Volunteers make 900 prison visits under new system

Female prison guard

Almost 900 visits to Scottish prisons have been carried out in the year since a new monitoring system was introduced.

Under the system, treatment and conditions in Scotland's 15 prisons are monitored by trained volunteers.

About 150 volunteers have been trained up as prison inspectors around Scotland.

HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland David Strang commended the "commitment and motivation" of the volunteers.

The new system of independent monitoring was introduced at the end of August 2015 and replaced Prison Visiting Committees.

The monitors have full access to prisons and can investigate matters brought to their attention by prisoners.

In the last year, the monitors received more than 1,000 requests from people held in prison custody.

The monitors' findings will be included in HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland's Annual Report.

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