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The Prisons and Young Offenders Institutions (Scotland) Rules 2011

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General duties of visiting committees and members of committees

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149.—(1) A visiting committee must co-operate with the Scottish Ministers and the Governor of the relevant prison in promoting the efficiency of the prison and must inquire into and report upon any matter at the request of the Scottish Ministers.

(2) The visiting committee must—

(a)immediately bring to the notice of the Governor any circumstances relating to the administration of the prison or the condition of any prisoner which appear to it to be expedient to report for the Governor’s consideration; and

(b)bring such circumstances to the notice of the Scottish Ministers if it appears to the committee that the Governor has not remedied any matter which the Committee has notified to the Governor in terms of sub-paragraph (a) within such period as appears to the committee to be reasonable.

(3) The visiting committee must from time to time inquire into the state of the prison premises and must—

(a)inspect, in particular, the food and drink provided to prisoners; and

(b)in relation to any such inquiry—

(i)record particulars of every visit made, together with any deficiencies found during such visits, in the committee’s minute book; and

(ii)promptly send a copy of such particulars to the Scottish Ministers and to the Governor.

(4) The visiting committee must also discharge such other duties as the Scottish Ministers may from time to time assign to it.

(5) A person who is or has been a member of a visiting committee must not disclose any information mentioned in paragraph (6) which the person holds or has held as a member.

(6) The information referred to in paragraph (5) is any information obtained—

(a)by any member of a visiting committee which relates to the prison, any officer of the prison or any prisoner; and

(b)on terms or in circumstances requiring it to be held in confidence.

(7) Paragraph (5) does not apply to any disclosure of information mentioned in paragraph (6) made to any person, or for any purpose, permitted by the provisions of this Part.

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