The Scottish Prison Service is run by the Executive Chief as the head. The current Executive Chief is John Ewing. The SPS is one of the executive agencies in the Scottish Government. Its three legislative frameworks are:
1. The directions made under the rules
2. The Prisons Act 1989
3. The Prisons and Young Offenders Institutions Rules 2011
The SPS supervises 16 prisons with an average of 7,900 in population. Fourteen of them are managed publicly and the 2 are managed privately under the SPS contract. These 2 are the HMP Addiewell and the HMP Kilmarnock. SPS has no obligation for rehabilitation, but it supports it. Their primary aims include:
1. Maintaining good order in each prison
2. Caring for prisoners with humanity
3. Keeping in custody those committed by the courts
Her Majesty’s Prison refers to the prisons of the United Kingdom. The 16 prisons in Scotland have different types and sizes. The HMP Barlinnie in Glasgow can accommodate more than 1000 prisoners. The HMP Inverness can accommodate more than 100 prisoners.
The HMP Open Estate provides training for prisoners. The HMYOI or the Her or His Majesty’s Young Offenders Institution is designed to accommodate young prisoners who are aged 21 and below. The HMYOI in Polmont is for young male prisoners and the HMPYOI Cornton Vale is for female prisoners, both young and adults. HMP Edinburgh, HMP Aberdeen, HMP Greenock, and HMP Ivrness can also accommodate few female prisoners.
The HMP Barlinnie custodize prisoners who are serving sentences of less than four years. This HMP transfers prisoners to other prisons after four years of accommodation. It is also currently considered as one of the most populated prisons in Scotland. The HMP Shotts accommodates male prisoners who serve sentences for more than 4 years.
Life in a Scottish Prison
The Scottish prison has a lot of facilities and programs that can keep prisoners busy during their stay. The Scottish prison has televisions, gyms, and libraries. There are also livelihood programs offered in these institutions. The only problem an inmate may encounter during his stay is being involved in a fight. That is why, it is still important to know how to survive in a Scottish prison.
Important Pointers on How to Survive in a Scottish Prison
1. Do not trust anyone
Beware of the inmates who are too kind. Most of them have hidden motives. Be careful not to get involved with a person who offers protection from the other inmates. His motives are unclear. Sometimes, these people ask for something in return that can do more harm than good.
2. Be private
Be careful not to disclose any personal information and even the crime you committed. Remember to keep anything that they can use against you. This information can also be used for blackmail. Also, sexual offenders are the most common target of rape in prison.
3. Respect the fellow inmates
Not all prisoners are bad people. In fact, some of these people are innocent. No matter who they are, they deserve to be respected because they are humans, too.
4. Do not do anything illegal inside prison
Be careful not to get involved with gambling and drugs while serving a sentence in jail. These actions hamper your chances of achieving freedom.
Other than these, there are things a person can do if he wants to know how to survive a Scottish prison. The most important thing is to be adaptable at all times.
1.Get acquainted with the house rules.
The rules inside the jail house are different from the outside world. It is important to keep this in mind once you step into your cell.
Learning the rules and abiding by them will give you a better chance of finishing your sentence without additional problems.
2. Protect your personal space
Don’t allow other prisoners to step all over you and your personal space. More often than not, prisoners try to intimidate others in order to assert their superiority.
If you let them, they will think you are a pushover and take advantage of the situation even more. If you want to borrow something from another inmate, make sure to ask for their permission first.
3. Don’t gawk at others
Prisons are home to the most unusual people and usually raises the curiosity of onlookers. However, staring at other prisoners can get you into trouble. Others may get hostile when you stare or think you are sexually interested in them.
4. Try to find some common ground with fellow inmates
It is a good idea to get to know your fellow inmates since you’re spending time with them. Get acquainted with prisoners who are of the same race as they tend to watch out for their own.
It also helpful to seek out other prisoners who come from the same hometown or city as you. These homeboys can help you get acquainted with the lay of the land. Hopefully, their insight can keep you out of harm’s way.
5.Stir clear of prison gangs
The typical portrayal of prison gangs in movies can lead many to believe that it is necessary to join one in order to stay safe in jail. However, in reality it is the opposite as the majority of prisoners who are often killed are gang members.
Prison gangs demand loyalty. Hence, a gang member must obey the orders of the leader even if it means getting into trouble. If you are not careful, you may end up with a longer prison sentence for your gang loyalty.
6. Brush off, or better yet, solve your problems
Be wary of approaching prison guards if you have problems with fellow inmates. Doing so can get you into more trouble with fellow inmates.
At the same time, prison guards also have limited ability to resolve your problems. At best, you are tagged as a protective custody inmate and placed in a secure housing unit.
In this aspect, acceptance is key to your survival in prison. Complaining about your situation is useless as there is very little that can be done to change it.
7. Don’t be a tattle tale
While in prison, the last thing you want is to be accused of being a snitch. Keep in mind that prisoners as well as prison guards look down on snitches in jail. Avoid talking to prison guards unless it is completely necessary as even small talk with them may be misconstrued by other inmates as an act of snitching.