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Prison watchdog warns urinals at a Scottish court are a ‘potential biohazard’

A PRISON watchdog warned yesterday that urinals in custody cells at a Scottish court are a “potential biohazard.”

An inspection report by HM Inspectorate of Prisons for Scotland (HMIPS) found that people held in cells at Paisley Sheriff Court custody unit were continuing to use the deactivated urinals, which “emanated an odour of stale urine.”

In her foreword to the report, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland Wendy Sinclair-Gieben said: “Deactivated urinals within the cells and the lack of sanitary bins caused a potential biohazard.”

The report stated that “prisoners were instructed not to use the urinals” and to request toilet visits instead — but “this was frequently ignored.”

Sanitary bins have only been installed since the inspection, with prisoners previously having had to leave bagged sanitary products in a corner of the cell for daily collection.

Inspectors recommended the urinals be covered or removed.

Inspectors also found two prisoners, who were partners and both accused and alleged victims in a domestic violence incident, were marked as being needed to be kept apart and had been in police and court custody but had been transferred in the same vehicle to court.

The report states that during this journey the man was shouting at the woman and telling her not to talk to other prisoners.

Further recommendations include stopping having legal representatives shouting the name of the prisoner they are visiting to staff from the perimeter gate, which inspectors said breached confidentiality and “could potentially identify enemies or those prisoners at high risk.”

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