Prisons in the press – 26 FebruaryPosted: February 26, 2016
Drones, drugs and the d’Urbervilles…
Prisons in the press brings you the best articles from the past week to keep you up-to-date on prison news.
Hot off the press
Drones are increasingly being used to smuggle drugs, mobile phones and other contraband into jails, new figures have revealed. Statistics obtained through a Press Association Freedom of Information request show that there was a 1,550 per cent jump in the recorded number of incidents involving drones in 2015. Both the BBC and Sky have the story.
Revealed this week
- Durham prison is overcrowded and close to capacity. The prison would ideally hold no more than 595 inmates, is averaging 930, according to a new report by the Independent Monitoring Board. The Northern Echo has the story.
- Prison is no bar to higher education as university ‘campus’ opens in Kent jail. The Guardian reports that the new project allows inmates to sleep and eat at Swaleside Academy and study alongside staff. Read more here.
- Ministry of Justice values Norwich prison at £50million but says it’s not for sale. The figure was published in parliamentary documents in response to a question from Labour’s shadow justice minister Andy Slaughter. The Eastern Daily Press has the story.
- Prisoner on remand dies in Northern Ireland jail. Three separate investigations are under way after a 24 year old prisoner who was being held at HMP Maghaberry in County Antrim died in custody. The BBC has more.
- The private prison HMP Oakwood is struggling to prove bigger is better. The Guardian reports that the supersize G4S-run jail is grappling with a lack of profit, inexperienced staff and suicidal inmates. Read the full report from inside the prison here.
Drugs in prison this week
- Nottinghamshire jail in danger of being “overwhelmed” by a flood of legal highs. A report details how prisoners at HMP Ranby “forcibly” seized a package containing new psychoactive substances from prison staff. The BBC has more.
- Jail for man who hid drugs under stamps. Steven Ferguson hid small quantities of cannabis on letters sent to Kilmarnock Prison. He was caught after a sniffer dog at the jail detected the Class B drugs. The Courier has the story.
- Prison drug smuggler caught after inmate choked on heroin package. John Robertson stuffed the plastic wrap of heroin into a prisoner’s mouth during a visit to HMP Perth. But the wrap, containing drugs worth £900, got caught in the inmate’s throat. The BBC has more.
- Grandfather who smuggled drugs into prison in his boxers is jailed. Raymond Brockway, 59, from Cardiff, was jailed for 22 weeks for smuggling drugs into HMP Parc in Bridgend. Wales Online has the story.
In other news
Autistic ‘Prison Houdini’ could finally be freed after 13 escape attempts in 36 years. American Mark DeFries memorized guards’ keys and carved exact replicas and managed to make it out of jail on seven occasions, only to later be recaptured. MailOnline has more.
Bones found at prison may belong to real-life Tess of the d’Urbervilles. Archaeologists unearthed the remains of a woman at Dorchester prison in Dorset whose execution may have had a lasting impact on the writer Thomas Hardy. The Guardian has the story.
nside the world’s toughest prison .