Too few criminals get correct treatment in jail, says HM inspector

SOME of Scotland's most dangerous sex offenders are at risk of reoffending because of the failure to address their rehabilitation while they are behind bars, the country's prisons watchdog has warned.

One in four inmates released from Peterhead Prison, Scotland's main jail for sex offenders, are being recalled because too many are being freed without the benefit of attending relevant programmes to address their criminal behaviour.

Brigadier Hugh Monro, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, yesterday condemned the decision of the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) to scrap the only accredited programme for dealing with sex offenders at Peterhead and to replace it with an untested programme developed in-house.

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He also warned that many of the positive developments being made at the prison are being overshadowed by conditions within the jail. Unlike any other prison in the UK, Peterhead has neither running water nor sanitation in its cells. And staff are "weary of making do" while they wait for the new "super prison" to be built on the site.

Brigadier Monro stated in his report that an urgent review should take place to identify the reasons for a large number of sex offenders being recalled to custody after their liberation from Peterhead.

"I am concerned about the seeming lack of progress made by Peterhead prisoners," he said. "I recommend that greater efforts are made to ensure the maximum number of prisoners attend programmes to address offending behaviour."