Go Back

HMP GREENOCK Prison Regime Info


Gateside Greenock PA16 9AH

Phone No.

(01475) 787801

Governor / Director

James Kerr


Male Local



Operational Capacity


Cell Occupancy

Single, double and multiple

Listener Scheme


First Night Centre


Visitor Info Page

Navigate this page General | Unlock & Association | Sport | Library | Faith | Healthcare | Education | Employment | Offending Behaviour Courses | Resettlement | Additional Information

Online Library documents for HMP GREENOCK

Search our Library for New Window/Tab

Greenock holds male prisoners (both adult and under 21s) on remand, and short-term convicted prisoners. It provides a national facility for selected prisoners serving 12 years or over, affording them the opportunity for progression towards release. It also accommodates a small number of prisoners for a range of management and operational reasons.



  • Microwaves
  • Own bedding (IEP)
  • Own clothes (in houseblocks)
  • PlayStation
  • Television with Sky and Freeview (£1 per week)

Back to top


Mon: 07:45
Tue: 07:45
Wed: 07:45
Thu: 07:45
Fri: 07:45
Sat: 08:30
Sun: 08:30


Association periods

Mon - Fri: A Hall 10:30 - 11:30 & 19:30 - 20:30
                  Darroch 19:00 - 20:30

Dependant on Incentive and Earned Privileges Scheme (IEP)

18:15 - 21:45, 19:15 - 21:45 & 20:15 - 21:45

Sat - Sun: A Hall 14:00 - 15:30
                   Darroch 14:00 - 15:30

Back to top


Sports available include;

  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Circuit Training
  • Hockey
  • Light Circuit Training
  • Over 40s
  • Over 50s
  • Remedial
  • Soccer
  • Soft Tennis
  • Sports Field
  • Weight Loss Programme
  • Weight Training
  • Volleyball

Back to top


Now available in the Links Centre.

Back to top


Catholic, Church of Scotland and Muslim Chaplains.

Facilities for Hindus and Sikhs.


The Chaplaincy in Scottish Prisons
The key aims of the Scottish Prison Service are the custody of prisoners, their good order, their care, and opportunities to equip them for life after liberation. Chaplains contribute most obviously to the pastoral care of prisoners and, if prisoners respond positively to the care and opportunities offered, it follows that good order is likely and the experience of custody can lead to positive outcomes. Chaplains therefore contribute to the attainment of SPS aims. Care is not limited to prisoners, but is also available to staff.

Prison chaplains are part of a care team with prison officers, doctors, psychologists, mental health nurses, social workers, prison managers and other specialists. Chaplains are able to take a holistic approach towards prisoners and their relationships. They are also thoroughly ecumenical within the Christian faith and willing to work closely with prisoners and leaders of other faiths. In Residential and Industrial areas, Links Centres, Visit Rooms, Libraries and Learning Centres Chaplains are welcome as a comforting and encouraging presence.

Much work is done to help prisoners find sound reasons for self respect and hope. A chaplain may spend a few minutes or several hours with a prisoner on remand or when newly convicted, when self-esteem is at its least and fear and risk of self-harm are at their peak. Time is also given when prisoners suffer bereavement or have difficulty coming to terms with the many losses associated with imprisonment. This seldom begins in a formal setting and often arises through relationships developed out of casual contacts in corridors, workshops, classrooms and halls.

Links are fostered with families and churches, if a prisoner agrees, to build a foundation of relationships and care during a sentence and beyond liberation. Many churches are willing to make unconditional offers of care - for example, gathering presents at Christmas to be distributed to prisoners' families. This helps reduce their feelings of isolation and rejection.

Click Here for more information about the Chaplancy in Scottish prisons


Back to top


Specialist Clinics

  • CPN
  • Dentist
  • Optician
  • Stop Smoking


Back to top


Classes include;

  • Art
  • Basic Education
  • Computer Studies
  • Cookery
  • English
  • Crafts
  • Drama
  • Key Skills
  • Languages
  • Life & Social Skills
  • Maths
  • Music

Back to top


Employment and workshops include;

  • Bricklaying
  • Industrial Cleaning
  • Laundry
  • Painting & Decorating


Current Wages

Employed: £4.80 - £18.00
Retired: £4.80
Long term sick: £4.80

Back to top


  • Alcohol Awareness
  • Anxiety and Sleep
  • Connections
  • Constructs
  • Drug Action for Change

Back to top


  • Job Club
  • Self-Employmnet Classes
  • Working-Out

Back to top


UK Parliamentary Information


MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: Iain McKenzie (Labour)

Prisoners may write to either their ‘Home MP’ or the MP in whose constituency their current prison lies.
The address to write to is:
House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA

Scottish Parliament

CONSTITUENCY: Greenock and Inverclyde

CONSTITUENCY MSP: Duncan McNeil (Scottish Labour)

REGION: West of Scotland

The address of the Scottish Parliament is:
The Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh EH99 1SP

HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland

HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland conducts regular inspections of individual prison establishments and legalised police cells in Scotland. The scope, focus and content of inspections is decided by HMCIP, taking into consideration the particular circumstances of an establishment at the time of the inspection. The inspection and subsequent report covers
> Physical conditions prevailing in an establishment;
> Treatment of prisoners;
> Facilities, services and opportunities available to address offending behaviour and the accessibility of these;
> Preparations in place for returning prisoners to the community;
> Any other relevant matter as the Minister for Justice may direct or HMCIP may choose.

The inspection follows these general principles:
> In carrying out inspections and in preparing reports, HMCIP will be independent of political influence, the Scottish Executive Justice Department, the Scottish Prison Service and Governors-in-Charge of establishments.
> Inspections and the reports resulting from them will be balanced, fair and open.
> In inspecting and reporting the treatment of prisoners and conditions within prisons, inspections will make assessments against standards which have been clearly defined.
> Strategic and relevant documentation will be provided by Governors-in-Charge and SPS Headquarters to HMCIP on request.
> Confidential information supplied will be treated as such.
> Each inspection should be responsive to the establishment's individual circumstances.
> HMCIP will attempt to keep disruption to normal regime activities to a minimum.
> The inspection team will give clear oral feedback to senior management.
> A report to the Minister for Justice will be produced which will identify main points for action by the individual establishment and/or SPS, and highlight areas of good practice.

HMCIP Report
Last Inspection: 6-13 May 2009  - Full Inspection

They said:
“Greenock Prison keeps changing. Only a few months before this inspection I produced a report on the ‘experiment’ of holding only convicted young men in Darroch Hall. That report found the experiment a resounding success: the prisoners feel safe, relationships are first-class, food is very good and prisoners spend a useful day out of cell at work or in education. By the time of this inspection, however, that success had been brought to an end and another use for Darroch Hall has been established. It now holds convicted women. Is there any clearer illustration of the difficult choices confronting the Scottish Prison Service as a result of overcrowding throughout the estate? Because they have to find more and more space for more and more prisoners, they are forced to bring to an end one of the bright lights of Scottish prisons.

“In Greenock prison itself, however, prisoner numbers are not as high as they have been. This is, at least in part, because remand prisoners from Paisley are now held in Barlinnie. All overcrowding in Greenock is contained in one hall, Ailsa Hall. It is clear from this report (and from previous ones) that even a relatively small reduction in prisoner numbers in Ailsa Hall brings with it a significant improvement for prisoners and staff alike. The hall is quieter, more prisoners spend more time out of cell, staff are able to spend time with individual prisoners.

“This is a good report. Many aspects of the prison have been commended in previous reports, and continue to be good. Prisoners are quick to identify the good relationships which exist between staff and prisoners; and all the evidence of this inspection confirms that they are right. Statistics show that the prison is safe, although the SPS anti-bullying strategy is not used. The food, which is eaten in dining rooms rather than in cells by nearly all prisoners, is good and is recognised as good by prisoners.

“There is more that continues to be impressive. One part of the prison, Chrisswell House, holds long-term prisoners beginning their preparation for release. There are opportunities for some of them to take part in work placements in the community: these are very well organised and form a very useful part of training prisoners for life at the end of sentence. The Learning Centre provides a high standard of education. Laundry arrangements throughout the prison work well, the canteen is of high quality, and addiction services are well developed.

“One development in particular deserves comment. The First Night Centre has been established as a separate unit in Ailsa Hall. Arriving in prison can be very frightening: careful thought has been given to the needs of such prisoners. The report shows that the First Night Centre has “a clear focus on care and safety”. The benefits of these First Night Centres are clear wherever they are in use.

“Although there is much to commend in Greenock Prison, there are also serious concerns. It is very disappointing that the living conditions criticised in previous reports are no better. Reflecting the comments made in the inspection report of 2005: the toilet arrangements in Ailsa Hall and Darroch Hall are not good. The toilets in the cells have a small screen which offers little privacy from other prisoners if the cells are being shared, and no privacy from staff looking into the cell or entering it. In a few cells the toilet is completely unscreened. There is no sharing in such cells: but there should not be an unscreened toilet in a room where a prisoner sleeps, and may eat and may be locked up for long periods of time during the day. The decoration in Ailsa Hall is poor.

“As has been said, until recently the experience of young men under 21 years of age in Greenock was exceptionally good. Now it is exceptionally bad. The change of use of Darroch Hall means that these young men now live in Ailsa Hall, where their access to any kind of useful day is extremely limited. Indeed it is almost impossible for any prisoner to have access to a really useful day in Ailsa Hall because of the conflicting needs and demands of different groups of prisoners who cannot mix freely. Somehow Ailsa Hall is expected to make arrangements for at least six groups: adult lifers, adult long-termers, adult shorttermers, convicted young offenders, young remands and adult remands. It is not surprising, but it is not acceptable, that prisoners on protection have access to almost nothing which could be described as a useful day. Prisoners in segregation live in poor conditions with a poor regime.

“It was repeatedly said during inspection that the change of use of Darroch Hall from young men to women had happened very quickly. There are some good early signs mentioned in the report for the future of women in Greenock: but surely it does not take months of preparation to find clothing suitable for women? It is unacceptable that women should be required to wear clothing bought for young men. Inspectors were assured that underwear provided for men and women alike when required was new underwear: but none could be found when inspectors asked to see it.

“Report after report has suggested that sex offenders receive the least good preparation for release. There are a small number of sex offenders in Chrisswell House, and the preparation for release of these prisoners is poor. A particular frustration for all categories of prisoner in Chrisswell House is to do with escort arrangements. It does seem odd that those who take part in unsupervised work projects in the community must be handcuffed to be taken to hospital.

“The report describes the conditions and treatment of prisoners under escort to certain courts. The conditions in which prisoners are held at Oban Sheriff Court are dreadful.”


HM Chief Inspector of Prisons
June 2009

Click Here to read the full report (Large File)


Visiting Committee

Visiting Committees provide a necessary outside perspective on the life and work of a prison or young offenders’ institution. They act as independent observers on behalf of the community and the Scottish Executive, to whom they are responsible. This independence is central to the function of Visiting Committees underlining the fact that they are not part of the management structure of a prison.

The principal duty of a Visiting Committee is to satisfy itself as to the state and administration of the prison and, in particular, the treatment of prisoners. Visiting Committees should ensure that conditions in prisons and young offenders’ institutions contribute to a safe, humane and decent environment in which prisoners’ rights are respected and where they are provided with opportunities to prepare for release in ways likely to reduce re-offending.

Visiting Committees visit establishments regularly and comment on these matters as well as providing robust, timely and fair responses to prisoners with issues or complaints.

Click here to download the latest Visiting Committee Annual Report (2009 - 2010)

Click Here to link to the Association of Visiting Committee’s website

Information in this section has been kindly provided by the individual prison and the Ministry of Justice. This is supplemented with information from various government websites, Inspectorates and IMB reports and specialist departments within the Prison Service, government, and regional assemblies/parliaments.
Some of the data is published retrospectively: IMBs/Visiting Committees publish their reports up to 6 months after the end of the reporting period and at different times throughout the year, HMCIP publish their reports up to 6 months after the inspection. Population and performance figures are the latest published but can be considerably out of date.
Please Note: Information is constantly changing: The information on our website is regularly checked but if you have additional information, or if you believe that any of our information is incorrect or any links appear to fail please click on ‘Contact’, below.
Before acting upon any information you are advised to contact the prison directly to ensure there have been no recent changes.

Last Update: July 2011

Back to Top


Inside Time Latest Issue

Issue : December 2014

Headlines | Mailbag | Poems
Book List | PSI Updates


Back Issues

Back Issues

View backissues and extras

Browse and Search Tools

View headlines by category
Search headlines | All headlines
Search mailbag | All mailbag
Search poems | All poems

December 2014 Headlines
> Treat Prisoners as Human Beings, Not Criminals
> What are prisons for
> A search for any trace of the governmentís Rehabilitation Revolution
> Tell us why you did it?... You must be joking I didnít do it
> Care Act - what does it mean for prisoners
> Doctor Frankenstein and his monster
> Human Rights: truth and lies
> Scapegoating the undeserving poor
> Interview
> The first Miscarriage of Justice
> Month by Month - December 2014
> The 2014 Longford Trust Awards
> Is it all in the mind
> Time
> Learning in prison
> Take your first Steps to Success in 2015
> Spotlight Police and Crime Commissioners
> From over the wall
> Over-tariff IPPs: an appeal for your stories
> Paperwork is the key
> Adjudication - donít let those days count against you
> Insider Dealing
> Christmas Stories
> Christmas Messages
> Christmas Messages

About Us

About insidetime
Editorial Team

InsidePoetry Book

insidepoetry book New! Volume 5 of
insidepoetry book
is now available!

A collection of poems by prisoners of all backgrounds.

Availabe to buy from this site! Volume 1,2,3 and 4 are also still available and you can SAVE by purchasing bundles!

USP Service

USP from Inside Time

The Useful Services for Prisoners scheme from insidetime provides discounts, vouchers and other benefits from USP Group Members for Prisoners, their families and legal advisors. Click the image above to read more about it.


You can subscribe to insidetime Newspaper and get the paper each month delivered to your door!


Advertise your business or solicitors office to a highly defined target audience.

Other Publications

Inside Time has produced a number of books and publications you can purchase online.


Contact Us

All contact info for the Operations office and the Editorial Team.

Site Map

Our site map page contains links to all pages on the insidetime site.

External Links

We have a number of external websites which you may be interested on our Links Page.

Social Networking


Inside Information


Everything you need to know about visiting people in prison; procedures, opening times, directions etc.

Comprehensive information about each prison regime; lock down times, facilities, healthcare etc.

*NEW* Detailed information about IRC - Immigration Removal Centres.

insideinformation Book

insideinformation book
The insideinformation book

A comprehensive guide to prisons and prison related services, designed and compiled by former prisoners.


Help and Support

Various pages of information for help and support organisations and networks for those in custody as well as recently released. Also information for friends and family.

Grants and Funding

This grants and funding pdf document aims to meet the need of prisoners and ex-offenders for accurate, up to date information on the supplementary funding available to prisoners.

Rules and Regulations

Information on rules & regulations used throughout the prison service.

Glossary of Terms

The Glossary of Prison Related Terms explains what all the acronyms and terms stand for with prison related matters. Includes links to external sites to further explain things.

Fact Sheets

We have produced many Prison Related Fact Sheets inc. Legal Fact Sheets, Parole Fact Sheets and Other related information.


Find a Solicitor

You can search our solicitor database for listings of solicitors in your area that provide the services you require.

Find a Barrister

You can search our barrister database for listings of barristers in your area that provide the services you require.

Address Finder

You can search our address database in many ways to retrieve contact information for all those elusive addresses you need in a hurry.

Prison Law pdf

This document provides details of leading training providers who offer sound professional training.

Other Publications

Inside Information has produced a number of books and publications you can purchase online.

Site Map

Our site map page contains links to all pages on the insideinformation site.

Contact Us

Use the Contact Us Feedback form to send us suggestions, plus our address and phone numbers.



Inside Justice

insidejustice was launched in July 2010 to investigate alleged miscarriages of justice.

Full introduction is on the insidejustice homepage

insidejustice Cases

insidejustice Articles & Reviews

insidejustice Advisory Panel Members

insidejustice Sponsors page

insidejusticecontact details