Scottish Prison Service (Auditor General’s Report)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 3rd December 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Humza Yousaf Humza Yousaf Scottish National Party

That is a good question. Given the budgetary pressures that we face, the unitary charges for our private prisons are pretty eye-watering. I have always said, and the Government has always maintained, that prisons should be very much run for the public, not for private profit. We have not built private prisons—they were, of course, commissioned before the Government came into power—and when the contracts expire, let me be unequivocal that those prisons will come back into the public sphere and back into public ownership.

The unitary charges for each of the private prisons in the estate are, over the course of the contracts, more than £368 million for HMP Kilmarnock and £955 million for HMP Addiewell, which is an eye-watering total cost of more than £1.3 billion. That underlines why prisons should be run publicly as opposed to being run privately for profit.