Following the announcement that the Scottish Government has scrapped plans for a new women’s jail in Inverclyde, Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson, Alison McInnes MSP said:
“I am pleased that the Scottish Government has listened to the voices of reformers and called a halt to its plans to build HMP Inverclyde.
“The proposed replacement prison was too big and in the wrong place. It ignored the recommendations of the Commission on Women Offenders which called for a small specialist prison for the most dangerous and serious offenders, coupled with community justice centres around the country and small local prison units.
“Choices made now will define how we deal with women offenders for decades to come. The new Justice Secretary has made the right decision in halting his predecessor’s misguided plans.
“What I do have misgivings about, having campaigned for years to close Cornton Vale, is that this will necessitate a delay in closing that sorry chapter of penal history. The prison is not fit for purpose, it impedes rehabilitation and isn’t capable of addressing the challenging and complex needs of many women prisoners.
“There is now a compelling case for the Scottish Government to end its fragmented approach to the implementation of the Angiolini recommendations. It needs to urgently pledge to fully fund and comprehensively support them. That is the only way we can ensure that Scotland’s justice system doesn’t continue to fail these women.”