HMP Wormwood Scrubs – iconic jail suffering persistent and intractable failings

Wormwood Scrubs, the iconic West London jail, was found to be suffering from persistent and intractable failings, including high violence, drugs, chronic staff shortages and poor public protection work, according to a report by HM Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP). The jail, holding more than 1,200 men, has been inspected three times in the last three-and-a-half… Continue Reading

HM Chief Inspector of Prisons welcomes new ‘Urgent Notification’ agreement with potential to strengthen the impact of inspections in failing jails

Peter Clarke, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, has welcomed a new process allowing him to publicly demand urgent action by the Secretary of State for Justice to improve jails with significant problems – a move also welcomed by one of the Inspectorate’s fiercest critics, Mark Leech. Commenting after the Secretary of State for Justice David… Continue Reading

HMP Northumberland’s “many plans” have had no effect on high violence, poor safety & drugs

HMP Northumberland has high levels of violence, with more than a quarter of prisoners feeling unsafe, and severe drugs problems, according to an HM Inspectorate of Prisons report. The prison had suffered six self-inflicted deaths in the last three years but few of the shortcomings identified by investigations into those deaths had been addressed. And… Continue Reading

Approved premises need more effective focus on drug testing and managing the risks of substance abuse, says Ombudsman

  Approved Premise (APs), home to people released from prison or on bail or court orders, need more effective drug testing practices and better staff guidance to identify and address the risks associated with substance misuse, and support individuals, according to a report by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (PPO). Overdoses of opiate and other drugs,… Continue Reading

HMP NORTH SEA CAMP – A Safe Jail Mixing Sex Offenders With Other Prisoners With Little Violence Or Hostility

HMP North Sea Camp, a category D resettlement prison near Boston in Lincolnshire, mixed sex offenders with other prisoners but achieved an atmosphere of peaceful co-existence, according to a report by HM Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP). Inspectors found negligible levels of violence and use of force by staff, earning the prison – home to just… Continue Reading

Shocking Official Proof of IMB Cowardice and Acquiescence

By Mark Leech, Editor: The Prisons Handbook / Cell Companion / Converse Read the shocking official proof that the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) must now be completely disbanded and reorganised  The Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) at HMP Magharberry have agreed to give the Governor 24 hours advance notice of Night Visits to the prison – despite… Continue Reading

Tobacco costs twice as much as Spice

Prisoners can buy the drug known as Spice at half the cost of illicit tobacco behind bars, an inspection report reveals. Inmates at one jail described how the availability of drugs, coupled with a recently imposed smoking ban, had helped fuel a sense of “hopelessness”. Spice – a synthetic substance that mimics the effects of… Continue Reading

Should we look to Scotland to Reduce Reoffending?

There were far fewer serious assaults in Scotland’s prisons over the last year than in jails in England and Wales, new official figures show. Taking prisoner population into account, 73% fewer serious assaults were recorded in jails north of the border, according to the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe). The news follows comments made last… Continue Reading

Man accused of murdering Pentonville inmate ‘Planned to broker peace treaty’

A Congolese immigrant accused of murdering a fellow Pentonville prison inmate planned to broker a “peace treaty” with him by offering to share his smuggled weed, a court heard. Basana Kimbembi, 35, allegedly stabbed Jamal Mahmoud (right), 21, in a dispute over the ownership of a parcel which had been smuggled into the north London jail the… Continue Reading

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