Dear Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland,
Can you please provide me with answers to the following queries?:
1. Provide a list of the names of staff members from the Scottish Prison Service who have been seconded to HMIPS in the last ten years? If possible, please identify their roles in SPS prior to secondment.
2. Can you please provide an explanation of how these people were selected for this secondment to HMIPS?
3. HMIPS have made observations on ageing infrastructure at several prisons in Scotland for some years. Have your inspection teams ever included an inspector with expertise in maintenance, construction or building design? and if not, how do you assess and report on "condition" objectively?
Many thanks in anticipation.
Thank you for your Freedom of Information request. I acknowledge its receipt and will provide you with a full response in due course.
HM Inspectorate of Prisons for Scotland
Tel: 0131 244 8484
Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act, received by email on the 29 October 2019.
To clarify, a temporary transfer between two civil service departments is a loan, not a secondment, and there is no requirement to recruit through fair and open competition.
Below is our response to each of your questions.
1. I am unable to provide you with personal information due to restrictions under GDPR and the Data Protection laws.
2. In line with our Records Management Policy, we do not hold recruitment information for longer than one year. However, I have been in post for just over two years and can advise that during that time all but two loanee's were recruited through fair and open competition. An advert was circulated to the Scottish Prisoner Service and applicants were asked to complete an application form and those who were successful were invited to interview. I understand that this has been the case for many years but I am unable to confirm this as the paperwork has been destroyed. On two separate occasions this year, HMIPS approached the Scottish Prison Service to request someone with specific experience to undertake specialised pieces of work within HMIPS and the Scottish Prison Service identified a suitable person.
3. Our role does not require us to provide a highly technical expert view on the maintenance, construction or condition of the building. Our role is to inspect and report on the effect it may be having on the treatment and conditions for prisoners. For example Victorian prisons, unlike modern prisons, often do not have areas for communal eating, so prisoners are likely to need to eat their meals in their own cells, adding to the risk of social isolation with potential adverse impact on mental health. Similarly Victorian prisons are less likely to have adequate numbers of accessible cells for prisoners with disabilities or complex care needs. It is our role to highlight such issues and then for the establishment and/or the Scottish Government to investigate further and take any necessary action.
Sorry that I can't be more helpful on this occasion.
HM Inspectorate of Prisons for Scotland Saughton House Broomhouse Drive Edinburgh
Tel: 0131 244 8484
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