THE first images of Scotland’s first ‘alternative prison’ for women which will be built in Maryhill have been revealed by the Scottish Prison Service.

The images for the proposed Community Custody Unit (CCU) at the former Maryhill Health Centre site were unveiled to the public at a ‘drop in’ information event held in the North Glasgow area on Tuesday.

The event in Maryhill gave the community an opportunity to learn more on the proposed CCU design, and the vision for the care of women in custody in Scotland.

The event also provided members of the public with an opportunity to give feedback on the plans.

The ‘alternative prison’ will be one of two units to be opened in Scotland, with the Maryhill site managing ‘lower-risk female prisoners’ who will stay in the venue.

The CCU will provide facilities for around 20 women and is due to be open by the end of 2020.

The women who will serve their custodial sentence in the CCU will be appropriately assessed as suitable for serving out this part of their sentence closer to their community.

The CCU was created by the Scottish Government as part of their efforts to reduce reoffending.

We previously reported that Maryhill residents had voiced their concerns that the CCU would bring trouble to the area.

But the move to open the CCU came in the wake of a report into how best to deal with female offenders by Dame Elish Angiolini, former Lord Advocate of Scotland.

She previously told The Evening Times: “If it is in the community then it will be people from the community who will be there.

“They are going to these units because prison will not do them any good.”

She added: “People want crime to stop but when people go to prison they become better criminals because they meet people who can teach them how.

“The units are about changing behaviour, giving them skills and breaking that pattern of crime.

“We talk about the importance of early years and early years starts with the mother, by getting them out of the cycle of crime.”

The plans were unveiled at the Maryhill Burgh Halls.

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