Prisons in the press – 10 July

More deaths and critical reports. And some Sudoku too. 

Source: Flickr

Source: Flickr


It seems little has changed at Pentonville and Nottingham prisons, which have both been criticised in separate reports this week. And the situation with legal highs also seems to be as bad as ever. 


Hot off the press

  1. Legal highs linked to deaths: A report by the Prisons and Probations Ombudsman has found that legal highs such as Spice and Black Mamba have contributed to almost 20 deaths in prison between April 2012 and September 2014.
  2. Young prisoner dies: A 15-year-old boy has been found dead at Cookham Wood prison in Kent. The chief inspector of prisons most recent report in June last year  found severe staff shortages and a rising number of violent incidents at the prison.  During one lockdown, 30 weapons were discovered hidden in cells according to The Guardian.
    1. In context: A report by Labour peer Lord Harris last week into the suicides of 18- to 24-year-olds in prison said that staff shortages had contributed to a rising number of deaths. The report made 108 recommendations, including that young adults spent eight hours a day outside their cells and said prison should be a last resort for young people.
  3. Pentonville prison in London has come in for severe criticism by the chief inspector of prisons once again. The latest report highlighted blood stained cells, habitual violence and easy access to drugs according to The Indpendent. A former prisoner gave a firsthand account of the dire conditions at the jail for The Guardian.
  4. Nottingham prison experienced “a somewhat turbulent year” according to the latest Independent Monitoring Board annual report.  The IMB’s report echoed many of the findings made by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons in his report published in February 2015.
  5. Prince goes to prison: Not many journalists are allowed into prisons these days, but access is not a problem for Prince Charles. He visited HM Prison & Young Offenders’ Institution Parc in Wales to meet a group of young people taking part in a football course.


In other news 

  1. Tours of old prison: The 230-year-old Northallerton prison on Teesside will be open from July 27 to 31 and from August 3 to 7 for tours before it is closed for redevelopment.
  2. Sudoku drives prisoners mad: 86 prisoners at Exeter prison wrote to their local paper complaining that a Sudoku puzzle was “impossible” to complete. Their situation was exacerbated by the fact that they could not get hold of the second weekly edition to check their answers.

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