Private jail workers ‘lack experience’

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INSPECTORS have called for more training for staff at Addiewell private jail in West Lothian after a report claimed they were too inexperienced.

HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, Brigadier Hugh Monro, raised concerns about staff at Scotland’s newest prison in a follow-up report to one published last January which highlighted the poor level of staff retention at the jail.

The prison is run by Sodexho Justice Service, which said at the time of the original report that improved salaries would lead to a drop in staff turnover.

But Brig Monro’s report said: “The effect of these salary increases had not yet impacted at the time of the follow-up and the figures show staff retention still appears to be poor.

“The result of this is that some staff in the halls appear to be inexperienced and are not as engaged with prisoners as I would have expected.”

Overall, the inspector found the prison was “making good progress”. He said: “In general, it is clear that the prison has carried out a significant amount of well-considered work to address many of the issues highlighted in my previous report.”