Motherwell and Wishaw MP, Marion Fellows, visited HMP Shotts this week to discuss changes made to Prison Officers’ pensions and to learn more about the work they do to.
Following the increase in the state pension age, the Police and prison staff also had their age of eligibility for their pension scheme raised to 68. This was eventually lowered for Police Officers but still remains at the increased age for Prison Officers.
Marion was given a conducted tour of the facility and shown the various programmes used to prepare people to be reintegrated back into the community after their sentence, including educational programmes.
Commenting, Mrs Fellows said:
“I was concerned to learn of changes to pension schemes which still discriminate against Prison Officers.
“The eligibility age should be reduced in the same way it was for Police Officers. Prison Officers provide a vital service and they should not have to stay in work to such an age.
“It was also very interesting to see the inside of the prison and how it is run.
“I am glad that services are offered to people inside to provide them with skills and support to reintegrate them into the community.
“It can be easy to disregard people convicted of crimes. However, the best way to prevent them reoffending is to ensure they not only serve their punishment, but are supported into work and are able to become a functioning member of society again.”