Inside the £85 million prison without cells and bars on the windows

A new women’s prison built in Scotland at a cost of £85 million will open this summer, bringing the novelty of a penitentiary without cells, but with rooms and these unrestricted by bars around the windows.

HMP Stirling will house around 100 female prisoners and has been designed with a trauma moderated approach which takes gender into account to better assist in the rehabilitation of those serving their sentence.

The prison, which will open more than two years late, will also serve as an institute for young offenders and include areas to help women who need more intensive mental health support.

In addition, it has a reintegration unit, a progress unit, a mother and baby unit and an assessment centre.

There are also smaller accommodation areas, which the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) said there is evidence to support that they are more effective in achieving better outcomes for women.

During a visit to the facility on Thursday, Justice Secretary Angela Constance said: “This is a world-class facility that will provide leading care for women who have been sentenced to custody. It has all the right services, the right environment and the right equipment to do better by women to improve their prospects of rehabilitation and reintegration into the community”.

HMP Stirling will replace Cornton Vale as Scotland’s only women’s prison.

Some female prisoners are also held at HMP Edinburgh, HMP Greenock and HMP Grampian.

Smaller community custody units – which are also designed to recognize the needs of women in custody – have already opened in Dundee and Glasgow.

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