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Scotland to build two new women's prisons to replace Corton Vale

14th August 2012

The Scottish Prison Service has announced plans to replace its Corton Vale women's prison with two new purpose built units alongside male prisons at Edinburgh and Greenock. The Commission on Women Offenders reported earlier this year that Corton Vale should be replaced with a smaller specialist prison that would include mother and baby units, a modern medical centre and a separate unit for young women. Corton Vale has been criticised for being overcrowded and failing to offer sufficient physical and mental activity, where levels of self-harm and mental illness have been worryingly high. 

The Prison Reform Trust (UK) has welcomed the proposals to replace Corton Vale, but added that "sentencing reform and effective community measures for women should dramatically reduce the need for custody places. Women’s prison numbers in Scotland could be halved by co-ordinated work on drug and alcohol treatment, criminal justice social work, mental health, social care and family support.”

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