YOUNG prisoners are being given greater access to school courses following a link-up between Education Scotland and Polmont young offenders institute.
The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) is aiming to turn the young offenders institute into a kind of secured college.
Public and third sector organisations are being invited to provide a range of courses aimed at improving rehabilitation and reducing reoffending, by giving young people a better chance of securing work after release.
Representatives from agencies, including Carnegie College, Skills Development Scotland, The Wise Group, and Falkirk Council, attended a conference at the Scottish Prison Service College to discuss possibilities yesterday.
It follows criticism by Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons in Scotland, Brigadier Hugh Monro, who found twice as many inmates choosing to remain in their cells rather than take part in training or rehabilitation, during a visit to Polmont.
Colin McConnell, chief executive of the SPS, said: “This is a chance to send a clear message that the achievable career path for the majority of young people in Polmont is not further reoffending, but a useful future.”