Category Archives: High Security Prisons
Prison chiefs have linked an attack on a prison officer to the Lee Rigby murder and warned prison staff of an increased risk of threats, according to reports – while an increasing number of Muslim inmates complain they are being intimidated to join the Muslim Brotherhood, a prison gang, and some have received injuries following a refusal to do so.
A male prison officer was left with a broken cheekbone after being held hostage by three male prisoners, two aged 25 and one aged 26, at HMP Full Sutton in Yorkshire on Sunday.
An email circulated to staff in top-security jails and young offender institutions and seen by The Times said: “Three Muslim prisoners took an officer hostage in an office.
“Their demands indicated they supported radical Islamist extremism.
“All staff are reminded to remain vigilant to the increased risk of potential attacks on prison officers inspired by these and last Wednesday’s events.”
Counter-terrorism officers have been brought in to investigate the attack at the maximum security jail, during which a female warder was also injured.
So far, 10 people have been held by detectives investigating the young soldier’s death, including Adebowale and Adebolajo.
These include a 50-year-old man, arrested on Monday, who was released on bail yesterday.
A 22-year-old man arrested in Highbury, north London, on Sunday and three men detained on Saturday over the killing have all been released on bail, as has a fifth man, aged 29.
Two women, aged 29 and 31, were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder but later released without charge.
Mark Leech editor of Converse the national newspaper for prisoners in England and Wales said he was aware of an ‘increasing number of complaints’ from Muslim prisoners in the High Security prison estate who claim to have been intimidated to join the prison-based ‘Muslim Brotherhood’.
Mr Leech said: “Radicalisation of Muslims in the High Security Estate is nothing new and the existence of the Muslim Brotherhood is equally well-known, what I find disturbing is that I have seen an increasing number of Muslim inmates and their families complaining that their loved ones are being intimidated into joining this group and some have received injuries, perhaps unconnected with their refusal, after persistently declining to join.
“One firm of personal injury solicitors I am in touch with confirm they act for a Muslim inmate seriously injured in Full Sutton prison after he continually refused to join the Full Sutton Muslim Brotherhood – unusually and perhaps of significance is the fact that prison staff at HMP Full Sutton have given evidence supporting his case.
“Prison gangs like the Muslim Brotherhood can feed on fear and perpetrate a belief that there is safety in numbers – we should not forget that the Prison Inspection report published in April 2013 on Full Sutton said:
We had two main areas of concern. First, the perceptions of black and minority ethnic prisoners and Muslim prisoners about many aspects of their treatment and conditions were much more negative than for white and non-Muslim prisoners. For example, significantly fewer told us staff treated them with respect and significantly more said they felt unsafe.
“Treating all prisoners with respect and equality is the challenge for the management of Full Sutton, a Maximum Security prison which in so many other respects has shown itself well able to rise to difficult challenges and overcome them – and on this important one it must not be allowed to fail.”
Two prison officers have been taken hostage and attacked by three inmates at a maximum-security jail near York.
The incident on Sunday at Full Sutton Prison in East Yorkshire lasted for four hours.
The Prison Service said the staff were treated for injuries which were not thought to be life-threatening.
The Prison Officer’s Association (POA) said it was aware of the “hostage incident”. The North East Counter Terrorism Unit is investigating.
The POA said it was sending a national representative to the prison to determine exactly what happened.
Steve Gillan, the POA’s general secretary, said: “Until the full facts of the incident are known we do not wish to comment further for fear of compromising any police investigation.
“We can confirm that officers sustained injuries and had it not been for the professionalism of prison officers dealing with this violent incident the outcome could have been worse.”
The Prison Service spokeswoman said the incident started at 16:25 BST and ended at 20:40 “after staff intervened”.
She would not confirm reports that one of the prison officers was held hostage and stabbed, or give details of the identities of the prisoners involved.
Mark Leech editor of Converse the national newspaper for prisoners said the High Security Estate was currently on ‘tenterhooks’
“Since the savage and brutal murder of Drummer Lee Rigby the whole of our High Security Prison Estate has been on tenterhooks, prison staff have been advised to be extra vigilant for anti-muslim tensions or pre-emptive attacks by muslim inmates who fear for their safety in the aftermath of the soldier’s murder.
“Our High Security prisons are extremely difficult to manage at the best of times, in the current climate they become even more so and its a tribute to the Tornado Team who made the intervention that no serious injuries were sustained.”
In a Report published 30th April 2013 on Frankland High Security Prison, Nick Hardwick the Chief Inspector of Prisons said:
Frankland, situated near Durham, is one of five high security dispersal prisons in the country, intended to hold those posing the greatest risk to security and safety. With more than 800 prisoners, it is the largest dispersal prison, with many men serving sentences of great length and/or retaining the highest category A status. At our previous inspection in early 2011, we found an establishment that had made commendable progress. This unannounced inspection indicates that progress continues despite considerable challenges, including the recent murder of a prisoner and serious assaults on staff.
Risk is ever present in an institution like Frankland, yet the prison had commendably maintained equilibrium and was, by our judgement, generally safe. The findings of our survey were encouraging and indicated that most prisoners felt safer than in comparable establishments, although indicators were less positive for certain groups, particularly black and minority ethnic and vulnerable prisoners. Levels of violence were not high but when they happened they could be extreme. The resources for and management of security were commensurate with the risk, and security was normally applied proportionately. The quality of staff supervision on the vulnerable prisoner wings and in communal areas, as well as CCTV coverage in the vulnerable prisoner wings, could have been better. The diversion of prescribed medications was also a significant problem. Decisive action was needed to address prescribing practice at the prison.
Frankland covers an extensive area and accommodation varies greatly in age, type and quality. Most was reasonable and clean, and some, like the Westgate Unit, exceptional. Most staff were knowledgeable and respectful, and relationships with prisoners were generally good. The promotion of diversity was mixed overall, with some elements that were adequate but also clear gaps evident. It was a concern that many minority groups held comparatively negative perceptions about their treatment. The management of formal prisoner complaints was surprisingly poor.
Access to time out of cell was reasonable for most prisoners and there were broadly sufficient activity places to meet the needs of all. Education was offered on a part-time basis, again to broaden access, but it was clear that not all available activity places were used and we found just under a third of prisoners locked up during the working day. The management of learning and skills was reasonably good and further improvements were being made. Many qualitative measures, such as the range of provision and support on offer, as well as prisoner achievements, were encouraging.
Very few prisoners were discharged from Frankland but the prison had a critical role in addressing individual risks and progressing prisoners. Offender management and public protection arrangements seemed appropriate, although the prison still needed to make more analysis of the full extent of the resettlement needs of the population. Offending behaviour work was available and well managed and, unusually, there was significant work to address sex offenders who were in denial or seeking to minimise their offending. The Westgate Unit was impressive and provided intensive and long-term interventions to work with personality disordered prisoners. An independent evaluation of dangerous and severe personality disorder (DSPD) units at the prison would be invaluable in determining the effectiveness of this work, although current indications are encouraging.
This is a very good report. Frankland has had to deal with some very serious incidents in recent months. The prison has done this proportionately and in a way that has not derailed it or undermined its confidence. Overall, the outcomes for prisoners at this prison are reasonably good, and some of the most challenging prisoners in the system are well managed and cared for.
FRANKLAND PRISON FACTS & FIGURES
Task of the establishment: A high security category A and B dispersal prison, with the potential to accommodate category A remand prisoners
Prison status (public or private, with name of contractor if private): Public
Region/Department: High security
Number held: 812
Certified normal accommodation: 844
Operational capacity: 844
Date of last full inspection: November 2010 – date of this Inspection December 2012
Situated on the outskirts of Durham, the prison opened in 1983 with A, B, C, and D wings; it held adult convicted male prisoners serving sentences of over four years. In 1998, F and G wings were added. In 2005, Westgate opened as a self-contained treatment facility for prisoners with dangerous and severe personality disorders (DSPD); J wing was added in 2009.
Short description of residential units
A, B, C, and D wings, located in a separate secure compound, each had space for 108 vulnerable prisoners (including older and disabled prisoners) on landing B1; F wing had 120 places for non- vulnerable prisoners; G wing had 88 spaces for non-vulnerable prisoners and included G4, the reintegration landing for those who had been in segregation, which had 18 spaces; and J wing had 120 places for non-vulnerable prisoners. The Westgate DSPD Unit consisted of two units each accommodating 22 prisoners and one unit accommodating 21 prisoners (total 65 beds), while the segregation unit had 28 spaces and the health care unit 13 inpatient places. The PIPE Unit was based within the Westgate Unit and could accommodate up to 21 prisoners.
Name of governor/director: Paddy Fox
Escort contractor: GeoAmey
Health service commissioner and providers: NHS County Durham-North East Offender Commissioning Unit Care UK Tees, Esk and Wear NHS Foundation Trust
Learning and skills providers: The Manchester College
Independent Monitoring Board chair: Wendy Taylor
Mark Leech, editor of Converse the national newspaper for prisoners in England and Wales said:
“This is a very positive report, and all the more so given the recent murder of a prisoner and the serious staff assaults that have taken place.
“There were minor areas of concern, there always are – poor prisoner complaints being a surprising one as the Chief Inspector pointed out – but generally its a credit to the Governor and the staff at Frankland that they are able to manage a very difficult long-term population in the way that they so evidently do – other High Security Prisons have lessons to learn from Frankland.”
A prisoner at Full Sutton maximum security prison near York is in a critical condition after another prisoner slashed his throat with a knife.
Mark Leech, editor of Converse the national newspaper for prisoners in England and Wales said:
“Converse sources at the jail told the newspaper that the whole prison had gone into lock down following the assault on 25th April and the inmate was rushed to a local hosital where he is in a critical condition.”
Full Sutton is one of eight prisons which form part of the High Security Estate, holding long term prisoners including terrorists, murderers and those who will never be released
In the 2012 annual report by the Independent Monitoring Board for Full Sutton, the Board said assaults were down by 57 per cent since 2008, thanks to a good staff-prisoner relationships and a tight hold on security, but they warned that budget cuts of £1.1m in 2013/14 “will lead to a potential loss of control, making the prison unsafe for both staff and prisoners.”
A report by the Prisons Inspectorate earlier this year said that Full Sutton Prison near Pocklington “dealt very effectively with challenges other prisons find difficult to manage”.
It said that “levels of violence were low, drug use was low and there was a range of good quality, well-managed purposeful activity available.”
However Inspectors expressed concerns about the segregation unit where Inspectors criticised the unit for a “insufficient focus on improving behaviour and helping men reintegrate back on the main wings.”.
The report said: “It is generally an impressive establishment that maintains an effective balance between providing the necessary levels of security and affording the men it holds decent treatment and conditions.”
The jail was opened 11 years ago and holds around 600 of the country’s most serious offenders.
A killer convicted of murdering a paedophile in a top security jail in Cambridgeshire has failed to persuade a High Court judge to soften his prison regime.
Michael Cain complained that prison bosses had unfairly refused to downgrade his category A prisoner status.
But Mr Justice Stadlen has refused to declare his grading unfair, after a hearing at the High Court in London.
Cain – who is in his mid 40s – was given a life term in 1987 after being convicted of murdering a shopkeeper during a robbery.
In 1995, Cain was given a second life term after he and another inmate were convicted of murdering child killer Leslie Bailey – who was known as “Catweazle” – at Whitemoor prison near March, Cambridgeshire, in 1993.
His minimum prison term expired in 2010 but parole board officials have not recommended his release.
Mr Justice Stadlen was told that Cain had not accepted responsibility for Bailey’s murder until four years ago.
Cain told a psychologist that he had “held the belief for many years” that Bailey was not a “victim” because of the “nature” of his crimes.
He said he had acted as a “look out” while “his associate” John Brooks went into a cell to beat and strangle Bailey.
Mr Justice Stadlen said he recognised that his conclusion on the grading challenge would be “unwelcome” to Cain.
But the judge said Cain was to be “commended” for his “belated admission of responsibility” for Bailey’s murder and willingness to address his “offending behaviour”.
In recent years Cain has been held at Frankland jail near Durham and Full Sutton jail near York, the judge heard.
“A SHOCKING SITUATION THAT HAS BEEN ALLOWED TO EXIST WITHOUT CHALLENGE FOR FAR TOO LONG” Mark Leech.
A full review of who is sent to high security prisons is needed to tackle the problem of offenders in denial over their crimes, inspectors have said, after a report found almost half of the 750 inmates at Wakefield jail were sex offenders in denial.
The Prison Service must question whether it is right to place such a concentration of men in denial in one establishment, Nick Hardwick, the chief inspector of prisons, said.
The resettlement of offenders was being “seriously undermined by the lack of appropriate programmes to address the behaviour of the significant number of sex offenders in denial”, a report on a jail inspection in May found.
“Little work” was being done with the hundreds of prisoners at Wakefield prison alone who were sex offenders in denial, the report found.
“There was insufficient consideration by the Prison Service of the negative impact this had on work with the remaining prisoners and therefore whether Wakefield was the right place to hold such a large concentration of sex offenders in denial,” Mr Hardwick said.
“The Prison Service should commission a full review of its high security estate allocation criteria to ensure that the high proportion of sex offenders in denial at Wakefield does not undermine the work of the prison as a whole.”
He went on: “The most significant concerns we have identified in this report require decisions by the National Offender Management Service (Noms) at a national level: how best to manage sex offenders in denial and to ensure that the conditions of imprisonment even for the most challenging prisoners does not fall below a basic acceptable level.
“These will not be easy problems to resolve. However, despite these difficulties HMP Wakefield has been able to make slow progress.”
The recommendation was made three years ago, but Mr Hardwick admitted it was not an easy issue to resolve.
Mark Leech editor of Converse, the national newspaper for prisoners in England and Wales said the report ‘highlighted a shocking situation that had been allowed to exist without challenge for far too long.”
Mr Leech said: “The way we treat sex offenders whose crimes cause untold damage for decades, as we have seen this week with the offences alleged against Jimmy Saville who by all accounts was himself in denial, has highlighted a shocking situation that had been allowed to exist without challenge for far too long.
“We have to stop seeing sex offenders as criminals to be punished and instead view them as patients who need secure psychiatric treatment.
“The horror of the current approach is that sex offenders can deny their offences and, except other than in tiny minority of the most notorious cases, will be allowed out of prison where generally they reoffend causing more devastation – and I speak as someone whose life was shattered by child-hood abuse.
“Treat them as patients in a secure environment and we can focus the treatment funds and specialist staff needed to address their offending but most importantly of all they cannot be released until two psychiatrists have agreed their risk of reoffending is low.”
A prisoner has admitted murdering a child rapist from Wolverhampton who was disembowelled in his cell at a top security jail. Mitchell Harrison (above), 23, was serving an indefinite sentence at Frankland Prison, Durham, for raping a 13-year-old girl when he was killed last October. Michael Parr, 32, pleaded guilty to murder during a brief hearing at Newcastle Crown Court via videolink from prison. He will be sentenced on July 12. Nathan Mann, 23, is also charged with Harrison’s murder but he did not appear before the court. Harrison was jailed in January 2010 for raping the girl in Cumbria in 2009. He was jailed at Carlisle Crown Court indefinitely and was put on the sex offenders’ register for life. After his murder, Harrison’s family released a statement saying: “Although we never condoned his past actions, he was serving his time and was by all accounts a model, trusted prisoner who did not deserve to die in this horrific way.”
A killer who was told he would never be released from jail after being convicted of torturing gay men to death almost 20 years ago has died in jail.
Colin Ireland, 57, is presumed to have died from natural causes in the healthcare centre of Wakefield Prison in West Yorkshire this morning, a Prison Service spokeswoman said.
He was given a whole-life tariff in 1993.
A Prison Service spokeswoman said: “Colin Ireland died in HMP Wakefield’s healthcare centre today at 9.20am. He is presumed to have died from natural causes; a post-mortem will follow.
“As with all deaths in custody, the independent Prisons and Probation Ombudsman will conduct an investigation.”
One of Britain’s worst serial killers, former soldier Ireland admitted attacking and killing five gay men he met in pubs in 1993.
Known as the “gay slayer”, he reportedly posed as a homosexual to be taken to each of his victims’ homes, where he tortured and murdered them after making a New Year’s resolution in 1993 to become a serial killer.
But Ireland, who terrorised London’s gay community, was caught later the same year when CCTV footage showed him with his last victim.
In May 2007, a report by the independent Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Advisory Group found that the Metropolitan Police inquiry was “hampered by a lack of knowledge of the gay scene in London and the special culture of S&M bondage”.
According to a Real Crime documentary on the serial killer, the unemployed drifter killed five people in just over three months, including four in just 15 days, all in 1993.
He would meet men at The Coleherne pub in Fulham, pose as an homosexual to be invited back to their homes, and then torture and kill them following sex games.
Speaking to police about his first victim, 45-year-old West End theatre director Peter Walker on March 8, Ireland said: “I think it was something triggered in me some time before. I felt that if I was approached there was a likelihood I would kill.
“We went in a cab to his flat in Battersea. I put on a pair of gloves on the way. My intentions were different to his.”
An avid reader of true crime books and FBI manuals, he would reportedly clean up the murder scene and stay with the body until the morning, to avoid attracting attention by leaving in the middle of the night.
He also demanded money and left with the victim’s credit cards, a pattern he repeated in successive murders.
When he thought his first murder had gone unnoticed, Ireland, then of Southend, rang both the Samaritans and The Sun newspaper to tell them what he had done as he sought to achieve his resolution to become famous for being a serial killer.
He went on to kill 37-year-old librarian Christopher Dunn on May 28; Perry Bradley III, the 35-year-old son of a US Congressman on June 4; and Andrew Collier, 33, on June 7, along with his pet cat.
Ireland told police: “I couldn’t stop myself.
“It was building up. I was on an almost sort of rollercoaster kind of thing.”
He added: “I was probably 60%, 70% quite a reasonable human being most of the time, but there is that side of my character that is negative, it’s quite cold and calculating.”
Before killing his fifth victim, 41-year-old Emanual Spiteri on June 12, Ireland called police four times to ask why they had not linked the four murders, telling them he had killed them all.
“I set out to see, because I read a lot of books on serial killers and indeed, you know, I wondered if it could possibly be done and actually got away with it,” he said.
Asked why he targeted homosexuals, he told officers they “keep their mouths shut and don’t tell the police things”.
He was caught when, having visited police to explain away his sighting on CCTV with Mr Spiteri, his fingerprint was subsequently matched to one found at the man’s flat. He admitted all five murders.
Ireland was born on March 16 1954 in a former work house in Kent to a 17-year-old mother, who was abandoned by his father, according to the documentary.