Society: Scottish prison branded a disgrace

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Scotland's largest prison, which is running at 51 per cent over capacity, have been criticised as a "national disgrace", in a report published yesterday. The chronic overcrowding at Glasgow's Barlinnie Prison was highlighted by Clive Fairweather, Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland. The report said the overcrowding was "pervading almost every part of the prison and its regime" and that it had "health and hygiene implications".

He said: "It is nothing short of a national disgrace that over the years so many have had to endure the conditions resulting from the constant mismatch created between the finite number of cells available and a burgeoning prison population ... "

The prison inspector hinted that more bail beds, supervised attendance orders, and community service orders, would ease the problem at the prison

But governor Roger Houchin said the report "misrepresented and ignored the facts". He argued: "I am not prepared ... simply to let go unchallenged a degree of licence with the facts that misrepresents the considerable achievements of my staff in delivering a quality of service of which they and the public can be proud."