HMP & YOI Stirling
In 2018, at the request of the then MP Stephen Kerr, members of our Access Panel met Officers of the Scottish Prison Service in the former Cornton Vale Prison to discuss the accessibility of the design of the new prison, which was to include for the first time, a Changing Places Toilet. In May this year, SAAP was invited to tour the new £85m facility, HMP and YOI, Stirling. This ground breaking national facility in the treatment of female prisoners left us with some concerns at the lack of features inclusive to disabled people, which could easily have been incorporated in the design. We've compiled an extensive report and sent it on 1st June to Angela Constance, Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Home Affairs, who had been praising the new national facility in the media. We heard nothing until calling her office: then on 6th July, a member of staff in the Public Engagement Unit emailed SAAP to advise that our report had been transferred out to the Scottish Prison Service.
We detailed our findings based on a quick 90 minute visit. The most significant points we saw were:
No drop-off in car park
Disabled spaces are some distance from the entrance
Only one type of corner accessible toilet when there should be both Left and Right Transfer types
No peninsular toilet for wheelchair users with extended leg supports
No gender neutral toilet in either the visitors area or internally.
No future proofing in the small shower/toilet cell design, yet it is fact that people are becoming larger.
The unimaginative stark bright white décor
The vividly coloured murals which may upset those with neurodivergent conditions, e.g. Asperger’s Spectrum Disorders.
No dedicated ‘quiet room’ for inmates
No effective acoustic design in open prison areas
No seating with arms to aid sitting/rising
Poor signage (none on walls anywhere), or use of Dementia friendly symbols or pictograms on toilet doors
We await a response to our full report from the Scottish Prison Service.