Prisons in the press – 8 April

What’s the difference between a Suffragette and a prison?

... Image: Barry

The answer is a single letter… Image: Barry


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

Prison employment pilot scheme sees 100 per cent success rate. HMP Low Moss, outside Glasgow, is the first jail in the UK to run the unique employment programme and so far all of its participants have found work. The BBC has more.


Revealed this week

  1. Prison staff unable to work because of fumes from inmates drugs. Four officers at HMP Rochester were sent home after being overcome and at least one is thought to have received hospital treatment. Kent Online has more.
  2. Private prisons providers have been fined £3.7million since 2010 for 224 contract breaches. The figure was revealed in response to Shadow Justice Minister Jo Stevens’s question to the Justice Secretary. We have a full break down here.
  3. Fire breaks out at Winchester prison. Four fire engines were called to the secene in Hampshire on Friday 1 April and it is believed the fire was contained to one cell. The Mirror has more.
  4. Muslim extremists make entire prison block a ‘no-go zone’ of terror cells. The Express reports of extremists taking control of an entire block at Gartree in Leicestershire. The Express has the story.
  5. Drug fueled violence and rehabilitation programmes hindered by a lack of staffing. Inspectors found a “volatile” atmosphere at HMP High Down. The Epsom Guardian has more.


Life in prison – the reality?

  1. Drugs baron uses illegal mobile phone to show what prison life is “really like”. Crack cocaine kingpin Darren McCash used a mobile to post daily video updates of the chaos in prison. The Mirror has the story.
  2. TV reality show sends undercover volunteers into prison. Seven participants are set to spend 60 days in Clark County jail, in Indiana, as a Sheriff wants to try and solve crimes that go on within the prison walls. The Mirror has more.
  3. Coventry theatre offers a taste of prison life. The Go To Jail project sees a full-size replica cell created at the Shop Front Theatre and visitors are invited to stay with former inmates. The Coventry Telegraph has the story.
  4. Inside Wales’ biggest prison. A report by Channel 4 News provides unprecedented access to prisoners and their families in Parc Prison’s Family Intervention Unit. WalesOnline takes a deeper look at family life for prisoners.


News in context: Employment pilot scheme

The BBC reports that a new scheme aimed at getting prisoners into employment up release has seen all of its participants find work.

Employment charity – Shaw Trust Scotland – delivered the scheme at HMP Low Moss near Bishopbriggs. Shaw Trust said the scheme was designed to help tackle re-offending in Scotland.


Those taking part in the scheme were offered advice and training in CV writing and interview skills starting 12 weeks prior to their release.

Commenting on the success of the pilot, Ashley McCloy, Operations Manager for Shaw Trust in Scotland said:

“Offenders are less likely to commit crime after release if they are given the tools to change their lives for the better and can see a clear route into employment.

“Given the success of the pilot, Shaw Trust Scotland is looking to offer the programme to more prisoners at HMP Low Moss, with a long-term view of integrating it into the core services offered at prisons across the country.”

The BBC has more on the story.


In other news 

Manchester Council attempt to honour the Pankhurst sisters fails dismally. Instead of paying tribute to the Salford legacy by naming a road after Emmeline Pankhurst, they paid tribute to Parkhurst prison on the Isle of Wight. The Manchester Evening News has more.

Scottish prison bakery looks for more dough to expand their site. The prison bakery social enterprise at HMP Low Moss which aims to provide employment training for offenders is launching a crowdfunding campaign to open a second site. The Scotsman has the story.



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