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Complaints Procedure

If, after discussing your issue with a member of frontline staff, you remain dissatisfied with our response then you should write to a Senior Manager on a complaints form.

In prisons this will usually mean the Governor and in SPS Headquarters this will mean the relevant Deputy Director.


A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction by one or more members of the public about an organisations action or lack of action, or about the standard of service provided by or on behalf of the organisation’


Complaint forms are available in all SPS establishments at the main entrance and visitor waiting areas. Completed forms should be handed to a member of staff at the front desk or put in the complaints box provided. The Governor or Deputy Director will provide you with an acknowledgement within 3 working days. After any investigation they will provide you with a written response within 20 working days.


If you have exhausted the SPS complaints process, as detailed above and you remain dissatisfied with the response or the way that the complaint has been handled you can pass your complaint to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO). If you visit their website you can download information which will tell you what steps to take and when. The SPSO is the final stage for complaints about most organisations that provide public services in Scotland, including the Scottish Prison Service. Their service is independent, free and confidential.


You can also contact them by telephoning 0800 377 7330 or at the following address:

Freepost SPSO

The SPSO will normally only consider a complaint after you have followed and completed the SPS complaints procedure. The SPSO cannot normally look at complaints:


• more than 12 months after you became aware of the matter you want to complain about, or 

• that is being considered in court


If you would like this information in any other language or format (such as large print or Braille) please ask.