Prisons in the press – 26 August

Drones, longer prison sentences and the fight against radicalisation

... Image: Don McCullough

Yet another drone was captured attempting to deliver drugs to Pentonville Prison this week. Image: Don McCullough

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

Extremism in prisons: Britain’s most dangerous extremists to be locked up in “prisons within prisons” to prevent radicalisation. The announcement by the Government came just days after it was revealed that hate preacher Anjem Choudary had been convicted of swearing allegiance to Islamic State and faces a decade behind bars. The Telegraph has the story.

Revealed this week

  1. Prison inspector calls for inmates to be given access to social media and Skype to keep in touch with family. HM Inspectorate of Prisons warned that restricting contact with family should not be used as a punishment for bad behaviour. The Telegraph has more.
  2. More than 100 criminals given longer prison terms after sentences were deemed too soft. A total of 102 offenders faced tougher punishments under the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme in 2015. The Evening Standard has the story.
  3. Drone caught smuggling drugs and mobile phones into Pentonville Prison. One drone crashes as another is intercepted by police carrying a haul of drugs and mobile phones bound for Pentonville Prison. Sky News has more.
  4. Holloway prison sale moves a step closer after the Ministry of Justice appointed an agent to sell the central London site. The sale of the notorious women’s prion forms part of the £1.3bn revamp of the prison estate. The Evening Standard has the story.
  5. Leeds prison worker sent sex pictures and love letters to inmate. A “besotted” prison worker who sent sexually explicit pictures and love letters to an inmate has been jailed. Sarah Ellahi, 27, abused her position as a family liaison worker in order to have the affair, it has been claimed. The Yorkshire Evening Post has the story.


Prison and the airwaves 

  1. Request shows and rehabilitation: How prison radio changes the lives of inmates. Prison radio is one of the only ways inmates can access the outside world. The Independent’s Kashmira Ganer finds out how it can play an essential role in rehabilitation. Read more here.
  2. Radio 4: What Point Prison? looks at whether prison is working. The debate, chaired by Stephen Sackur, sees the likes of former inspector of prison in England Wales Nick Herbert, economist Vicky Pryce, criminologist James Treadwell and Patsie Mckie from Mothers Against Violence in Manchester discuss the alternatives. Find out more here.


In context

The new units will be built inside some of the UK’s highest security jails and house only the most extreme inmates who promote terror and violence.

They will be kept away from other inmates in order to end the practice of radicalisation in facilities around the UK, allowing preachers to spread their message to vulnerable young men.

This comes as ITV News reveals most prison officers have witnessed inmates spreading extremism. An online survey of members of the Prison Officers Association gives a unique insight into fears some prison officers have about the service’s ability to tackle the problem of extremists spreading hate inside cells. ITV has more.


In other news

Clean Break: The theatre company telling the stories of women in prison. Roisin McBrinn tells the Evening Standard’s Jessie Thompson why the company wants to help audiences reconsider who they’re sitting beside on the bus. The Evening Standard has more.

Win a tour of Gloucester Prison. Readers of SoGlos are being offered the chance to win a pair of tickets for Gloucester History Festival’s sold-out tour of Gloucester Prison, with archeologist, Andrew Armstrong. Read more here.


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