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We take complaints seriously and have a formal process for examining them.

If, as a visitor to one of our establishments you are dissatisfied with the service received or some other aspect of your visit, then it is important that you talk to a member of SPS staff in the first instance and seek an early resolution to the issue.

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 (In prisons this will usually mean the Governor and in SPS Headquarters will mean the relevant Director)  or complete a complaints form . 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.

If you wish to send it directly to the Governor of the prison, please use the contact details on the relevant prison page.

If you wish to contact SPS Headquarters, addresses can be found on the 'Contact' page of this website.

The Governor or Director will provide you with an acknowledgement within three working days and after an investigation, provide you with a written response within 20 working days. If you would like this information in any other language or format (such as large print or Braille) please ask. 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 then you can pass your complaint to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO).

The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) is the final stage for complaints about most organisations that provide public services in Scotland, including the Scottish Prison Service (SPS). Their service is independent, free and confidential. The SPSO will normally only consider a complaint after you have 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 

Visit their website to find our more. Alternatively you can contact them by phoning 0800 377 7330 or writing to the following address;

Freepost SPSO

Please print this address on your envelope. You do not require a stamp.