Violent Attacks On Prison Staff Too High

Scotlands prison inspector's found there were 49 assaults on staff in a year - two of them serious.

This is much higher than other prisons of similar size and function, with 14 minor prisoner-on-staff assaults in Edinburgh during that period, seven in Kilmarnock and five in Perth.

Brigadier Monro, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland, recommended that the prison examines the reasons for the high number of assaults on staff by prisoners.

He said: ``Despite staff feeling safe and treating prisoners well, the level of violence in the prison is high when compared with prisons of equivalent size and function.

``Of particular concern is the number of minor staff assaults. The reasons for the high number of assaults should be examined and I will continue to monitor this whole area.''

He said that overall the prison is ``impressive'' with conditions good and prisoners treated well by staff.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: ``This is a substantially positive report by the chief inspector which highlights several areas of good practice.

``It is clear that many of the procedures in place within the HMP Addiewell are working well. The report does identify several areas for improvement, in particular the high number of minor assaults against members of staff.

``Violence against members of staff in any workplace is unacceptable. Therefore the Scottish Government will keep a close watch on how the director and staff of Addiewell work with the SPS (Scottish Prison Service) to address this and the other issues raised.''

Designed to hold 700 prisoners, HMP Addiewell opened in December 2008 and is run by Sodexo Justice Services.