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New custodial unit for women

Visionary centre will transform support for women in custody.

A new community custodial unit is set to open which will change the way women in the justice system are supported in their reintegration back to communities.

The Bella Centre in Dundee will deliver a marked departure in terms of the management of female offenders.

Specifically designed with the needs of women in mind, the new unit focusses on ‘custody in the community’.

Women will be encouraged to take responsibility for their own re-integration through community contact, access to local services and the development of independence.

The centre’s completion is part of a wider £600 million plan to improve Scotland’s custodial estate. The Bella Centre will have a sister centre in Glasgow and work is progressing on a replacement for HMP YOI Cornton Vale, near Stirling.

Community Safety Minister Ash Regan toured the newly completed Bella Centre, developed by the Scottish Prison Service.

Ms Regan yesterday said:

“The Bella Centre marks a step change in the way Scotland supports women in custody, and is the first facility of its kind in the UK. It takes a gender-specific and trauma informed approach to better prepare women for re-integration back into their communities.

“Enhanced access to the community will enable women to retain family ties while allowing supportive partnerships in the locality to flourish. This visionary new centre has been specifically designed to better prepare women for release and to reduce reoffending.

“It relies heavily on collaboration with and between a wide range of partners, enabling a multi-disciplinary approach that will serve the rehabilitative needs of women, supporting them to reintegrate back into their communities.”


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