Barlinnie jail is holding hundreds more prisoners than it is designed for.

A new report has found that last month the prison held 1406 men despite it being designed for 987.

It means the jail is 42% over capacity and many inmates are kept in double cells.

An Audit Scotland report into the overall prison estate stated cell sizes at HMP Barlinnie do not meet expected standards, and due to overcrowding “there is a lack of regime availability and work opportunities within the prison”.

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It continued: “This means that those in custody are within residential areas without constructive or purposeful activity for much longer than would be desired.”

A new prison is due to be built to replace the Victorian-era facility but the timescale has yet to be determined.

The cost of the project has increased from an initial estimation of £100million in 2014 to almost £400m in 2019.

The design phase is expected to be complete and a contract awarded in Autumn 2024 and the cost is expected to be considerably higher still.

Audit Scotland said: “Discussions remain ongoing with the Scottish Government regarding the capital funding allocation for the HMP Glasgow project. Timescales for the project remain unclear.”

Glasgow Times:

The report also highlighted maintenance issues at the old jail.

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It noted: “Power outages have resulted in the loss of kitchen and laundry facilities, while the loss of water resulted in one hall not having functioning toilets. These issues impact on the care that is provided and have the potential to disrupt operations.”

The auditors also said the ongoing conditions could have legal implications for the prison service.

It stated: “SPS recognises that these factors will impact on the mental and physical health of prisoners, making rehabilitation more challenging.

“It has also acknowledged that the condition of the prison increases the potential for a judicial review or litigation linked to human rights and equalities issues.”

Glasgow Times:

A Scottish Prison Service spokesperson said: “We welcome the Auditor General’s report and his focus on some of the challenges we continue to face as an organisation.

“We have a population that is not only rising rapidly but is also increasingly complex. Many of our establishments are full beyond their design capacity, and the oldest prisons are no longer fit for purpose.

“There is an urgent need for the major capital projects planned and these are being undertaken, with support from Scottish Government, in an exceptionally challenging economic climate, with rising costs and supply chain pressures.”