Number of prisons visited by Cabinet Secretary for Justice in last 12 months: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Information requested

How many prisons has the Cabinet Secretary for Justice visited in the last 12 months and specifically which prisons in Scotland the Justice Secretary has visited in person and time spent visiting prisoner accommodation, work, activity and/or recreation areas between 3rd February 2020 and 31 January 2021?


I attach a response to your questions within this letter noted below.

The Cabinet Secretary has visited two prisons in person between 3rd February 2020 and 31 January 2021. Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 restrictions and in-line with Government guidelines, it was not appropriate for the Cabinet Secretary to visit any prisons since the imposition of restrictions from March 2020. The Cabinet Secretary for Justice has visited a number of prisons in Scotland since his appointment and values the opportunity to see first-hand the running of establishments and hear directly from those living and working in our prisons to hear of their experiences.

On Tuesday 11 February 2020 the Cabinet Secretary visited HMP Low Moss as an opportunity to visit the prison, engage with staff and prisoners and see some of the facilities/services provided.

On Thursday 12 March 2020 the Cabinet Secretary visited HMP YOI Cornton Vale to perform the groundbreaking ceremony on the site of the new Women's National Facility.

Itineraries for these visits have been included in annex A, which includes the information you have requested regarding 'time spent visiting prisoner accommodation, work, activity and/or recreation areas'.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, An exemption(s) under section(s) s.38(1) (b) (personal information) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested because it is personal information of a third party i.e. names and contact information of individuals have been redacted. Disclosing this information would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018.

This exemption is not subject to the ‘public interest test’, so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

FOI - 202100159023 - Information Released - Annex A


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

Back to top