Written by S6 pupil Abby
In November, the Advanced Higher Modern Studies class had the opportunity to visit HMP Greenock to gain primary research for our dissertations.
Upon entry to the prison, we went through security checks and were shown to the visitor’s room by our guide Chris. Here, once a week prisoners are allowed an hourly visit with their loved ones.
He explained to us the general structure of the prison and we began the tour, starting in Ailsa Hall which has 133 cells and accommodates a male population including remand and short term convicted offenders.
Witnessing the bleakness and monotony of the prison routine first hand allowed us to see how testing getting through the day may be for a lot of prisoners.
We then moved on to Darroch Hall which accommodates a mix of short term convicted and untried female offenders. It has 54 single cells and one safe cell.
We had the opportunity to speak to the female Officer in charge of the unit, and she explained how women struggle greatly in prisons, abandoned by their families, friends and adversely affected by mental health issues, more so than men.
Overall, this experience was extremely valuable to our class and in terms of our dissertations, we managed to get valuable primary research for all of our topics and for me personally, the experience changed my view of the prison system completely.