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Friday Night - Women's Prison (clip 1)

Report about women's prisons and Cornton Vale

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TV Report looking at the condition of old prison facilities in Gateside prison in Greenock and then a new prison buildings being built in Cornton Vale.

Footage includes female prison guards checking on the inmates and locking them in for the night; a girl sits in her cell playing ‘Silent Night’ on her guitar; shots of a bucket (the cell does not have a toilet), interior and exterior shots of Cornton Vale Prison with a view of Stirling castle from window.

It also includes George Reid speaking directly into the camera at the gates of the prison as a car arrives with a new inmate. The new inmate is made to take off her clothes (behind a curtain) and have a compulsory bath in filthy surroundings.

Please Note: Some female nudity from behind as the woman gets into a bath

Updated October 2020

Questions & Activities


  • What does the term "Dickensian" mean?
  • What sort of crimes are people imprisoned for?
  • What is a borstal and what is its modern equivalent?
  • Do you think the women's treatment is degrading in this clip?
  • Why is there a countdown clock in the middle of this footage? What is it used for?


Debate whether prison is an effective way to encourage people to obey laws. What alternatives to prison were there in the past and what is available today?

What types of crimes do you believe should receive a jail sentence?

Research the representation of women's prisons in television programmes.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-002-537-C
Resource Rights Holder Courtesy of Scottish Television
Date 1972
Genre TV News
School Subject Media Studies, Social Studies, Gender Studies, Health and Wellbeing, History
Subject Matter Crime and Punishment
Who Scottish Television (production company)
Where Bridge of Allan, Gateside, Greenock, Stirling
Event Incarceration
Attributes Colour, Sound
Clip Length 5:46
Film Length 23:56
© Archive film content and stills licensed by National Library of Scotland and other rights holders. Other Website Content Copyright Creative Scotland.
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