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Friday Night - Women's Prison (clip 2)

Report about women's prisons

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TV news report looking at the condition of old prison facilities in Gateside prison in Greenock and then construction of a new prison at Corton Vale. Includes interviews with an inmate, the prison governor and prison planner. Shots include: builders working on the roof of the new Corton Vale prison; interview with John Oliver - Controller of Planning and Coordination in the Scottish Prison Dept; women "slopping out"; Reporter, George Reid, walks through a mother and baby cell; an interview with Lady Martha Bruce - the Governor of Gateside Prison; brief shots of inmates eating and an assessment meeting before a prisoner is released; 'Joan' speaks about her time in the Young Offenders institution.

Questions & Activities


  • Why was the Cornton Vale site landscaped?
  • What is considered innovative about the site?
  • What is considered the biggest punishment?
  • What is slopping out? Is this still carried out today?
  • What jobs do the women do in jail to earn their weekly wage?
  • How much is the weekly wage and what is it spent on?
  • What are the main categories of crimes committed by women today?
  • Does the young woman sound like she has learned her lesson?


English: Examine the use of language by the different people. Which phrases would people regard as unacceptable today? Which unusual adjectives and phrases are used? How would you describe the tone of the film?

Media Studies: Discuss the balance of the documentary and the documentary style. What are primary sources used to back up statements?

Citizenship: Discuss how our attitudes to crime and punishment have changed since 1972. How many of the arguments used here are familiar and how many seem antiquated or out of date. What ideas are conspicuous by their absence (e.g. human rights legislation).

Modern Studies: Now that Cornton Vale is closed, research whether the prison lived up to its billing as a dream jail.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-002-539-C
Resource Rights Holder Courtesy of Scottish Television
Project Ref T0422
Date 1972
Genre TV News
School Subject English, Media Studies, Modern Studies
Subject Matter Crime and Punishment, Citizenship
Who Scottish Television (production company)
Where Bridge of Allan, Greenock, Stirling
Event Incarceration
Attributes Colour, Sound
Clip Length 8:04
Film Length 23:56
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