About the Scottish Prison Service


The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) is an agency of the Scottish Government and was established in April 1993. The SPS Framework Document sets out the policy and resources framework set by Scottish Ministers within which the SPS operates. As an Executive Agency, the SPS is funded by the Scottish Government.

In line with the Framework Document, the SPS sets out its business objectives in the three year Corporate Plan for the spending review period 2012-2015 and an annual Delivery Plan which is published in the spring of each year.

Our Principal Activities

The SPS is a public service-led delivery agency which is legally required to deliver custodial and rehabilitation services for those sent to it by the courts. Appendix 3 details the average number of prisoners held in custody during 2013-14.

The SPS continues to deliver a range of operational services that contribute to the strategic outcomes, objectives and policies of the Scottish Government.

Our principal objective is to contribute to making Scotland Safer by Protecting the Public and Reducing Reoffending. The SPS aims to achieve this by ensuring delivery of secure custody, safe and ordered prisons, decent standards of care and opportunities for prisoners to develop in a way that help them reintegrate into the community on release.

To support this objective, SPS agrees a service framework with each public sector prison and manages private sector providers of prisons and custodial services under contract arrangements.

There are 13 publicly managed prisons and 2 privately managed prisons (HMP Kilmarnock and HMP Addiewell).