The reporter from BBC's Real Story worked at the jail for three months and gathered hundreds of hours of film from secret cameras. Prison officers are allegedly heard making brutal comments about prisoners who have killed themselves and those on suicide watch. The prison has been repeatedly rapped at recent fatal accident inquiries into suicides. In the film, warders are allegedly heard encouraging violence and falsifying logs. The one-hour documentary, to be shown on BBC1 at 9pm on Wednesday, is expected to reveal huge security breaches and poor conditions for staff and inmates. A BBC spokeswoman said: 'We can confirm that our reporter was involved in a riot and he fulfilled his duties as a prison officer.' SNP shadow justice minister Kenny McAskill demanded a full public inquiry into the £130million privatised prison run by Premier Security. And Derek Turner, of the Scottish Prison Officers Association, said: 'A public inquiry into this place is long overdue.' Premier said: 'We have commenced an investigation based on some of allegations already raised by the BBC.'

January 14, 2005 Ayrshire.co.uk
A 40-year-old man has been reported to the procurator fiscal in connection with an alleged indecent assault on a teenager inside Kilmarnock Prison. It’s understood that the 17-year-old ‘victim’, who has learning difficulties, was allegedly attacked in the private prison’s medical wing.

January 9, 2005 Sunday Mail
CLAIMS that a teenager with learning difficulties was raped in Scotland's private prison are being investigated. The 17-year-old was allegedly grabbed, gagged and attacked in the medical wing of Kilmarnock Prison last month. A police spokeswoman said: 'A 40-year-old man is the subject of a report to the procurator fiscal in connection with an alleged indecent assault on a 17-year-old at Kilmarnock Prison.' Insiders say prisoner rape is rife among drug dealers in the jail, where murderers, rapists and paedophiles have CD players and colour TVs in their cells. There have been other attacks at the jail. Two warders were charged last month for sexually assaulting a female member of staff. Last year two managers were sacked - one for sexual harassment of a female member of staff, the other for theft. And a female tutor was sacked for allegedly having an 'inappropriate relationship' with a prisoner.

December 12, 2004 Sunday Mail
TWO warders at Scotland's only private prison have been suspended after being accused of sex offences against a female colleague. Stephen Blake, 35, and Jim Hume, 43, who were in charge of the jail workshop, were escorted from Kilmarnock Prison. It is alleged that the pair were involved in an incident on November 24 at the controversial £130million PFI prison run by Premier Security Services. It is understood a distressed female staff member made a complaint and called police. It is the latest controversy at the jail, where cons get a number of controversial 'perks'. There have also been a number of dismissals.

December 10, 2004 Evening Times
PRISON chiefs were today probing a riot at Scotland's only private jail last night when up to 40 inmates went on the rampage.  Several small fires were lit, a communal room was destroyed and attempts were made to flood the prison in Kilmarnock during the incident. Thousands of pounds of damage is thought to have been caused after electrical equipment, including televisions, were smashed. Rebel prisoners only failed to flood the jail after frantic staff switched off water supplies. The riot happened when prisoners refused to return to their cells in E wing, which houses short-term inmates who are serving less than four years for repeat offences such as theft and minor assaults.  The riot happened six months after five prisoners appeared in court charged with causing a major disturbance during which an officer was injured.

November 28, 2004 Sunday Mail
A PROBE is underway at Scotland's only private prison after two staff were suspended. Two Kilmarnock jail workshop employees are being investigated by police and prison chiefs following an incident of 'inappropriate behaviour'. A spokesman for Premier Prison Services confirmed two staff were suspended on Friday afternoon following a 'one-off incident' but denied claims it was drugs-related.

November 19, 2004 IC Ayshire
A SHERIFF has condemned Scotland's only private jail for breaches of rules and staff shortages after the suicide of a vulnerable prisoner. Sheriff Thomas Croan said it was the “good fortune” of an assistant director at Kilmarnock Prison that she has escaped personal responsibility for Gordon Mulholland's death. He also criticised the failure to keep Mr Mulholland’s personal records with him, which would have alerted staff that he was on suicide watch. He had already vowed to kill himself, saying it “only took a couple of minutes”. Ironically, the only individual to be praised by Sheriff Croan was a prisoner who cut down his fellow inmate’s hanging body and tried to revive him, as the warder who falsely claimed to have checked on him stood by in hysterics. Erica Prueffer, who was then assistant director of health care at Kilmarnock Prison, sent him to the prison wing instead of returning him to the health centre where he had been kept under observation, despite rules stating a case conference should have been held first.
Prison officer Donna McNeill admitted falsifying a log by claiming she made a half-hourly check on Mr Mulholland at around the time he hanged himself after being left alone for about an hour. Ms McNeil, who underwent refresher training two weeks before the death, was in hysterics and made no attempt to revive Mr Mulholland. She was eventually asked to leave while others, including prisoner Brian Rees, took over.

October 4, 2004 Daily Record
VITAL security doors at Scotland's only private prison don't shut properly, the Record can reveal. Sliding doors used to seal wings at Kilmarnock jail have had to be filed down after wardens had trouble locking them. Bosses have called in engineers to fix the problem, but work won't start until next year. A jail insider said yesterday: 'To think we can't lock security doors properly is ridiculous. We've got some of the worst criminals in Scotland here.'
The source blamed subsidence at the £130million prison for making some wing doors jam instead of closing fully. Stevenson claimed: 'This is a botched job from when the prison was built - as with so many PFI-funded projects.' The American company who run the jail, Premier Prison Services, have hired structural engineers to find away to repair the damage and prevent more problems. Two years ago, it emerged that the prison had received£700,000 in subsidies from the taxpayer while Premier Prison Services were making huge profits. Kilmarnock also has the worst discipline record of all Scots jails. There were 3634 recorded offences and serious rule infringements at the prison in 2001.The next worst jail, Perth, had 1475.

October 3, 2004 Sunday Mail
A GREEDY prison warder has been forced to quit after being caught nicking dozens of chocolate bars from the cons' subsidised tuck shop. Chocoholic Colin Duff, 55, was rumbled after being captured on CCTV cameras installed after bosses launched a probe into missing treats such as Mars Bars.
Shamed Duff resigned after being called in by bosses at troubled Kilmarnock Prison. An insider at the jail - dubbed the Killie Hilton because of the cushy lifestyle led by prisoners - said: 'We knew the prison was full of thieves but we thought they were behind bars.' Last night, at his home in Crosshouse, Ayrshire, Duff said: 'I don't want to talk about it. I have nothing to say.' Two weeks ago, the Sunday Mail revealed two warders were under investigation over prisoners' jewellery that had gone missing. A probe is under way over an alleged £20,000 theft of prisoners' effects.

September 24, 2004 IC Ayrshire
AN INMATE at Kilmarnock Prison told Bowhouse staff he knew that he was going to die, an inquiry heard last week. Stuart Williams, 44, was already under medical supervision when he was found unconscious in his cell just three days into a five month sentence. He was taken by ambulance to Crosshouse Hospital where doctors were unable to save him. He died from fluid in the lungs and toxic effects of the drug dihydrocodeine, although it emerged he already had a heart condition.

September 18, 2004 Sunday Mail
SCOTLAND'S only private jail is fined £17,000 every time a prisoner is violent or is caught with drugs. The discovery of a mobile phone attracts an £8000 fine. But critics fear the penalties imposed on Premier Security Services, who manage Kilmarnock Jail, may stop them exposing rule-breaking. Last week, the Sunday Mail revealed the prison has been dubbed the 'Killie Hilton' as prisoners get pay-per-view Setanta TV and newspapers and milk is delivered to cells. West of Scotland MSP Bruce McFee warned: 'The operators may be discouraged from being zealous over drugs and weapons because of restrictions in their contract.' Premier, who make £1million a year from the jail, said: 'We have a requirement to report a multitude of activities and are diligent in ensuring this is done.'

September 12, 2004 Sunday Mail
Inmates at Scotland's only private prison have been given free Setanta TV.  Ordinary punters who want to watch live Scottish Premier League football on the satellite channel pay £450 a year. But at cushy Kilmarnock Prison - dubbed the Killie Hilton - inmates can watch for free in one of eight viewing suites. The deal was thrashed out at a meeting of the Prisoner Information and Activities Committee between managers and inmates.  Cons were told they could get free milk and a free paper delivered to their cells by warders each morning. A senior officer told the Sunday Mail: 'If people knew what goes on in here they would be queuing up to get in. What goes on in here really is an insult to law-abiding Scots. We're supposed to quietly place the milk and papers at the sink areas for when they get up for their breakfast and we're not allowed to wake them up.'  The prison pays around £1000 a month for Setanta.  The senior officer said: 'It's sickening to think hardened criminals are treated better than war heroes and pensioners who can't even afford to properly heat their homes, never mind subscribe to Setanta.  'There aren't many warders who can afford Setanta in their own homes either.' Managers from Premier Prison Services, who run the jail, hold meetings with inmates about conditions every week.  Critics believe Premier have given too many rights to prisoners because they want to avoid the huge Government fines imposed on them if there are riots.  According to insiders, an internal investigation is underway over the alleged disappearance of £30,000 worth of prisoners' jewellery and personal effects following the sacking of two warders.

August 11, 2004
KILMARNOCK'S private prison - the only one in Scotland - has had a troubled and violent history since it opened in 1999.  In the last two years alone there has been a constant stream of reports of turmoil at the jail.  July 2004 - Raymond Talent, 47, of Rutherglen, near Glasgow, choked to death on his vomit in the prison.  June 2004 - Killer James O'Rourke stabbed a prison boss in the stomach.  February 2004 - Claims are made that sex offenders in the jail's H-block are swapping child porn on CDs.  January 2004 - Inmates go berserk and smash up their cells, forcing warders to call in negotiators to restore calm.  January 2003 - Prisoners set fire to a pool table and refuse to return to their cells during a protest.  January 2003 - Four warders are hospitalised after an attack by a convict.  March 2002 - Prisoner David Ballantyne, 22, attacks another inmate with a hammer in a vicious assault.  (The Mirror)

August 10, 2004
Two ex-prison officers from Scotland's only private jail have been sentenced for planting heroin on an inmate.  David Allen, 44, of East Kilbride, a former supervisor at Kilmarnock Prison, was jailed for two years for attempting to pervert the course of justice.  He was sentenced alongside John Robertson, 26, of Auhinleck, Ayrshire, who received 300 hours' community service for helping to plant the drugs.  (BBC)

July 19, 2004
A SHERIFF has condemned Scotland's only private prison over gaps in the medical records of a prisoner found dead in his cell.  In his written report following a fatal accident inquiry in Kilmarnock, Sheriff Seith Ireland said there should be a system to ensure the accuracy of records was audited so that errors could be identified.  Raymond Talent, 47,of Rutherglen, near Glasgow, choked to death on his vomit at Kilmarnock prison.  Talent, who was taking medication for epilepsy, had not been examined by a medical officer after his transfer to Kilmarnock from Barlinnie. He had also been givem methadone but this had not been entered on his medical records.  Sheriff Ireland said the Scottish Executive and Premier Prison Services, who run the jail, should ensure staff are 'advised of the importance of meticulous record-keeping'.  (Daily Record)

July 14, 2004
AN East Kilbride prison officer could find himself behind bars after being convicted by a High Court jury of attempting to pervert the course of justice.  St Leonards man David Allen, 44, was accused, along with Ayrshire colleague John Robertson, of hiding heroin in the belongings of Steven Little at Kilmarnock's Bowhouse Prison -- which is Scotland's only private jail -- and putting the prisoner at risk of prosecution.  Allen denied the charge but on Tuesday 26-year-old Robertson, of Auchinleck, dramatically changed his plea to guilty, claiming 'Dai' Allen, who was his supervising officer, had ordered him to stash the drug in a bag of medication belonging to Little. A short time later the jury at the High Court in Kilmarnock retired to consider the evidence and returned with a verdict on Allen of guilty.  (Court Reporter)

July 8, 2004
PRISON officers at Scotland's only private jail planted drugs on an inmate, a court heard yesterday.  Warder James Callaghan claimed that his boss told him to hand over a suspected heroin wrap found on a prisoner at Kilmarnock's Bowhouse jail.  Supervisor Dai Allen said it "could be used to get another inmate or con with", the High Court at Kilmarnock heard. A package found later during a cell search looked "very similar" to the wrap seized by Allen, said Mr Callaghan.  When asked if it had been planted, another warder, John Robertson, "grinned ear to ear", he claimed. Allen, 44, and Robertson, 26, are accused of hiding heroin in prisoner Steven Little's belongings, then ordering a search of his cell at the jail in September 2002.  (The Mirror)

July 1, 2004
FIVE prisoners at Scotland's only private jail have appeared in court charged with causing a major disturbance in which an officer was injured. Derek Thomson, 41, James Cowan, 27, Kenneth Duffield, 24, Craig Scoular, 23, and George Ralph, 21, deny throwing chairs and TV sets at staff at Kilmarnock Prison on January 9.  They also deny wrecking property, including setting fire to rubbish bins, and Cowan denies throwing a TV set and injuring prison officer Paul Kennedy. All five face trial at a later date.  (Evening Times)

March 8, 2004
A PRISON officer was jabbed deliberately with a dirty needle as he searched an inmate's cell for drugs.  Billy Donnelly, a married father of two, faces an agonising three month wait for test results to discover if he has been infected with hepatitis or HIV.  It is the second time in a year Donnelly, 35, has been jabbed by cons inside HMP Kilmarnock. He had just been given the all-clear from the first attack.  Fellow officers at Scotland's only private prison are furious bosses are demanding he returns to work. But he has told friends he feels unable to go back until he gets the test results. Donnelly, of Drumchapel, Glasgow, refused to comment but a colleague said: 'The guy forms part of the drugs security team.  'If an inmate has a weapon or drugs, he is one of the guys who has to get it off them. They wear black combat gear and are hated because, if they come into your cell, it's not for a wee chat.  'His life has been threatened too many times to count and then, when he gets jabbed, all the bosses can do is ask when he is returning to work. It makes you sick.  'This jail is a shambles and is awash with needles.'  A Premier Prisons spokesman said: 'We do not discuss internal staffing matters. Our employees are offered all the support and counselling they need.'  (SundayMail)

March 1, 2004
PRISON drug barons are raking in more than £5000 a month selling heroin to fellow inmates.  A Sunday Mail investigation uncovered a supply ring at Bowhouse jail in Kilmarnock.  More than 100 inmates at Scotland's only private prison are hooked on heroin and spend over half their £30-a-week wages on drugs.  The behind-bars drugs ring is controlled by four inmates in the jail's D Wing Ð convicted killers John "Wudge" Dougherty and Stephen "Zed" Dempsey and drug smugglers William "Fat Boy" McLaughlin and Christian Ekkebus.  One guard, too scared to be named, said: "These four control all the drugs in Kilmarnock prison and they are building up a very profitable business.  Prisoners' wages average £30 to £40 a week and loads of them are giving most of it to these four low- lifes.  "Senior management know who they are but fail time and time again to do anything about it. The drugs problem inside the jail is out of control."  Another officer added: "The cons think they run the place and the staff are unwilling to challenge them."  Prison insiders say that because of the jail's relatively relaxed regime, visitors are able to smuggle in thousands of pounds worth of drugs to the behind- bars barons.  Kilmarnock's D Wing is seen as the cushiest in the jail and houses the prisoners who cause the least trouble.  Stabbing  Random tests fail to pick up the extent of the problem because addicts force drug- free cons to give them "clean" urine.  Dempsey and Glasgow man Dougherty are both serving life at Bowhouse for murder.  Dempsey, 32, of Mossblown, Ayrshire, was jailed, along with another man, in 2002 for punching, kicking and stabbing dad-of-two Charles McIntosh to death.  Ekkebus, 31, a Dutch sailor, was caged for 14 years after he was caught with £43million worth of cannabis en route from Morocco to the Netherlands.  To avoid patrols in the English Channel his ship detoured round the north of Scotland but he is campaigning to be moved to a jail in Holland, claiming the drugs were never intended to reach Scotland.  McLaughlin, 39, of Port Glasgow, Renfrewshire, was part of a drugs gang jailed in November 2002 after he was caught with a kilo of heroin. He got eight and a half years.  Judge Lord Dawson told them the drugs could have caused "untold misery and death".  In January, cons went on the rampage at Kilmarnock after three people were arrested and charged with trying to smuggle in heroin.  And last year the Ayrshire jail was reported to have the worst crime record of any Scots prison after offences behind bars climbed almost 50 per cent since 1999.  In the year 1999-2000, there were 65 cases of convicts taking, injecting, ingesting or concealing drugs in jail.  By last year, that had risen by 155 per cent to 166.  Last night a spokesman for Premier Prisons, which runs the jail, said: ÒHMP Kilmarnock takes all allegations of security and drug- taking seriously.  "We would be happy to act on any information supplied to us by the Sunday Mail."  (Sunday mail)

February 9, 2004 
A JAIL guard who groped a female colleague after pinning her to the floor has been suspended.  Warder Gordon Shearer was sent home in mid January after making sexual advances towards a woman warder at Scotland's only private prison, HMP Kilmarnock.  Shearer, 38, of Hurl ford, Ayrshire, appealed his suspension and is now a regular visitor to the jail in repeated attempts to plead his case to bosses.  A jail insider said: ''He and the female guard were both on duty at the jail when he p inned her to the floor, lay on top of her and groped her.  ''He thought it was a laugh but she went and complained to the bosses.  (Sundaymail.com)

February 1, 2004
A WARDER at Scotland's only private jail has been sacked after allegedly stealing classified documents and prison plans.  Matt Martin was arrested at HMP Kilmarnock when he turned up for work after claims he took documents classified under the Official Secrets Act.  A spokesman for Premier Prisons, which owns the jail, confirmed Martin, 42, had been arrested at the jail and that his home and car were searched after a complaint was lodged by senior colleagues.  Bosses feared it was a case of industrial espionage, as Martin is about to start a new job with a private security firm.  (Sundaymail)

January 30, 2004
A fatal accident inquiry has been ordered following the death of a Kilmarnock Prison inmate.  Stewart Williams, 37, was taken to Crosshouse Hospital on Friday morning and was pronounced dead a short time later.  Mr Williams, who was from Ayrshire, was convicted at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court earlier this week.  ((BBC)

October 20, 2003
'PRISON BOSSES at Kilmarnock took a swipe at the SNP this week as the Nationalists launched another attack on the private jail.  The SNP leader John Swinney labeled Bowhouse 'the worst jail in Scotland' when fresh Government statistics were released showing crime and drug use in Scottish jails has rocketed by almost 50 per cent.  The new figures highlight Kilmarnock's position at the top of a so-called national league of shame for prisons.  HMP Kilmarnock houses eight per cent of the prison population, but its inmates commit almost one in five offences in Scottish jails, according to the latest figures.  And prisoners at Kilmarnock are also responsible for one in every seven drug crimes committed in jail.  

September 29, 2003
SCOTLAND'S only private prison has been branded "a boot camp" after cons were hammered for thousands of disciplinary offences.  Screws at US-owned HMP Kilmarnock Bowhouse, in Ayrshire, dished out a staggering 7,595 punishments to prisoners in the last 12 months. The figure is DOUBLE the total punishments dished out at Glasgow's Barlinnie Jail - which houses Scotland's most dangerous prisoners.  Now fears are growing that the prison, run by Premier Prison Services, a US security firm owned by former CIA hardman George Wackenhut, is more in line with notorious American jails than Scottish nicks.  Last year 3,412 Kilmarnock lags were stripped of their privileges, compared to only 1,531 at HMP Edinburgh.  Over 500 cons were confined to their cells, compared to only 196 at Saughton, 136 at Barlinnie and 72 at Glenochil.  And almost 2,500 inmates had their wages docked.  The Scottish Executive was forced to reveal the figures after being quizzed by the Scottish Nationalist Party.  Last night SNP leader John Swinney blasted the prison's record.  Now he is calling for plans to build another private prison in West Lothian to be scrapped.  Mr Swinney said: "It sounds like this prison is being run like a boot camp.  These figures prove that privatisation doesn't work."  But a spokesman for billionaire Wackenhut's company, Premier, hit back saying: "We are not the worst, we are the best in Scotland because we register more offences."  And a spokesman for First Minister Jack McConnell said: "I fear John Swinney 's rantings have more to do with his leadership troubles than a concern for the running of Scottish prisons."  (The Mirror)

September 14, 2003
A BOSS at Scotland's only private jail has quit after four years in the job.  Stewart Yates, left, resigned from his job as assistant director of Kilmarnock Prison. The 42-year-old handed in his resignation and walked out two weeks ago, telling friend she was planning to pursue a career in health care. Prison chiefs have changed the locks to his office.  Yates was an award-winning psychiatric nurse before becoming assistant director when the privately-run jail opened.  One source said: ``Yates just disappeared. It came as a bolt out of the blue.'' In 1999, Yates appeared in court charged with threatening wife Carol during a bust-up at their home in Kirkintilloch, near Glasgow.  He was unavailable for comment yesterday.  (Sunday Mail)

February 12, 2003
A PRISONER launched a vicious attack on the boss of a private jail. Former Marine Nick Cameron, 38, was punched and kicked as he talked to an inmate on a routine tour of Kilmarnock Prison. As they talked, a second inmate punched Mr Cameron in the back of the head, knocking him to the ground, and kicked him several times. A prison officer dragged the man away. A spokesman for Premier Prison Services, who run the jail, last confirmed: "The director was struck on the back of the head by a fist and fell to the ground, where he was kicked before he broke free." The Ayrshire jail, which opened in 1999, has been criticised in the past for poor performance, understaffing and low pay. The attack is the latest in a string of violent incidents and problems at Kilmarnock . On Sunday, a pool table was set on fire after some inmates refused to return to their cells. Insiders said it was in response to allegations that a prisoner was beaten up by two officers. In November, two prison officers who planted heroin on an inmate were sacked. In September, a report branded it the worst jail in Scotland with more inmates found to have drugs and knives than at any other jail. In September, a prisoner stabbed three others during a fight. An inmate was beaten with a claw hammer at a carpentry class in March. And a series of riots hit the jail in September 1999. (Daily Record)

December 4, 2002
PRISONERS have been living in overcrowded squalor while private jail cells lay empty, it was claimed yesterday.  Shadow justice minister Roseanna Cunningham said the situation around Kilmarnock jail, Scotland's only private prison, was "a scandal."  Figures showed the Executive paid 105,000 to the operators between 1999 and 2001 for empty places. "Labour keep telling us privatization delivers best value. The truth is that it delivers money into private pockets while prisoners are dumped in overcrowded public jails."  (Daily Record)

October 6, 2002
Scotland's controversial private prison lost almost 200 brand-new television sets in its first six months as rampaging inmates smashed them up on a nightly basis.  A former manager of Kilmarnock Prison has revealed that critically low staffing levels at the jail forced prison officers to bow to the demands of inmates just to keep it running.  He claimed that stressed-out prison officers went off sick regularly as they struggled to cope with constant verbal and physical abuse from prisoners.  "If any prisoner felt they had a complaint that was not being dealt with, they would just pick up the nearest television and launch it.  It was almost like an Olympic sport in there," the source said.  "You would often be running a shift with 526 prisoners and something like 20 staff.  We were so short-staffed at points that senior management were often doing the duties of junior prison officers." The SNP last night attacked the Executive's record on private prisons and said that any plans for further privatisation should be shelved in the wake of the latest revelations.  Shadow Justice Minister Roseanna Cunningham said:  "This must be the final nail in the coffin for the privatisation of prisons."  Premier Prisons, which runs the jail, last night denied there had been staff shortages or breaches of security.  (AP)

September 29, 2002
An investigation was under way last night into an alleged stabbing incident at Scotland's controversial Kilmarnock private prison which left three inmates in hospital.  Opposition politicians claimed the incident was further evidence that the jail- which has been criticized over its staffing levels- is out of control.  Three men, aged 36,28 and 26, were taken to the hospital following the incident in the recreation area of Kilmarnock just before 9 pm on Friday.  The Prison Officers Association said the Scottish Executive would have to look seriously at the contract given to Premier Custodial Services to run Kilmarnock if violent incidents continued.  Earlier this year, it was revealed Kilmarnock had more incidents of vandalism and fire-raising than any other jail in Scotland.  In April, Scotland on Sunday revealed Kilmarnock was the most violent prison in Scotland with 29 assaults on prison staff.  The SNP's shadow deputy justice minister Michael Matheson said: "We have known for some time that staffing levels at Kilmarnock have been dangerously low.  Sadly incidents such as this are an indication of how dangerous Kilmarnock Prison now is.  

September 28, 2002
Three prisoners were taken to the hospital following a disturbance at Kilmarnock Prison.  The men, who are aged 36, 27, and 26, were taken to Crosshouse Hospital on Friday night for treatment.  Critics of the Kilmarnock  jail - Scotland's only private prisons - have renewed calls for an inquiry into the way that the facility is run.  Scottish National Party MSP Alex Neil said:  "I've predicted for long enough that the way in which Kilmarnock prison is run, which is for profit, is going to lead to a disaster in terms of prisoner safety and public safety.  '''What we need now is an urgent inquiry.  "I think the time has come for the Scottish Executive to review the contract with Premier Prison Services to see if it is at all possible to legally terminate it and bring the prison back into public ownership."  (BBC News)

September 5, 2002
Kilmarnock is Scotland's only private jail . A political war of words has erupted over the performance and viability of Scotland's only private prison. Scottish National Party Leader John Swinney said that levels of vandalism, arson and possession of unauthorised substances made Kilmarnock the worst jail north of the border. He said statistics collated from a series of Scottish Executive parliamentary answers illustrated that the prison was underperforming. Mr Swinney said he intends to write to Scotland's chief inspector of prisons and urge him to conduct an emergency inspection at the jail. He said the private jail had 3,634 disciplinary offences in 2001-2 compared to 1,262 offences at HMP Edinburgh and 1,738 at HMP Barlinnie. "These figures reveal a picture of Kilmarnock that makes it easily the worst prison in Scotland," Mr Swinney said. Claim dismissed "It has a disciplinary record that is staggeringly poor, with prisoners wandering through its halls apparently without a care in the world." He added: "It is little wonder that it has the worst arson and vandalism record in Scotland as a result. "Despite this, ministers remain intent on going ahead with their plan to build yet more private prisons. "Their own statistics tell them that private prisons don't work yet they are so obsessed with privatisation that they cannot accept that it is time to dump their crazy plan." The SNP in July said parliamentary answers suggested that the executive had tried to cover up subsidies to the prison. Mr Swinney said at the time the subsidies amounted to £690,698, which was almost 70% of the estimated £1m profit made by Kilmarnock Prison Services in the past two years. (Go Memphis.com)  

September 2, 2002
Scotland's only private prison has the worst disciplinary record of any jail in the country, according to official figures which reveal that hundreds of inmates wander unauthorised around the facility. With Justice Minister Jim Wallace due to outline his blueprint for the future of the prison system this week, the revelation is seen by those against the establishment of more 'prisons for pounds' as proof that they do not work. Wallace had been expected to authorise the construction of at least two new private jails in the Central Belt. The report, based on figures supplied by the Scottish Prison Service, which exposed Kilmarnock's poor record, examined the disciplinary records of all local prisons and showed the Ayrshire jail, run by Premier Prisons, had a massive 3,634 disciplinary offences in 2001-02 compared with 1,262 at Edinburgh and 1,738 at Barlinnie, which has almost twice as many inmates as Kilmarnock. An even starker picture of life inside Kilmarnock is drawn by the number of unauthorised absences and appearances around the jail. Over the past year 1,545 prisoners were found in sections of the prison they were not supposed to be in or failed to report to areas where and when they were expected. In Barlinnie, there were only 13 cases of this offence in 2001-2002. Prisoners in Perth were the second-worst offenders and that prison reported just 108 absentees or wanderers. The records stretch back to 1999 and show that Kilmarnock has consistently had poorer discipline than the public-sector prisons. Its prisoners also possess more unauthorised material than any others in Scotland, start more fires and damage or destroy more property than inmates elsewhere. SNP leader John Swinney, an opponent of the private system, said: 'Next week the Justice Minister will tell the Scottish Parliament his vision for the Prison Service. These figures offer him a stark choice: he can either choose a well-run public system with dedicated and professional staff or can choose the model of organised chaos represented by HMP Kilmarnock. 'It is quite staggering that prisons such as Barlinnie, where staff are forced to work in Victorian conditions, can outperform Kilmarnock, the newest prison in Scotland. Across the board from vandalism and arson to possession of unauthorised substances, HMP Kilmarnock is the worse jail in Scotland 'Private prisons don't work. Kilmarnock proves that. The Justice Minister must now see sense and stop this local problem becoming a national disaster.' (The Observer)  

July 31, 2002
Proposals for three private jails and the closure of Peterhead prison have been criticised by the wife of Scotland's most senior judge. Lady Cullen, the wife of the Lord Justice General, Lord Cullen, also called for a fresh approach from judges on the issue f sentencing. She said private prisons plans resulted from the "defeatist attitude" of those who said the prison population was set to rise and failed to see the need for alternatives to custody.  (BBC News)

July 29, 2002
Justice Minister Jim Wallace has described as "absurd" claims that the Scottish Executive has sought to cover up payments to the company running Scotland's only private prison.  He was responding to calls for ministers to "pull the plug" on proposals to build more private jails after the Scottish National Party claimed they would be subsidised by almost £35m. His comments arrived as the controversy surrounding the issue of private prisons gathered pace. SNP leader John Swinney has written to First Minister Jack McConnell urging him to "recognise that he has lost the argument" over privatisation. But Mr Wallace intervened and The SNP's call followed revelations that the Scottish Executive has been footing the bill for some of the running costs of the Kilmarnock jail. The SNP said "hidden" government subsidies for the only private prison north of the border amounted to £690,698 over a two-year period.  "The Scottish Executive has been caught feathering the nest of private prison operators at the taxpayers' expense," he said.  (BBC News)

July 28, 2002
Prison officers have called for a public inquiry into the accounts of Scotland's only private jail after allegations about government subsidies. They said the National Audit Office should look into the funding of Kilmarnock Prison after the Scottish Executive was accused of trying to cover up the subsidies. Scottish National Party leader John Swinney said the subsidies amounted to £690,698, which was almost 70% of the estimated £1m profit made by Kilmarnock Prison Services in the past two years. "Kilmarnock is the executive's flagship private prison and is the model for their plans to privatise more of our jails," said Mr.Swinney. "They are so obsessed with privatisation that they are subsidising a private company's profits to the tune of nearly three-quarters of a million pounds simply to make it look more economic.  (BBC News)

July 23, 2002
AN outspoken attack on the Scottish Executive's plans for more privatised jails was made yesterday by the new chief inspector of prisons on the day he was appointed. The Very Rev Dr Andrew McLellan, former moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, will take over from Clive Fairweather, who had also become an ardent opponent of bringing the private sector into the penal system. Dr McLellan has also criticised the proposal to close Peterhead and said yesterday that he "remained to be convinced" by the argument for private prisons. Citing the examples of schools and hospitals, Dr McLellan questioned their cost effectiveness and morality on the grounds that only the state can imprison, so only the state should take responsibility. During his year as moderator, Dr McLellan visited every prison in Scotland and wrote a report critical of the principle of privatisation. (The Herald)

July 23, 2002
A watchdog should have teeth. Andrew McLelland bared his yesterday when he was introduced as Scotland's chief inspector of prisons, replacing the equally forthright Clive Fairweather. Dr McLelland's views on prison privatisation and the closure of Peterhead jail, including its sex offenders unit, are well known. He opposes both. Lest anyone was still in doubt yesterday, he made his position absolutely clear when he said he had not been persuaded by the economic arguments for prison privatisation. He doubted if it was in the interests of prisoners and said it should remain the state's responsibility to look after those whose liberty it removed. Perhaps Dr McClelland's appointment is a signal that the private sector will not build, maintain, and operate new prisons, and that the sex offenders unit will stay in Peterhead. (The Herald)

July 22, 2002 
Andrew McLellan takes up the post in October Scotland's new Chief Inspector of Prisons has vowed to court controversy when he takes over the watchdog role. Andrew McLellan, a former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, will replace Clive Fairweather in October. Mr Fairweather has been a critic of private sector involvement in the prison service during Mr McLellan was critical over the issue while moderator and convener of the Kirk's influential church and nation committee. Following the announcement of his appointment on Monday, he said he had not been convinced that such a move was the best way forward. "I have yet to be persuaded of the efficiency argument for privatising prisons," he said.   "And it will still take a good deal to persuade me that the moral argument is not important." (BBC News)

July 22, 2002
During his year as moderator, Dr McLellan visited every prison in Scotland and wrote a report critical of the principle of privatisation. Mr Fairweather has been a critic of private sector involvement in the prison service during his time as chief inspector. Mr McLellan was critical over the issue while moderator and convener of the Kirk's influential church and nation committee. Following the announcement of his appointment on Monday, he said he had not been convinced that such a move was the best way forward. "I have yet to be persuaded of the efficiency argument for privatising prisons," he said. "And it will still take a good deal to persuade me that the moral argument is not important." (BBC News)

July 21, 2002
He expects to learn tomorrow that he has lost his job as Scotland's prison chief, but Clive Fairweather is refusing to go quietly. In a last broadside at prison management, he has accused them of having lost the faith of their own staff, destroying morale, wasting lives and putting the entire prison system at risk. Fairweather has been critical of the country's only private prison at Kilmarnock but now insists, tartly. 'I'm not anti private prisons. I'm anti private prisons that don't work.' Yet, more resoundingly than ever before, Fairweather has rejected the private sector as the future for Scotland's prison estate. While it may be suited to dealing with prisoners on remand, and perhaps short sentences, he told the Sunday Herald that imprisonment was such a significant and damaging sanction it must be delivered by the state 'I've never said that Kilmarnock was a failed experiment, as some have claimed,' he said. 'But the contract was too tight and I don't think there are enough staff in Kilmarnock to act as role models. Private firms don't have the experience and are never likely to because of the high staff turnover.' (Sunday Herald)

July 20, 2002
The SNP yesterday claimed to have proof that private prisons cost more than public jails. Figures from Kilmarnock Prison's annual report show Scotland's only private jail costs 12,446,000 a year. The Nationalists say that with Kilmarnock's 548 inmates, the running costs work out at 22,712 per prisoner place - more than 2000 more expensive than Barlinnie Prison in Glasgow. SNP leader John Swinney said the figures "blow a huge hole" in the Executive's plans for three new private prisons, which justice minister Jim Wallace said would save the public 700million. (Daily Record)

July 11, 2002
The alleged stabbing of a prisoner at Kilmarnock Prison is being treated as attempted murder by police. A 25-year-old man was attacked in his cell at the Ayrshire jail at about 2130 BST on Wednesday. A police spokesman said inquiries were continuing into the alleged incident, which is being treated as attempted murder.

July 8, 2002 
In March, Wendy Alexander sat at the cabinet table in Edinburgh's Bute House as enterprise minister and agreed to a radical prison closure programme, which also included plans for three new private jails to be built. Last week, relieved of her ministerial duty to toe the collective line, she put her name to an MSPs' report which torpedoed the plan for its multiple failings. That change of heart is indicative of serious trouble between the front and back benches in one of the most difficult issues the young Executive and parliament have faced in three years. Prisons, which are one of the less appealing and least populist of political issues, have become a severe headache for justice minister Jim Wallace and a crucial test of which way devolution will go, carrying a significance far beyond the high-security fences. (Sunday Herald)

July 3, 2002
THE resignation of the head of Scotland's prison service was demanded last night as ministers faced a constitutional power struggle with MSPs over the plans for jails. A cross-party group of MSPs yesterday unanimously rejected Scottish Executive proposals to reform the penal system and government policy for privatising jails. They cited a lack of spending estimates and inadequate re-search by ministers, then went on to condemn Tony Cameron, chief executive of the Scottish Prisons Service, for his "extraordinary and unconvincing" evidence before the justice committee. The report amounted to the most devastating critique by a committee on government policy in the short history of the Scottish Parliament. It left ministers livid and embarrassed. The prisons report said that Peterhead, and its successful treatment of sex offenders, should be retained, Barlinnie should also remain open, and Low Moss was an "untenable" jail and should be shut. It also said slopping out should be eradicated "as soon as possible", and options in the review were not adequately explored, particularly concerning privately-built but publicly-operated jails or not-for-profit trusts. (The Herald)

July 3, 2002
PLANS TO build three new private prisons in Scotland and close Peterhead jail were torn to shreds by an all-party committee of MSPs yesterday. The Scottish Parliament justice 1 committee singled out the chief of the prison service for particular criticism, describing his evidence to them as "extraordinary and unconvincing. " Last night the SNP said the Scottish Prison Service chief executive Tony Cameron should be sacked but the Scottish Executive said he still retained the confidence of ministers. In recent months ministers have been under constant pressure to rethink the controversial prison estates review which, they claimed, could build three new private prisons £700 million cheaper than new public sector jails. The committee report blasted almost every aspect of the Executive’s blueprint for the future of Scotland’s prisons. MSPs expressed concern over using Scotland’s existing private prison at Kilmarnock as a template for other such establishments. The committee report blasted almost every aspect of the Executive’s blueprint for the future of Scotland’s prisons. MSPs expressed concern over using Scotland’s existing private prison at Kilmarnock as a template for other such establishments. "Given that he is responsible for the majority of the prison estates review, the committee’s identification of serious flaws within it, in my view, raises questions about his leadership of the SPS." Committee convener Christine Grahame did not call for Mr Cameron’s head but made it clear that she and her colleagues were of the view that the prison estates review was a botched job. "Our investigation found that the Executive’s review was based on inadequate financial and performance information, making accurate comparisons between private and public provision almost impossible," she said. Derek Turner, of the Prison Officers Association Scotland, said, "If the minister listens to the committee and to many of the submissions it received, and Peterhead remains open, that throws the whole estates review into disarray because the overall calculations are based on the loss of Peterhead. "The man who has been driving this whole process has been the (SPS) chief executive. As far as the chief executive and the prison board are concerned, they need to take a long hard look at themselves based on the evidence they have been giving to the minister." (The Courie)

July 2, 2002
The prisons report said that Peterhead, and its successful treatment of sex offenders, should be retained, Barlinnie should also remain open, and Low Moss was an "untenable" jail and should be shut. It also said slopping out should be eradicated "as soon as possible", and options in the review were not adequately explored, particularly concerning privately-built but publicly-operated jails or not-for-profit trusts. The report went on to raise "major questions" over using Kilmarnock, Scotland's first private prison, for comparison purposes. MSPs said they were seriously concerned about low mstaffing levels. Justice committee convener Christine Grahame said: "Our investigation found that the executive's review was based on inadequate financial and performance information, making accurate comparisons between private and public provision almost impossible. But the SNP MSP who represents the Banff and Buchan constituency, which includes Peterhead, called for Mr Cameron to resign. Stewart Stevenson: "The work underlying the estates review has been shown up to be shoddy, complete and inaccurate. "It is inconceivable that Tony Cameron can continue in office." (BBC News)

July 2, 2002 
A SENIOR Nationalist MSP claims the Scottish Executive underspent their prison budget by ?xA3;50million to pave the way for private jails. Christine Grahame said slopping out in Scots jails could have been ended if the cash had been spent. She said: "The Executive claimed one reason for opting for three private prisons was that slopping out could be ended in half the time. "I have been told that the underspend would have met the need. We are left wondering if this was all about smoothing the path for privatisation." (Daily Record)

June 23, 2002
A Nursing manager at Scotland's only private prison has been suspended over her relationship with an inmate.  Amanda Cross was sent home after bosses at Bowhouse Prison, Kilmarnock, received complaints that her friendship with prisoner Stephen Kelley was inappropriate." Cross, who has a boyfriend outside of jail has already been investigated twice after being accused of becoming too close to inmates and had received a warning letter from management ordering her to stay away from Kelly.  She was suspended after a warden claimed to have seen the nurse and the violent con holding hands.  (Section News)

June 6, 2002
The Justice Minister, Jim Wallace, has left the door open to the possibility of new prisons in Scotland being built with private money but being run by the government
Mr Wallace said they had and had decided that they would not be appropriate in Scotland.   The minister also said he was willing to look at privately-built prisons being run as not-for-profit trusts, but said no investigations had been carried out as yet.  (BBC News)

May 24, 2002
CROSS-PARTY opposition looked likely yesterday to torpedo the Scottish Executive's plans for three new jails being privately built and run.  Jim Wallace, the justice minister, faced hostile questioning about the proposals from MSPs, and it appeared increasingly likely he would have to compromise and be forced to adopt the more costly option of any new prisons being privately built, but operated by public sector staff.  The SNP is opposed to the use of private jails but Labour and LibDem committee members were also highly critical of the plans yesterday, questioning the need for so many new prisons in view of penal reform initiatives and the proposal to have them privately managed.  Donald Gorrie, LibDem, told the minister they would be better spending 100m on ways of trying to keep people out of jail rather than 600m to build new prisons.  (News Latest)

May 18, 2002
Prison officers and their wives are preparing to stage a protest march over proposals for the closure of Peterhead jail.  The demonstration will be followed by a public meeting in the town, which will be attended by Scottish National Party MP Alex Salmond, who has been campaigning to keep the jail open.  It also recommended the building of up to three new private prisons.  (BBC News)

May 14, 2002
Scotland's chief inspector of prisons has questioned why the public sector could not operate new jails, even if they were built by private firms. Clive Fairwhether gave evidence to MSPs on the Scottish Executive's controversial proposals for new private prisons.  Mr.Fairweather expressed concern that prison capacity would be profit driven rather than rehabilitation-led.  (BBC News)

May 5, 2002
Officers at Scotland's only private jail work illegal hours and fear for their own safety -- and nearly two-thirds are paid so little they have to claim benefit, it has been revealed. They will increase concern among backbenchers about ministers' plans to build three more private prisons. Deputy First Minister Jim Wallace has insisted that building the new prisons in the private sector will be little more than half as expensive as using the public purse. But the fact that the majority of officers at Kilmarnock, run by Premier Prisons Ltd for the Scottish Prison Service (SPS), are receiving state ben efits has cast further doubt on the SPS costings. In his evidence to the justice committee last week Phil Hornsby, general secretary of the Prison Service Union, said: 'The highest paid officers at Kilmarnock earn about £13,500 a year . We calculate that 60% of our members there receive state benefits of one kind or another. You could say that the state is subsidising the operation of the prison.' He painted a picture of a regime which can function only because staff work illegal shifts, for wages barely 75% of those in public sector prisons. 'Kilmarnock recruits from people who have no custodial experience. They know nothing about the job and are surprised when prisoners do not automatically do what they are told by someone wearing a uniform.' Christine Graham, SNP MSP and convener of the justice committee, said the committee had been astonished to hear that so many of the officers' families were reliant on benefits and that so few were investing in a pension. 'These employees are being subsidised by the state because wages are so low. Meanwhile, who picks up the bill further down the line when these men have lower pensions? The state does.' (Sunday Herald)

April 16, 2002
Trades unionists have renewed their opposition to plans for three new private jails in Scotland. An emergency motion condemning profit-making from incarceration has been passed at the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) annual meeting in Perth. A high-profile campaign is now being planned against the Scottish Executive's strategy. A review of the Prisons Estate earlier this year by leading accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers said the private jails could save the executive some £700m. But this figure has been branded "fundamental flawed" by a report fro two Scottish academics STUC delegates said the concept of private prisons was "morally repugnant" and was a clear attempt to drive down the terms and conditions of public sector workers. The policy contradicted First Minister Jack McConnell's comments on Monday when he told the meeting he did not want a two-tier workforce. The STUC has now called for Members of the Scottish Parliament to be allowed a free vote on the future of the prison service. Protest march Addressing the congress, Derek Turner, general secretary of the Prison Officers' Association Scotland (POAS) condemned the plan. Mr Turner said: "We sat here yesterday and listened to Jack McConnell say that he didn't want a two-tier workforce. "It is clear in our minds that the attempt to privatise the Scottish Prison Service is about driving down terms and conditions of public sectors workers. Addressing the congress, Derek Turner, general secretary of the Prison Officers' Association Scotland (POAS) condemned the plan. "We do not believe that the majority of the Scottish public want a prison service fundamentally based on profit and not rehabilitation." As well as the three new private jails, there are plans to close Peterhead jail and Low Mos prison, near Bishopbriggs in Dunbartonshire. Prison officers say the move would mean a third of prisoners in Scotland being housed by the private sector - a higher proportion than almost anywhere else in the world. There have been warnings of industrial action if the executive presses ahead with the policy.

February 21, 2002
A blaze that yesterday ripped through Scotland's only private prison was sparked by an electrical fault in an X-ray machine, according to investigators. Experts say the fire at Kilmarnock Prison, which forced the evacuation of 500 inmates and nine patients, is likely to have been caused by a short circuit in the machine in the jail's healthcare wing.

February 20, 2002
Investigations were today into the cause of a fire at Scotland's only private prison.  Inmates at Kilmarnock Prison, Ayrshire, were safely evacuated after a fire broke out at the jail's health care unit last night.  Its staffing levels have previously been criticised and came under the spotlight again just two days ago when the convener of a Scottish Parliament committee said she felt "intimidated" during a visit.  (Press Association)

April 27, 2001
An ex-con hired as a prisons trouble-shooter has told of the drugs "pollution" in Scotland's only private jail.  Harry Connaghan reveals that Kilmarnock jail is "polluted" with heroin.  He says staff are being intimidated into smuggling in drugs and could have serious riots on their hands soon.  "Making money is what Kilmarnock is all about and when the work contracts dry up something will have to go.  They will have serious riots on their hands if they attempt to reduce the high wages.  A large amount of assaults on prisoners and staff.  These stats are alarming and way above the worst stats in any SPS prison just now.  The place is polluted with heroin and it looks like some of it enters the prison via intimidated staff.  There is no way the Executive can authorise any more private prisons after reading our report," Connaghan said.  Kilmarnock jail was condemned in March by the Chief Inspector of Prison Clive Fairweather.  He told of a much higher level of violence than similar-sized prisons and said drug misuse was rife.  (Daily Record)

March 26, 2001
Kilmarnock prison was plunged into fresh controversy last night a 17-year-old committed suicide while on remand at the jail. Coming just days after an official report which damned the jail, the death of James Bolland, from Galston, Ayrshire prompted politicians and civil right groups to order a review of its status as Scotland's only private prison. The youngster's death follows a report by Clive Fairwheather, the nation's chief inspector of prisons, who declared the institution was "an expensive failure", and criticized conditions where "single officers were often supervising large numbers of prisoners." He added that current low staffing levels meant the jail was not "a particularly safe environment for prisoners or staff." It is the second time in 12 months that a remand prisoners at Kilmarnock has taken his own life. Michael Matheson, deputy justice spokesman for the Scottish National Party said: "We have been concerned that profitability is coming decent standards at Kilmarnock. While the details of this case have yet been to be discovered, it raises grave concerns that he may not have been properly supervised, particularly in the light of last week's report. This is yet another sign that private prisons are not the best solution. Mr Fairweather's report found had the highest turnover of staff at any prison, a rate of around 32 per cent. Figures for Barlinnie were 9 per cent while Greenock and Edinburgh were 11 percent. (The Scotsman)

March 21, 2001
A damning report on Scotland's only private prison says inmates have an easy time and are being paid for being asleep. Chief Inspector of Prisons Sir Clive Fairweather's report found prisoners at Kilmarnock were paid L60 a week for doing next to nothing. Prison officers have branded it as an experiment gone wrong and called for an end to privatization. The report is more expensive to run than those in the public sector and concerns have been raised that experienced inmates are manipulating officers and are in control. Drug taking and bullying are said to be rife arte the prison, which opened two years ago and was thought to be the first of many. Last year there was a 32% turnover of staff and 92% of officers had no previous prison experience. (Evening Times, Glasglow)

March 20, 2001
Scotland's only private jail was branded "an expensive failure" yesterday, following a damning report by prison inspectors. Union leaders, who have seen the report on Kilmarnock prison, claim inmates are being paid £60 a week for sitting in their cells doing nothing.  According to the report, a number of inmates were found asleep at their work, apparently high on drugs. "While worksheds were full, a large number of prisoners were not engaged in purposeful activity, the regime timetable was not being followed and a number of prisoners were seen to be asleep in the sheds," the report says. Its publication will undermine plans by chief executive of the Scottish Prison Service to drive through further privatization. Clive Fairweather, the county's chief inspector of prisons, raises concerns about the level of violence against officers and staff shortages at Kilmarnock. His report says: "Staffing levels in the houseblocks continued to be a concern." "It was often the case that single officers were supervising large numbers of prisoners." "With the current staffing levels, it did not, in our opinion, feel a particularly safe environment for either prisoners or staff. The report found that Kilmarnock had highest turnover of staff at any Scottish prison - 32 percent. Figures for Barlinnie were nine percent while Greenock and Edinburgh were 11 percent. This is the latest  in a string of embarrassing episodes for Kilmarnock jail. Last year an inspector's report found that 91 percent of staff had never worked in a prison before. (The Scotsman)

Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court
Fife, Scotland
Reliance

December 2, 2004 BBC
Private security firm Reliance claims its performance is improving despite another prisoner escape last week. The company said it has overcome the "teething problems" which marred the start of its prisoner escort contract in west central Scotland this year. A prisoner slipped away from Reliance guards outside Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court on Friday. The escapee, who was a prisoner at Perth Prison, was returned to custody after being arrested by police on Monday. In September, Audit Scotland said that Reliance had improved its performance despite a number of prisoners being released in error.
Its report found that private guards were at fault for 12 out of 23 prisoners who were wrongly released.

November 29, 2004 BBC
A prisoner accused of escaping from a security guard outside a court last week is back in custody.  Steven Craigie went missing on Friday while he was being returned to a van at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court in Fife by Reliance Security Services. The 22-year-old, a prisoner at Perth Prison, was arrested by police in the Levenmouth area on Monday.

November 27, 2004 BBC
Police are continuing their hunt for a prisoner who broke free from the hands of security guards at court in Fife. Officers are looking for 22-year-old Steven Craigie who slipped out of his handcuffs outside Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court on Friday evening.
Craigie, who is serving a sentence at Perth Prison, appeared in the court at about 1730 GMT before escaping Reliance Security Services staff. Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish National Party's deputy leader, said: "The Reliance contract has been a sham from the start. "It has been plagued by incompetence and shoddy management, numerous wrongful releases and a secret get-out clause. "Because of Cathy Jamieson's failure to protect public safety, we are now stuck with a second rate prisoner security service."

M&M Security
September 12, 2005 Daily Record
A SECURITY firm boss caged for waging a terror campaign against rivals has failed in a bid to get released. Lewis "Scooby" Rodden and his henchmen are still hoping to get their jail sentences cut. Rodden, 44, and three sidekicks were locked up for a total of 17 years following their vendetta in Ayrshire. The mob admitted offences including assault, fire-raising, intimidation and possessing offensive weapons. All are behind bars in Kilmarnock's private prison following their conviction in January but the gang have appealed against their sentences.

February 18, 2005 BBC
Four men who tried to muscle in on security contracts have been sentenced to serve a total of 17 years in jail. Lewis Rodden, from Cumbernauld, and three members of his security firm admitted assault, possessing offensive weapons, threats and fire-raising. The 44-year-old ringleader was jailed alongside Muir MacLeod, 38, Lee Burgun, 34, and William Bennett, 45, at the High Court in Kilmarnock on Friday. The judge likened the crime spree to mobster racketeering in 1920s America. A fifth man, James McInally, 47, was put on probation for three years and ordered to carry out 240 hours' community service. Mob mentality. Rodden was in charge of the four men who all worked for his private security outfit, West Coast Security. Last month the same court heard he and his accomplices plead guilty to a series of charges for trying to bully construction firms across Ayrshire into awarding them business between May and September 2003. On sentencing the quartet on Friday, Lord Hardie said: "Such crimes remind me of the activities of organised crime in America last century." He added that the acts of violence against rival security firms in order to obtain their business was unacceptable and welcomed the introduction of licences to stop such activities by the Scottish Executive.

A FRONTMAN for gangster-owned security firm M&M has bragged how the name stands for Murder and Mayhem. The chilling boast, revealing the true face of Scotland's security industry, was caught on camera during secret filming by the BBC. John Fox, a former Children's Panel member, smirks as he makes the claim which will be screened in Tuesday's edition of Frontline Scotland. Asked what M&M stands for, Fox says: 'Mad and Madder... Murder and Mayhem.' The company's initials are meant to represent the names of co-owners convicted murderer Paul McGovern, 30, and George Madden, 43. M&M were targeted as part of a BBC investigation into Scotland's rogue security firms and their gangland links. Reporter Sam Poling set up a bogus building site in Glasgow and invited M&M and rival firms Frontline and Osiris to tender for the security contract. Representatives of the three would-be 'respectable' firms were caught on camera admitting who really owns them McGovern, notorious gangster Paul Ferris and Marie Johnston, wife of bent ex-cop Paul. All three firms' gangland links have been repeatedly exposed by the Sunday Mail but they continue to get work from reputable firms. The revelations will increase pressure on the Scottish Executive to introduce licensing of security firms. (Sunday Mail)

Prisoner Escort and Tagging
Reliance (formerly Serco, subsidiary of Premier)
6 Dec 2012 Daily Record
Olympic bunglers G4S fined £350,000 for court failings: THE security firm were hit with the financial penalty after they delivered prisoners late tens of thousands of times. BUNGLING security firm G4S have been fined almost £350,000 for failing to deliver prisoners on time to Scottish courts. The controversial company, who were heavily criticised before the London Olympics, took over a seven-year contract for transporting all Scots prisoners last January. But figures show that by the end of September the firm had been fined £334,500 for delivering prisoners late on 21,735 occasions. Scottish Labour last night blasted the company and raised concerns over G4S being handed the contract for handling security at the police training college in Fife. The Tulliallan centre has been made the interim HQ of the new single police force from April. Justice spokesman Lewis Macdonald said: “These figures show just how shoddy the basic service being provided by G4S is. Raid on security van yards away from police station. “I’m relieved they are being hit in the pocket for their poor performance. “Scottish Labour calls on the Scottish Government to stop awarding contracts to the company – until their performance can be shown to be much better than it is at present. “I’m concerned they are now to be providing the security at the police training college. The police and the SNP need to reflect upon how appropriate that is.” But a G4S spokesman said: “Since taking over the contract for prisoner escorting, G4S have been working to reduce the number of late deliveries to courts. “We have retrained staff and introduced new procedures. The Scottish Court Service have noted a significant improvement in performance. “In the six months from April to September, there has been a reduction of about 40 per cent in the rate of late deliveries to court. “This is encouraging progress and we will continue to work with staff and our partners to ensure this continues.” A Scottish Prison Service spokeswoman described the number of late deliveries of prisoners to court as “very small”. Scottish Government hire Olympic security bunglers G4S to track offenders. She added: “The performance criteria is considerably stricter than in previous years and financial penalties are accrued if this criteria is not met. “Delays from late deliveries of prisoners to court has been very small and there has been a significant improvement in performance since the contract became operational.”

March 14, 2011 BBC
Reliance is set to lose the contract for Scottish court custody and prisoner transfers to G4S Care and Justice Services UK. The current Scottish Prison Service contract with Reliance is due to come to an end in January 2012. Under European regulations, there will be a period of 10 days to allow other bidders and objectors to comment. G4S said the seven-year contract was likely to involve the transportation of about 180,000 prisoners each year. It covers the escorting of prisoners in Scotland between jails, police stations and the courts, as well as all external visits, such as hospital trips. G4S managing director of court services Russell Hobbs said: "G4S has unrivalled expertise in the care and transport of prisoners, and we were the first private company to take over court services from the public sector in England and Wales in 1993." Reliance, which had the prison transfer contract since 2003, declined to comment at this stage while the 10-day cooling off period is in place. Scottish Labour's justice spokesman Richard Baker accused Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill of "gross hypocrisy". He said: "In opposition his party said that a private firm should never have been brought in to deal with prisoner transfer matters and now in the fag-end of this administration, a new contract is signed, presumably with his full backing. "Surely it would have been preferable to wait until the new administration was in place of whatever political colour to award this contract. "This has been the hallmark of this administration. Say one thing in opposition. Do something completely different in government."

February 19, 2008 BBC
George McGeoch, who was serving a life sentence for offences including murder and abduction, had been attending a planned appointment at Perth Infirmary. The 36-year-old, originally from the Glasgow area, absconded from two members of escort staff and made off on foot at about 1530 GMT. A police spokesman said McGeoch should not be approached. Police officers are carrying out door to door enquiries in Perth and are studying CCTV footage, as well as monitoring various roads in and out of the city and bus and rail stations. McGeoch is described as 5ft 9ins, stocky, with very short ginger hair and a ginger Mexican-style moustache. At the time he was wearing a light t-shirt and dark jogging bottoms. It is believed McGeoch had recently been moved from Perth prison to HMP Dumfries. McGeoch was sentenced to life at the High Court in Inverness in April 1999 for the murder of Eric Innes, a 61-year-old bakery worker, by slashing his throat and trying to burn his body. In 2002 he took took two nurses hostage in his cell at Saughton Prison during a five-hour siege. Private security firm Reliance is responsible for Scotland's prison escort service.

September 12, 2007 BBC
The security firm Reliance has been accused of causing delays at one of Scotland's busiest courts. Lawyers said business at Paisley Sheriff Court was being delayed because of a lack of Reliance staff. The Paisley Faculty of Procurators said the "time had come for the justice secretary to reassess the ability of Reliance to fulfil their contract". However, Reliance said it was fulfilling its contractual responsibilities. Paisley lawyers claimed there was a lack of Reliance personnel to attend dock escorts. Charlie McCusker, dean of the Paisley Faculty of Procurators, said that despite several meetings with senior staff, the situation was not improving. "The fact of the matter is that Reliance are unreliable and as a result court business is being delayed to the detriment of everyone," he said. 'Very frustrating' -- "Senior management at Reliance come to the court users committee meetings and assure all other court users they are dealing with the problem. "It's not a problem caused by the staff who are there, there is nothing wrong with what they do. "It's the lack of resources, the lack of manpower." He added: "You can't get justice on the cheap, we work at the coal face and I just find it very, very frustrating." Freelance journalist Louden Temple, who covers the court, said sheriffs have been refusing to sit until a Reliance officer is present to accompany accused and prisoners. "Although it's been highlighted in Paisley the problem is all over the place," he told BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme. "Sometimes it's one or two courts it affects, most days we have four or five, maybe six, courts sitting in Paisley. "When it affects that amount of business on a daily basis it can't be good for business." Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) was responsible for managing the contract. A spokesman for the SPS said: "The recent inspection report by Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons into the conditions and treatment of prisoners under escort found that the overwhelming number of escorts were managed without incident or difficulty of any kind.

April 12, 2006 Evening Times
A PRIVATE prison security firm came under fire today after it took prisoners to the wrong courts and held up proceedings twice in one day. A Reliance driver took a rapist to a court 50 miles from where he should have appeared and delayed his sentencing by 24 hours. Staff from Reliance Custodial Services picked up Felice Cariello from Saughton Prison in Edinburgh and were supposed to take him to the High Court in Glasgow. But they took him to the High Court in Edinburgh, where he had been convicted, instead. The bungle happened the same day two money launderers were taken to Edinburgh's Sheriff Court instead of the High Court, delaying their appearance by hours.

March 21, 2006 BBC
A judge has ruled that sworn statements should be produced by staff from a prisoner escort firm after it caused a delay in continuing a murder trial. Lord Hardie also called for a police report into a road crash which Reliance said was partially to blame. The judge said not only had jurors been kept waiting, but also a paediatric consultant from Glasgow. Jennifer Liehne, from Edinburgh, has gone on trial and denies suffocating a baby daughter 23 years ago. Lord Hardie had earlier summoned a Reliance director to appear before him. James Greenoak was asked to explain whether there was a policy of giving priority to "volume business" and ignoring the need to give precedence to serious cases heard by juries. The row between the judge and Reliance Custodial Services began when the firm was unable to supply officers to provide a dock escort last week. Paul McBride QC, representing the firm and its operations director, offered "an unreserved apology" to the court for the inconvenience caused to jurors, witnesses and staff after the trial was two and a half hours late in starting. Mr McBride said a combination of factors, including work absences, a road accident and weather, was to blame. He told the court, as Mr Greenoak sat listening, that the situation was not expected to arise again because of substantial recruitment by Reliance. Lord Hardie said he would continue the issue to a further court hearing and would seek affidavits from various people, including Mr Greenoak. He also called for the Reliance duty roster to be produced. The trial continues.

January 18, 2006 The Scotsman
Managers of Scotland’s prison system heard in January that prison guards at the private security company Reliance are being forced to work "dangerously long shifts." Reliance, contracted by the Scottish Prison Service to perform certain core and escort duties, has been heavily criticized for a number of escaped prisoners. Long shifts are not ergonomically sound, and have been shown in many studies to lead to the kind of problems that make prison escapes unsurprising. In an article in The Scotsman newspaper, the Prison Service Union (PSU) reported that tired workers responsible for some of the country's most dangerous inmates are in danger of letting their guard drop, putting their safety at risk and potentially leading to escapes. PSU Assistant General Secretary Steve Farrell explained in the report that staff work "extremely long and dangerous hours - anything between 12 and 16 hours a shift, on average." In extreme cases, staff work in excess of 20 hours in a single day, he said.

December 5, 2005 The Sun
A CRIMINAL was allowed to roam free after a second blunder by a jail tagging firm. Justin Keefe, 25, was meant to have been contacted at home and have a tag fitted after being released early from jail. But nobody got in touch - even after his mum phoned ASKING them to monitor him. The mistake has been blamed on Premier Monitoring Services - slammed for failing to keep tabs on jewellery raider Peter Williams. He had torn off a tag meant to monitor his movements before a robbery in Nottingham in which an accomplice shot dead jeweller Marian Bates. Williams, 19, was later jailed for life for his part in the murder. The latest gaffe came days after Home Office vowed there would not be a repeat. Keefe, from Streetly, West Midlands, who was jailed for eight months for two offences of affray, said: "It seems that nobody can even be bothered to tag me." Premier claim the blunder happened because private prison firm UKDS failed to fax them to say Keefe was being released. UKDS deny doing anything wrong. The Home Office is investigating.

October 21, 2005 Scotsman
Security firm Reliance has lost out in the battle to win a £30 million contract to provide tagging in Scotland, it has been disclosed. The five-year contract will instead to rival Serco, the Executive announced. Reliance holds the current contract, worth £14 million, which began in 2002 and which expires in May next year. The Executive denied Reliance lost out because of well-publicised problems when it took over responsibility last year for court and prison escort duties in Scotland.

September 19, 2005 The Herald
THE private security firm set to take over the electronic tagging of prisoners in Scotland has been censured for its failings in monitoring a teenager convicted of the murder of a jeweller while under its supervision. Serco, which runs Scotland's only private prison, has been awarded preferred-bidder status for the tender to operate electronic tagging on teenage and adult offenders north of the border for five years from April. However, the electronic tagging firm Premier Monitoring, which is owned by Serco, displayed an "inadequate understanding of its responsibilities", according to an official report into the murder of Marian Bates, a Nottingham jeweller who was killed two years ago. Mrs Bates, 64, was shot dead in her family shop as she tried to shield her daughter Xanthe from armed robbers in September 2003. Peter Williams, now 19, was a cocaine addict who had been in trouble with the law since the age of 11 for offences including burglary and indecent assault. He had been released from a young offenders' institution on licence just 20 days before the murder of Mrs Bates. An official report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Probation into the killing found probation workers and Premier Monitoring made a catalogue of errors in their supervision of Williams. He had breached his curfew order at least six times, and even removed the electronic tag that was supposed to restrict his movements, yet little was done. However, Premier failed to inform his youth offending team of this until the morning of Mrs Bates's murder, by which time he had removed the tag completely. Serco, which also owns Premier Custodial Services, operator of Kilmarnock Prison, is set to take over the contract for tagging offenders in Scotland from Reliance, the private security firm. Premier was criticised earlier this year amid claims of staff shortages and negligence at HMP Kilmarnock.

September 14, 2005 The Herald
RELIANCE, the private security firm criticised over a series of prisoner escapes, has lost the multi-million pound contract for tagging offenders in Scotland. The initial £14m deal was awarded to Reliance Monitoring in January 2002 before being extended for a further 12 months, worth £8m, earlier this year. However, Serco, the com-pany which runs Scotland's only private prison, has now been awarded preferred bidder status for the tender to operate electronic monitoring on teenage and adult offenders from next April until 2011. The Scottish Executive is expected to make an official announcement next month. Critics believe the monitoring firm lost favour after its sister company, Reliance Custodial Services, took over prisoner escort responsibilities in April 2004. Just days into the seven-year £126m contract's roll-out, the firm allowed a number of prisoners to escape, including James McCormick, a convicted killer who was aged 17. The decision to award the contract to Serco is also expected to prove controversial. Serco owns Premier Custodial Services, the firm which runs Kilmarnock prison, and was rebuked earlier this year following claims of staff shortages and negligence. A BBC reporter found evidence that warders failed to carry out suicide checks, despite six suicides at the jail in a five-year period. The programme also claimed that officers failed to report offences, including heroin use, which would attract a fine, to protect the income of the jail's operator. The screening of Prison Undercover: The Real Story led to three staff being removed from their duties and an internal investigation by Premier. A fatal accident inquiry earlier this year into the suicide of an inmate at the prison in 2002 was highly critical of failures to monitor him. Premier said a number of improvements had already been introduced.

February 1, 2005 BBC
A teenage murderer who spent more than two weeks on the run has admitted duping guards from a private security firm into setting him free. James McCormick's escape - days after Reliance took over prisoner escort duties - sparked a political row. The High Court in Glasgow heard that the 18-year-old pretended to be another teenager who had been granted bail. He and four other prisoners were locked in a cell exclusively for those from Polmont. Only one of the five prisoners, Thomas Gallagher, was granted bail. Police at the court asked Reliance staff to collect the 16-year-old from the cells so he could be released. The court heard that a guard yelled Mr Gallagher's name. However, it was McCormick - who did not know the teenager before that day - who came forward.
His escape sparked a nationwide hunt and led to a political storm over the decision to privatise the service. Gordon Jackson QC, defending, said the escape had happened through "a comedy of errors". He said: "It was a daft thing to do. It came about as a result of a poor security check."

December 2, 2004 BBC
Private security firm Reliance claims its performance is improving despite another prisoner escape last week. The company said it has overcome the "teething problems" which marred the start of its prisoner escort contract in west central Scotland this year. A prisoner slipped away from Reliance guards outside Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court on Friday. The escapee, who was a prisoner at Perth Prison, was returned to custody after being arrested by police on Monday. In September, Audit Scotland said that Reliance had improved its performance despite a number of prisoners being released in error.
Its report found that private guards were at fault for 12 out of 23 prisoners who were wrongly released.

November 24, 2004 BBC
The Scottish Prison Service is facing strong criticism for signing a confidentiality agreement with the private security firm, Reliance. The Scottish Information Commissioner carried out an investigation into the agreement, following an SNP complaint. He has now expressed "dissatisfaction" with a legally-binding clause which allowed Reliance to stop full the publication of the contract. Reliance will be paid £126m over seven years to provide court escort services. The Scottish National Party demanded publication of the Reliance contract after a series of high-profile mistakes which saw a number of prisoners and offenders go free. The party lodged an appeal under the Code of Practice on Access to Scottish Executive Information. Only an edited version of the contract was released with figures for cash penalties and other details missing. The SNP complained and Mr Dunion launched an investigation and made his ruling public on Wednesday. His report described the confidentiality arrangement as "extraordinarily unbalanced", giving a private firm a veto over the public interest. 
But he conceded that the SPS was legally able to withhold the information.

November 7, 2004 Sunday Mail
EXHAUSTED workers at the crisis-hit Reliance security firm are flooding a union with requests for membership. More than 200 Reliance staff have been recruited by the Prison Services Union in the last few months. Stressed-out workers with the prisoner escort company are working up to 60 hours a week because of staff shortages. But they claim complaints about working conditions are being ignored by bosses.

October 26, 2004 Scotsman
MSPs today called into question official claims that handing prison escort duties to private security company Reliance will save taxpayers £20 million a year. Scottish Nationalist Andrew Welsh claimed the estimate was "poorly based" and "largely speculative". And Labour backbencher Margaret Jamieson suggested it "may not be very robust". The comments came as the parliament’s audit committee quizzed Auditor General Robert Black on his report into the contracting-out of the escort role from the Scottish Prison Service to Reliance.
Mr Black told the committee the SPS had not kept information on the cost of escort duties.

October 21, 2004 Scotsman
THE Scottish National Party called for ministerial action yesterday, after it emerged that guards from the security firm Reliance are not allowed to chase and apprehend prisoners who escape from their custody.
Only police officers have the right to recapture prisoners who escape. Linda Fabiani, an SNP MSP, said she was appalled that all Reliance guards could do if a prisoner escaped was "wave cheerio". Reliance has admitted losing a dozen prisoners on the way to, or on the way from, courts since it took over duties from the Scottish Prison Service earlier this year. Ms Fabiani said: "This is a totally ridiculous state of affairs. Reliance are meant to be taking charge of prisoners while they are being transported to and from court, but if one manages to break free then all Reliance staff can do is stand back and watch them escape."

October 19, 2004 BBC
Detectives are investigating an attack on a prisoner in the cells below the High Court in Glasgow.  Barry Mallon, 21, was slashed on the face and neck after he appeared in court with three other prisoners. He had been segregated from the others in prison, but they were returned to the same cell after appearing in court.
    Strathclyde Police and Reliance, the private firm responsible for security at the court, have both launched investigations into the incident. Conservative MSP Bill Aitken, who represents the Glasgow region, described it as "an incredible situation". He said: "No prisoner, however they arrive in the court cells, should be able to use a weapon to attack another. "There has obviously been a fundamental breach of security and a full and immediate investigation must be carried out - and, if necessary, those responsible should face disciplinary action."

June 30, 2004
The under-fire private security firm Reliance has begun shadowing police and prison staff in Dumfries.  But there will be no further roll-out of the prison escort contract until an assessment has been carried out of the firm's readiness to cope with work.  Reliance was awarded the contract so that police and prison guards could concentrate on "core duties".  However, a number of prisoners have been released in error since the firm began work in the west of Scotland.  (BBC)

June 28, 2004
Up to 17 prisoners may have escaped from custody while private security firm Reliance was on duty, it has emerged.  The firm's managing director has been questioned by MSPs at the Scottish Parliament.  Tom Riall told the Justice 2 Committee that so far six of the releases can be blamed to some extent on Reliance.  Mr Riall told MSPs that the private firm had notanticipated the difficulties it would face when it took over the job of transporting prisoners to court.  But he insisted the firm was getting on top of the job and he expressed his hope that the Scottish Executive would lift the freeze it placed on the £126m contract.  (BBC)

June 28, 2004
Prison escort firm Reliance has incurred £75,000 in penalties for releasing prisoners by mistake.  The firm has accepted the blame for allowing three people to walk free from custody in Scotland. Penalty details were edited from the published version of the Reliance contract which was released last week.  However, BBC Scotland understands that the contract specifies a £25,000 rebate to the Scottish Executive for each prisoner.  (BBC)

June 28, 2004
Another prisoner has escaped from custody while being transported to court by Reliance Security Services.  David Duffy was due to face assault and disorder charges and was on his way to Glasgow Sheriff Court when he escaped through the roof of an escort van.  The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) said it was investigating the incident.  Earlier this month it was revealed that up to 17 people may have escaped since Reliance took over the prison escort service in the west of Scotland.  (BBC)

April 13, 2003
PLANS to use a private security firm at all of Scotland’s prisons have been temporarily suspended following the mistaken release of a number of prisoners, including a convicted murderer who is still on the run. The Scottish Executive had planned to expand the use of Reliance Custodial Services, which began escorting prisoners to and from some Scottish courts last week, under an £11 million contract to help modernise prison escorting services.  However, after the bungled release of Colin Watson, a housebreaker, and Jamie McCormick, a murderer, from courts on Thursday, the roll-out of the scheme across Scotland has been shelved while Reliance improve their procedures.  (The Scots Man)

April 12, 2004
The discussions follow a mix-up on Thursday which led to the mistaken release of a convicted murderer James McCormick was taken to Hamilton Sheriff Court by Reliance Custodial Services which began prisoner transport duties last week.  However, McCormick escaped and is still on the run Speaking shortly after McCormick's escape, Justice Minister Cathy Jamieson said she has called for a detailed report from the chief executive of the Scottish Prison Service, which monitors the Reliance contract.  Scottish Socialist Party MSP Colin Fox called for the Reliance contract to be cancelled and said Ms Jamieson must "take full responsibility for the privatised chaos that has resulted".  He said: "The Scottish Executive and the minister of justice in particular were repeatedly warned just months ago of the danger of privatising prisoner escort services in Scotland.  "Those warnings have been borne out by the debacle surrounding the mistaken release of prisoners over the past week.  (BBC)