Finishing touches are being made to Peterhead’s new “super prison” HMP and YOI Grampian as it prepares to bring in its first inmates.
The first male prisoners will arrive in Peterhead on Monday, March 3 while the first female inmates will arrive on Wednesday, March 5.
Although the prison will soon be fully functional, an official opening ceremony is scheduled to take place around April time.
Governor of HMP and YOI Grampian, Jim Farish, believes the prison could reach full capacity by April 18.
The new prison, when full, can accommodate 552 inmates who will be under the watchful eye of 310 uniformed officers and 50 Scottish Prison Service (SPS) staff.
HMP and YOI Grampian was created to replace the old Peterhead Prison and Aberdeen’s Craiginches.
Due to this move, Mr Farish revealed that some members of staff took the opportunity to retire or relocate to other establishments, while the majority will work at the new jail.
Mr Farish also said they recruited 96 new members of staff and hope to employ a further 15 or so in the next two months.
Mr Farish added: “Our staff have recently gone through thousands of hours of intensive training and awareness sessions so they are prepared to help change the lives of the prisoners.
“Our staff are vital to help inmates prepare for integration back into the community and make them less likely to reoffend.”
Prisoners will also be able to take on work while at the prison as Mr Farish explained: “Our partner n-ergy, will provide call centre work for prisoners on behalf of small to medium sized local enterprises but prisoners will not process data and they will not know who they are talking to.
The prison has also had interest from a number of local companies looking to get involved but due to timescales nothing has been confirmed.