Prisons in the press – 28 August

High risk prisoners and hot plate hamsters hit the headlines this week

A hotplate hamster: this week a comprehensive guide to prison slang. Photo source, Hannah Gilbert, Flickr

Prisons in the press brings you the best articles from the past week to keep you up-to-date on prison news.

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Hot of the press

The number of high-risk prisoners held in special units has doubled over the last decade. A report out this week showed that the units were well run but living conditions need improving. The Guardian has the story.

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In context

  • Close supervision units hold about 60 men eight prisons in England and Wales
  • The units are used to hold prisoners deemed to be the ‘most dangerous’
  • Many of the prisoners have committed violent crimes both outside and inside prison.
  • These prisoners are detained away from other prisoners because of the risk they pose. under prison rule 46
  • The report identified a disproportionate amount of black and minority ethnic Muslim men within the units.

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Revealed this week

A suspended prison nurse who let a colleague take penile swabs from him and used offensive language towards inmates has been cleared to return to work. The BBC has the story.

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In comment

Locking people up for petty crime simply doesn’t pay. Rob Allen of the Guardian argues for a range of alternatives to prison, including a greater emphasis on community solutions for petty offences.

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In other news…

Ever wondered what a hotplate hamster was? Or what on earth an afternoon spent bilking might require? Look no further, the Guardian have produced a handy guide to prison slang.



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