A twelve year history on the (lack of) access to toilets at Cornton Vale prison


Full Inspection report, HMP YOI Cornton Vale, David Strang, February 2016

“… there are aspects of the conditions in Cornton Vale and the treatment of women which are unacceptable. The continued use of night sanitation arrangements was the most concerning. These arrangements were in place for nearly half of the women in Cornton Vale. During the night, the women did not have direct access to toilet facilities and often had to wait, in some cases for an extended period of time, before they could use a toilet. On occasions, prisoners were advised to use their sink as a toilet. This is wholly unacceptable in the 21st Century. As a matter of urgency, alternative measures need to be put in place to ensure that prisoners have unrestricted access to toilet facilities.”



Inspection report HMP YOI Cornton Vale, Brigadier Hugh Monro, February 2011

Toilet access in Bruce and Younger Houses has not improved and remains disgracefully poor. The situation is exacerbated because staff are not as aware of medical information as they could be and of prisoners with specific medical conditions (pregnancy, kidney infections, diarrhoea etc) are therefore not always being given special treatment and priority.” http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2011/06/09094746/0

Full inspection report HMP YOI Cornton Vale, Brigadier Hugh Monro, September 2009

“It has been reported that on occasion prisoners and YOs have to wait up to two hours. Many claim that they are unable to wait that amount of time and are consequently forced to use their sinks as toilets. In a male prison such a situation would be unsatisfactory. For women (and particularly young offenders) the electronic unlock system, as described, is unacceptable.

It is recommended that as a matter of priority, alternative systems to access toilets in Bruce and Younger Houses are installed. In the meantime, it is recommended that all prisoners are able to access a toilet within a reasonable time.”




Full inspection report, HMP YOI Cornton Vale, Andrew McClellan, February 2004

A review of access to toilet facilities during patrol periods needs urgently to be implemented. Not achieved. Prisoners in Bruce House and Younger House who share cells are still experiencing delays in accessing toilet facilities during patrol periods. Records for the two nights 4-5 February and 5-6 February showed that of the 99 requests from prisoners sharing cells to access toilet facilities 27 had to wait more than 30 minutes. Prisoners said that they often used their sink as a toilet. Increased numbers mean that more prisoners are sharing now than during the last inspection and therefore more are subject to these conditions