Named and shamed: 'most violent prison in Scotland' named and shamed
Scotland's newest prison has come under fire over "unacceptable" levels of violence against its staff in a critical inspection report.
Privately run Addiewell Prison in West Lothian, which opened in December 2008, is more violent than any other jail of a similar size in the country, according to prisons inspector Brigadier Hugh Monro.
A prison officer ended up in hospital after a riot a year ago, and it has been plagued by trouble among inmates.
Brig Monro is now calling for an investigation into the reasons behind the level of attacks in the jail, where conditions were otherwise described as "very good".
"Despite staff feeling safe and treating prisoners well, the levels of violence in the prison are high when compared with prisons of equivalent size and function," Brigadier Monro said.
"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."
About 100 inmates reportedly went on the rampage at Addiewell in January 2010, leaving a 29-year-old prison officer in hospital with injuries. Prisoners also rioted in February 2009, just two months after the 130 million facility opened.
Tory justice spokesman John Lamont said: "Addiewell Prison has in a short space of time developed a poor history of protecting staff and it is deeply disappointing that they have not addressed this problem.
"The level of violence in this prison is unacceptable and more must be done to ensure that better safety is provided."
There were 278 minor incidents of prisoners assaulting each other in the jail in the year to October 2010 - compared with 195 in Perth, 274 in Edinburgh and 154 in Kilmarnock.
There were also 49 minor incidents of prisoners assaulting staff, compared with 14 in Edinburgh and seven in Kilmarnock. There were also two incidents in Addiewell of serious assaults on staff.
Andy Hogg, assistant secretary of the Prison Officers Association in Scotland, said "It's absolutely ludicrous that we get a situation where prison staff are being assaulted to that degree. It's outrageous.
"There's a responsibility on Scottish ministers to make sure that when they put in place these contracts with private prisons, they have suitably robust staffing levels to justify their existence. A major concern for us is that they simply don't have those staffing levels."
Addiewell, which is designed to hold 700 prisoners, is run by Sodexo Justice Services.
Justice secretary Kenny Mac-Askill said: "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 Scottish Prison Service to address this and the other issues raised."
Brig Monro said overall the prison is "impressive".
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