Page last updated at 11:56 GMT, Wednesday, 22 October 2008 12:56 UK

Search on for new jail locations

HMP Inverness
HMP Inverness was built in 1902 for 130 inmates but currently holds 146

Work is under way to find new sites to replace ageing prisons in Greenock and Inverness, it has emerged.

The Scottish Prison Service (SPS)instructed the search after a recent review deemed both facilities "unfit".

Redevelopment of the two prisons has been ruled out and the SPS said it could be "some time" before deals were agreed for new sites.

A spokesman for the Scottish Government said no money had yet been identified for the plans.

HMP Greenock, known as Gateside, was built in 1910 for 255 inmates but currently holds 335.

HMP Inverness, also known as Porterfield, was built in 1902 for 130 inmates but currently holds 146.

HMP Inverclyde and HMP Highland will provide new and improved facilities
Mike Ewart
SPS chief executive
SPS chief executive, Mike Ewart, said that when built, the new jails would be renamed to reflect the wider areas they serve.

"The announcement of our plan to replace HMP Greenock and HMP Inverness will be a welcome and timely boost to our dedicated and hard-working staff," he said.

"HMP Inverclyde and HMP Highland will provide new and improved facilities for our staff to work and protect the public by helping prisoners address their offending behaviour during their time in custody."

Although Greenock and Inverness prisons currently exceed capacity, the SPS admitted that the new jails would only match current accommodation limits.

Scottish ministers have already approved 120m a year to 2013 to support investment in HMP Grampian, the replacement for Victorian facilities at Peterhead and Aberdeen.

The money will also help construction at HMP Bishopbriggs and the final phases of jails at Edinburgh, Glenochil, Perth and Polmont young offenders institution.

A new jail at Addiewell is scheduled to open in December and could be fully operational by spring.


SEE ALSO
'No extra space' in Scots jails
30 Sep 08 |  Scotland
'No room' in jail for fraudster
25 Sep 08 |  Tayside and Central
Prison numbers 'over safe limit'
24 Sep 08 |  Scotland
Scots jail numbers at record high
29 Aug 08 |  Scotland

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