HMP & YOI Grampian

(HM Prison Peterhead)

HM Prison and Young Offenders Institution Grampian is located 1¼ miles (2 km) south of Peterhead town centre, across Peterhead Bay, 32 miles (52 km) north of Aberdeen. It opened in 2014, replacing the notorious Peterhead Prison, and houses more than 500 offenders from Northern Scotland, both male and female, with adult and young offenders held in different blocks on the same site. The project cost £140 million and was undertaken by Swedish construction firm Skanska.

Built in 1888, HM Prison Peterhead was designed to hold 208 offenders, but with the completion of an additional building in 1909 occupancy averaged at around 350 (1911). With further extensions completed in 1960 and 1962, the number of prisoners incarcerated here was eventually to peak at 455. Peterhead once provided 'hard labour', with prisoners put to work in Stirlinghill Quarry and the Admiralty Yard. Convicts supported the work of a civilian labour force employed by the Admiralty to construct the harbour breakwater. Latterly Peterhead Prison held up to 295 prisoners (reduced to 142 at the time of closure) some of which are category A, that is offenders who are highly dangerous to the public or national security, having committed crimes such as terrorism, murder, rape, drug-dealing or armed robbery. Clearance of the site for the construction of the new prison began in 2012 and the old prison finally closed the following year.

Male prisoners are help in modest single cells, while the accommodation for females and young-offenders is slightly more luxurious, without bars on the windows, reflecting research that suggests that the harsh treatment of these groups does little to prevent re-offending. The prison includes a medical centre, a multi-faith room, workshops and classrooms. HMP Grampian also has a unit to train prisoners to return to work when they are released, which includes a dedicated telephone marketing centre. Peterhead was once a specialist centre for sex offenders, offering programmes to reduce the risk of reoffending on return to the community. Sex offenders are now held elsewhere.

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