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Risk Assessment Report of Kilmarnock Prison

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Criminology
Wordcount: 4013 words Published: 8th Feb 2020

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Table of Contents

Introduction 2-3

Objectives and Uncertainty  3-4

List of Risks 4

Conclusions and Recommendations  4-5

References  6

Annex1-3 Risk Register



In, this report is based on a subjective estimate risk assessment within Kilmarnock prison on the likelihood/probabilities of risks occurring whilst looking into the objectives and uncertainties within the prison including its stakeholders using risk management techniques.


This report is based on Risk Assessment, but firstly, it will give a brief introduction to the process of risk assessments. Risk can be defined as the combination of the probability of an event and its consequences while Risk Assessment is a technique used to classify the aspects of work or activities that have a possible potential to cause harm, to whom and how that harm can be abolished or reduced.

Specific terms are used to classify risks when carrying out a risk assessment, and these are:

•         HAZARD: means anything that has the potential to cause harm.

•         HARM: is the injury/loss that occurs as a result of a hazard. This can either be immediate, delayed or personal susceptibility.

•         SEVERITY: is based on the level of injury/loss resulting from harm.

•         PROBABILITY: is the chance/likelihood of a hazard occurring.

•         RISK: is said to be a combination of the severity of harm and the probability of it happening.

Steps and Process of Risk Assessment

Identifying the Risks: There are several ways of identifying risks and some of these are, by carrying inspections/surveys, incident reporting and investigation notification of potential hazards.

Identifying who might be harmed and how: this is usually any group of persons who will either be undertaking the work or might be affected by it.

Evaluate, Eliminate the risks and check if more is needed to be done: risks are measured based on a combination of severity and probability. It is calculated in a risk register where numbers are assigned between 1-10 for both the impact and likelihood, which is then multiplied to produce the overall risk rating.

Record your findings: It is a legal requirement that significant findings of risk assessment are recorded.

Review your assessment and revise it if necessary: it is essential for risk assessments to be reviewed and amended as necessary at least every 12 months to ensure the measures are still fit for its purpose.

This report aims to carry out a subjective estimate risk assessment within Kilmarnock prison on the likelihood/probabilities of risks occurring whilst looking into the objectives and uncertainties within the prison including its stakeholders. According to the Scottish prison service(SPS), Kilmarnock prison is the first private prison in Scotland. It is a five hundred cell prison facility and was opened on the 25th of March 1999 and is operated by Serco (previously known as Premier Prison Services) on behalf of the Scottish Prison Service. It is located about three miles South-East of Hurlford in East Ayrshire. Prior to construction, the land was used for agricultural purposes. But before this, it was the location of a munitions factory for the Air Ministry. The site was abandoned by the government in 1968 and its agricultural use began. The company is under a twenty-five years contract issued by Scottish Ministers to Kilmarnock Prison Service Limited (KPSL).

Objectives and Uncertainty

 Kilmarnock is an adult prison that holds remand, convicted short-term and convicted long-term male prisoners. It is designed to hold 596 prisoners, even though SPS have a contractual arrangement under which the prison can hold up to 692. Some of its objectives are as follows:

•         SAFETY: to ensure that prisoners are safe at all times while being escorted to and from prison, in prison and while under escort in any location.

•         DECENCY, HUMANITY AND RESPECT FOR LEGAL RIGHTS: to ensure prisoners are treated with respect for their dignity while being escorted to and from prison, in prison and while under escort in any location.

•         OPPORTUNITIES FOR SELF-IMPROVEMENT AND ACCESS TO SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES: to ensure that prisoners take part in activities that educate, develop skills and personal qualities and prepare them for life outside prison.

These objectives are intended to be obvious, Kilmarnock prisoners live in decent accommodation, the prison does not have accommodation problems as old buildings do. Every cell has a separate toilet cubicle (except for two cells in the Segregation Unit). The prison is clean, and prisoners keep their cells tidy and clean. In one of the house blocks, short-term prisoners share cells, but no prisoner complained of these arrangements during an inspection carried out between the 25th to 29th of October 2004 by ANDREW R C McLellan HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland (https://www.gov.scot/Publications/2005/04/14103535/35406 viewed: 18/10/2018). In 2002, an inspection was carried out in Kilmarnock prison by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) and questions of safety were raised. The report following the inspection provided evidence that proves Kilmarnock is a safe prison. The prison’s modern design ensures that appropriate physical security measures have been included. No escapes have been recorded since the prison opened and the prison is 95% compliant with SPS Security Standards (https://www.gov.scot/Publications/2005/04/14103535/35406 ). The Prisoner Survey confirms that prisoners and prisoner groups met during the inspection said they felt safe, and with one exception staff members said the same. Although the wings are very busy there is a good atmosphere throughout. In a survey carried out by the SPS in 2004, Prisoners spoke of good relationships, 98% said they got on well with other prisoners and 95% said they got on well with staff.

However, these objectives are complex due to failings and uncertainties in the safe delivery of these objectives which could be based on staffing levels and budget.

Firstly, the total number of staff in Kilmarnock prison is between 80-120 less than the total number of staff at Edinburgh or Perth prisons, these are two prisons often used to compare Kilmarnock in terms of size and function. Insufficient staffing levels limit the amount of time available for staff to interact with prisoners. This is seen as a disadvantage by prisoners who need to be taken from one part of the prison to another (either for visits or for education) at a time when no member of staff is available to escort them. This complaint was stated very often by the prisoners and staff during the inspection by the SPS as it limits the access of prisoners to facilities and opportunities for activities designed to reduce offending behaviour.

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Secondly, learning is impoverished due to the lack of a suitable facility for basic education in reading, writing and numeracy, out of cell activities lack stimulation and are limited. Even though there is a tactical approach in workshop production areas but very few prisoners attend these workshops and there are limited vocational training programmes. Very few prisoners attend education making the facility under-utilised.

Thirdly, Kilmarnock prison is one of the prisons which repeatedly finds itself forced to contain children. It was recorded at some point that five children were held in Kilmarnock prison although none were present during the inspection period. Kilmarnock is an adult prison and as such, children should not be in prison as it contradicts the main objectives of the prison which is to hold adult offenders.

Lastly, in 2003-2004 there were nine serious prisoner-on-prisoner assaults and five serious assaults in 2004-2005. There have also been thirty-eight minor prisoner-on-prisoner attacks in 2003-2004 and fourteen in 2004-2005. There was a record of one serious prisoner-on-staff assault in 2003-2004 and another in 2004-2005. Thirteen minor prisoners on staff assaults occurred between 2003-2004. There had been one death in custody due to fatal accident injury and thirteen attempted suicides in 2003-2004.

List of Risks

In this report, PESTLE technique was used to identify 10 main risks which was then measured based on a combination of severity and probability. These risks have been calculated in a risk register where numbers were assigned between 1-10 for both the likelihood and impact, which is then multiplied to produce the overall risk rating. The risk register can be found in the Annex of this report.

Conclusions and Recommendations

The process of risk assessment can sometimes be frustrating and imperfect as it involves time, finances and human effort, but can be successful depending on how the risk analysis, management policies, planning and activities are carried out. It is better to seek different stakeholder opinion to analyse and evaluate risk management plan. Critical evaluation of risk management plan at an early stage will allow companies to discover and develop action plans that will aid in reducing the chances of risks within a workplace or environment.

 In conclusion, living conditions, safety and relationships with staff are good. Work programmes and related training are in place to ensure that prisoners take part in activities that educate, develop skills and personal qualities and prepare them for life outside prison.


•         A visit to Kilmarnock prison would produce a much more accurate risk assessment report through an inspection.

•         Prisoners should be escorted to where they need to be within the prison more efficiently

•         Management should take urgent steps to address the weaknesses in breadth of provision of learning opportunities and re-establish access to appropriate programmes for remand prisoners and those in the segregation unit

•         The current failure to deliver basic skills of numeracy and literacy during the day should be addressed as a matter of urgency

•         The number of prisoners attending education should be increased

•         Management should consider the introduction of a multi-disciplinary system for the management of prisoners deemed to be at risk of self-harm

•         Staff should challenge disrespectful prisoner attitudes towards them

•         Relevant staff should receive child protection training

•         Learning opportunities should be effectively promoted across the Prison

•         A systematic quality assurance or development plan should be put in place to inform improvement planning in education

•         More educational programmes should be developed to provide prisoners with a varied level of interest.


  1. Hse.gov.uk. (2018). [online] Available at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg163.pdf [Accessed 18 Oct. 2018].
  2. Greenwood, M. and Cicmil, S. (1999). RAMP: Risk Analysis and Management for Projects. Risk Management, 1(4), pp.63-64.
  3. Hse.gov.uk. (2018). Risk management: Frequently asked questions. [online] Available at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/risk/faq.htm#q8 [Accessed 18 Oct. 2018].
  4. ISO. (2018). The new ISO 31000 keeps risk management simple. [online] Available at: https://www.iso.org/news/ref2263.html [Accessed 18 Oct. 2018].
  5. Prisonsinspectoratescotland.gov.uk. (2018). HM Prison Kilmarnock | HMIPS. [online] Available at: https://www.prisonsinspectoratescotland.gov.uk/publications/hm-prison-kilmarnock [Accessed 18 Oct. 2018].
  6. unknown. (). Evaluation of a Risk Management Plan. Available: https://www.managementstudyguide.com/evaluation-of-risk-management-plan.htm. Last accessed 20th October 2018.
  7. Michael Guy, Pamela Swan. (unknown). Kilmarnock. Available: http://www.sps.gov.uk/Corporate/Prisons/Kilmarnock/HMP-Kilmarnock.aspx. Last accessed 19th October 2018.
  8. Andrew R C McLellan, Rod MacCowan, David McAllister, David Abernethy, John McCaig, Iain Lowson, Rhona Hotchkiss, Tom Leckie, Mary McCann. (April 26, 2005). Full inspection of HMP Kilmarnock. Available: https://www.gov.scot/Publications/2005/04/14103535/35406#218. Last accessed 20th October 2018.
  9. Kathryn Ball, Jim Noonan. (21/12/2015). NOMS Health and Safety (HS) Arra ngements for Risk Assessment. Available: https://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/offenders/psipso/psi-2015/psi-37-2015-hs-arrangements-for-risk-assessment.pdf. Last accessed 19th October 2018.
  10. HUGH MONRO CBE. (December 2011). Report on HMP Kilmarnock. Full Inspection 26 September-3 October 2011. unknown (N/A), N/A.



      Nature of risk



Control Measures










Contagious disease (e.g. HIV, Hepatitis, TB etc.)

1. Can transfer to another offender.

2.Negative impact on people perception.

3. Huge health hazard for the country.

1. Proper identification of the disease.

2. Proper treatment facility

3. Medicine supply to the offenders

4. Trained the staffs and offenders regarding contagious disease






Decency and humanity

1.Negative impact on people perception.

2.  health hazard.

3. Maintenance cost high

4. Worst living condition

1. Provide good living condition

2. Proper Clothing, Bedding and Food facility.

3. Proper washing and cleaning 4. Staff training facility

5. Contact with the family






Violence and Intimidation to staff

1.Property destroys

2.Law and order situation can break down.

  1. Promptly reporting
  2. Meaningful supervision
  3. Accurate investigation against violence and zero tolerance
  4. Soft behaviour with the offenders






Reception and discharge process

1.Delay the process

2.Creats ambiguity

  1. Proper training to the staff.
  2. Used computer technology






Suicide and self-harm

  1. Negative perception to people.
  2. Increased death in prison
  1. Provide recreational facilities
  2. Good behaviour with offenders







  1. Drug supply
  2. Disease transfer
  3. Mental problem of the offenders
  1. Close circuit camera
  2. Searching
  3. Personal belongings not allowed in the Jail
  4. Proper health checking
  5. Visitors Monitoring
  6. Well behaviour with the visitors






Over crowding

1.Bad environment

2. Food, Bedding and Other problem


1.Provide good accommodations

2.Clean environment

3.Proper food, Bedding supply

4. Satisfactory environment






Use of force

1.Create chaos between offender and prison staff


1.Limited use of force

2.Awareness programme (e.g. meeting, conference)

3.Maintain law and procedures







  1. Can create violence
  2. Rapidly transfer from one to another offender
  3.  disease can transfer to another person’s by using the same needle
  1. Close circuit camera
  2. Penalty system introduction
  3. Proper Training to the prisoners
  4. Separate smoking area







1.Unauthorized entry

2.Offender can assault staff or another offender

3.External attack


  1. Close circuit camera
  2. Proper training
  3. Proper deployed force
  4.  Strictly Supervision





Table 1 Risk Register

The number of risks allocated to each risk category is indicated in the table below:


Risk Category

Risk Quantities


Low Risk



Medium Risk



High risk


Table 2 Table: Quantity of risks allocated to each risk category.


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