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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 June 2006, 15:13 GMT 16:13 UK
New private prison gets go-ahead
Prison officer generic
The new prison will hold about 700 prisoners
A new privately-run prison is to be built in the West Lothian village of Addiewell, it has been announced.

The contract has been awarded to a consortium of companies including the Royal Bank Project Investments and Sodexho Investment Services.

It already manages three prisons in England and the West Lothian facility for 700 inmates is due to open in 2009.

An announcement has still to be made about a new prison being considered for Low Moss outside Glasgow.

Jim Dawson, Scottish Prison Officers Association assistant secretary, said they remained opposed to privatisation of prisons.

Community against prison

Scottish National Party deputy justice spokesman Stewart Stevenson said: "At a time when the US is looking at reducing use of private prisons, it is disappointing that we are not learning the lessons about limitations of what can be achieved outside the public sector.

"It is significant that a bank will share the ownership of the Addiewell prison, as this once again indicates that decisions are being driven by finance rather than what is good for the prison sector."

And Fiona Hyslop, SNP MSP for Lothian, said: "The community was against this prison on a number of counts.

"One of their main concerns was the poor track record of private prisons in Scotland, particularly due to high staff turnovers which brings little benefit to the local community.

"Local people will have to suffer the inconvenience of such a facility without receiving any tangible related benefits."

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06 Mar 03 |  Scotland

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