Sunday, August 14, 2022
PodcastsIn the Scottish PressOne Scots prison officer a day disciplined

One Scots prison officer a day disciplined

ALMOST 150 Scottish prison officers have been disciplined for offences including trafficking and security breaches in the past three years.

The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) admits that 141 wardens – almost one a week – has been found guilty of misconduct since 2011.

Possession of drugs, assault and officers turning up for work “under the influence of alcohol” were also among the cases.

Politicians condemned the figures, claiming that the “public will be extremely concerned”.

Figures revealed through a freedom of information request revealed 57 prison officers were found guilty of misconduct last year – compared with 54 in 2012 and just 16 in 2011.

Scottish Liberal Democrat Alison McInnes, MSP said: “People expect the Scottish Prison Service to consistently deliver the highest standards of service.

“It is important to remember that the vast majority of prison officers and staff do an excellent job, dealing with difficult and demanding situations and helping support the rehabilitation of offenders.

“However, it is concerning that 141 prison officers have been disciplined during the last three years for reasons as serious as security breaches, inappropriate behaviour and assault.”

The SPS revealed the most common reason for misconduct was ‘security breaches’, with 36 prison staff found guilty since 2011.

Second highest was ‘inappropriate action’ with 29, followed by ‘failure to follow procedure’ where 27 officers had been caught.

10 members of staff have been found guilty of ‘assault’ since 2011.

“Fraud”, “Under the influence of alcohol” and misuse of the internal prison internet system disclosed that five officers had faced discipline over a three year period.

The SPS also revealed they had been forced to take action on staff who were found to have been in “possession of an illegal substance.”

Along with “improper relations”, “drink driving” and “racial abuse.”

Scottish Conservative chief whip John Lamont said: “Not every case of misconduct will be worthy of dismissal.

“But the public will be extremely concerned about the sheer number of these breaches.

“Given the very nature of jails, we need prison officers to be whiter than white.

“That’s essential to keep order, help inmates’ rehabilitation and ensure weapons, drugs and phones are not smuggled into prisons.”

The SPS also revealed the prison with the highest number of staff caught misbehaving – is Low Moss, in Bishopbriggs, Glasgow, with 25.

Glenochil prison, Tullibody, Clackmannanshire, had the second highest number of offending officers at 14.

Saughton, Edinburgh, disciplined 13 officers.

Of the 141 found guilty of misconduct, 21 were serious enough to warrant the officer being dismissed.

Since 2011 bosses have also handed out 47 received written warnings, 31 final warnings and 42 verbal warnings.

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