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Complaints made by prisoners

Publication Date: 22/07/2014

Attachment 1: FOI_HQ140715445_1224[1]

Information regarding complaints made by prisoners and subject areas.

Complaints made by prisoners and subject areas


1. Can you please tell me how many complaints have been made by prisoners in each of the following years – 2013-2014, 2012-2013, 2011-2012, 2010-2011, 2009-2010 and 2003-2004.


Please find attached the information requested with the exception of year 2003-2004. We do endeavour to provide information whenever possible. However, in the case of 2003-2004 this information is not held centrally and the costs of locating, retrieving and providing the information requested for this particular year would exceed the upper cost limit. A manual check of offenders’ files for that single year would involve examining in excess of 20,000 files thereby exceeding the 40 hours limit and thereby breaching the upper cost threshold. Under section 12 of FOISA public authorities are not required to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying would exceed the upper cost limit, which is currently set at £600 by Regulations made under section 12



2. For each year, can you divide the complaints into subject areas, for example cell conditions, slopping out etc. I am hoping for as much detail as possible on what each complaint concerned.


The information provided in response to request 1) provides the subject area for all complaints recorded. I realise that you may have expected additional information but our records system does not record specific details on the content of individual complaints. To get the level of detail you require all personal files to be checked. Under section 12 of FOISA public authorities are not required to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying would exceed the upper cost limit, which is currently set at £600 by Regulations made under section 12



3. Can you confirm that complaints came from murderers, rapists and paedophiles, among other criminals?


I can confirm that all offenders have access to the complaint system regardless of offence status. I can confirm that all categories of offender use the complaints system.



4. Can you tell me, for each year, how many complaints came under the human rights and how many progressed to court? For each year, how much did the SPS pay out in compensation to prisoners? Can I please get a list of the payments and for each one, why the money was paid out and what the complaint concerned?



We have interpreted ‘prisoners complaints’ as those made by prisoners using the SPS Complaints Procedure, which is an internal process that prisoners can escalate to the Scottish Public Service Ombudsman; there is no direct link between the complaints process and a process for seeking compensation through the courts. The categories of complaint are listed on the attachments. The information you requested in relation to complaints concerning ‘human rights’ is therefore not held.