Commission on women offenders: Prisons

Cornton Vale is replaced with a smaller specialist prison for those women
offenders serving a statutory defined long-term sentence and those who present
a significant risk to the public.



  • The new national prison for women offenders should include:

· Meaningful and consistent work with sufficient premises to allow that work to
take place and enable all women prisoners to build skills for release and
improve self-esteem and mental health.
· A medical centre with adequate space for group work and individual
appointments to address physical and mental health problems.
· A separate unit for young women.
· A purpose built mother and baby unit.
· A family-friendly visitor centre with an outside play area for children.

  • Most women prisoners on remand or serving short-term sentences are

held in local prisons to improve liaison with local communities and
reintegration once their sentence is complete.

  • Video conferencing facilities are widely used to help manage the logistical

demands made on Cornton Vale, reduce travel and improve communication
between women and their families, and social workers, and make significant
cost savings.

  • We recommend that an independent non-executive member of the Scottish

Prison Service Board is appointed with a specific remit for women offenders,
championing and driving through change.

  • Gender specific training is provided to all professionals working with women


Source: Commission on women offenders report