Prison Rules and Directions

The Prisons and Young Offenders Institutions (SCOTLAND) Rules 2011

Until recently, the rules for managing Scotland’s prisons had not been comprehensively reviewed since 1994. A consolidation of the Rules took place in 2006 to incorporate a number of amendments that had been made between 1994 and 2006.

Following a full consultation process, the new Prison Rules came into effect on 1 November 2011 and can now be accessed here Prison Rules.
Various amendments can be made to the rules by means of Statutory Instruments.  These can be found below:

Scottish Statutory Instruments 2011

Scottish Statutory Instruments 2012

Scottish Statutory Instruments 2016

Scottish Statutory Instruments 2017

Scottish Statutory Instruments 2018

Scottish Statutory Instruments 2018 (corrections)

Scottish Statutory Instruments April 2020

Scottish Statutory Instruments June 2020 

Scottish Statutory Instruments September 2020 

Scottish Statutory Instruments March 2021

Scottish Statutory Instruments September 2021

Scottish Statutory Instruments November 2021

Scottish Statutory Instruments March 2022

Scottish Statutory Instruments July 2022


The following information has been developed to assist in explaining the Rules. 

Questions & Answers


 1) Scottish Prison Rules (Supervision Levels) Direction 2011

 2) Scottish Prison Rules (Special Security Measures) Direction 2011

 3) Scottish Prison Rules (Correspondence) Direction 2021

4) Scottish Prison Rules (Restrictions on Visits) Direction 2011

5) Scottish Prison Rules (Work Placements) Direction 2011

6) Scottish Prison Service Rules (Special Escorted Leave) Direction 2022

7) Scottish Prison Rules (Escorted Day Absence) Direction 2011

8) Scottish Prison Rules (Cellular Confinement) Direction 2011

9)  Scottish Prison Rules (Disciplinary Appeals) Direction 2022

10) Scottish Prison Rules (Complaints) Direction 2022

11) Scottish Prison Rules (Temporary Release) Direction 2022

12 Prisons (Scotland) Act 1989 (Committal of Prisoners) (No2) Direction 2023

13) Scottish Prison Rules (Telephones - Revocation) Direction 2011

14) Extradition to United Kingdom to Serve Sentence in United Kingdom (Credit for Time in Custody Awaiting Extradition) Direction 2013

15) Scottish Prison Rules (Storage of Property) Direction 2018

16)Scottish Prison Rules (Use of Nicotine Vapour Products) Direction 2019

17) Scottish Prison Rules (Virtual Visits) Direction 2020

18) Scottish Prison Rules (Communal and In-Cell Telephones) Direction 2021

19) Scottish Prison Rules (Authorised Personal Communications Devices) Direction 2020

20)The Scottish Prison Rules (Religious Observance) Direction 2023

21) Scottish Prison Rules (Preparation of Meals for Own Consumption) Direction 2022