Fearful inmates asked to be locked in cells

HMP Featherstone: Inmates “living in fear”

HM Inspectorate of prisons

To read the full report, click here.

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A damning report by HM Inspectorate of Prisons found inmates locked up in their cells for the best part of 24 hours,

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HM Inspectorate of Prisons report on Featherstone

Inmates at HMP Featherstone ask to be locked in their cells to escape prison violence.

A damning report by HM Inspectorate of Prisons found inmates locked up in their cells for the best part of 24 hours, day after day in an attempt to escape worsening abuse in the Cat C jail.

The “self-isolating” inmates described how they suffered abuse such as fellow prisoners urinating under their doors and staff calling them “scaredy cats”.

As well as suffering abuse 63 per cent of prisoners said it was easy to get drugs and 22 per cent said they had developed a drug problem while in prison.

 

Chief Inspector of Prisons, Peter Clarke, said:

“Given the well-known destabilising influence which a high level of drug availability has in prisons, with the associated debt and bullying feeding a cycle of violence, perhaps we should not be surprised at the serious decline in the safety of the men at Featherstone.

“If the prison is to once again become a safe and decent place which can fulfil its role as a training and resettlement prison, there needs to be dynamic, visible leadership which gets to grips with the serious issues we have identified.”

The report also found that not all incidents of prisoner unrest were being reported and that the senior leadership team did not have sufficient knowledge or oversight of some key areas, including the use of force (and) the unregulated segregation of self-isolators.

 

Michael Spurr, Chief Executive of the National Offender Management Service said:

“The deterioration in performance at Featherstone isn’t acceptable but reflects the real pressures which the system has faced over the last few years.

“The Government has set out a clear plan for reform in the Prison and Courts Bill laid before Parliament last week, including investing over £100m to provide 2,500 additional prison staff.”

He concluded:

“This will make a difference and with these additional resources and committed focused leadership I’m confident that the Governor and management team at Featherstone can turn things round and achieve the improvements required.”

A full report of the HM Inspectorate of Prisons report is available here.

 



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