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HMP Hewel unsafe with degrading environment says Chief Inspector of Prisons (23 April 2013)

Date: 23/04/2013
Duncan Lewis, Legal News Solicitors, HMP Hewel unsafe with degrading environment says Chief Inspector of Prisons

The performance of a Worcestershire prison has deteriorated sharply since it was last inspected three years back a report has said.
The report says the inspectors found HMP Hewel was “unacceptably dirty” and that there were high levels of assaults and some staff appeared to lack motivation.
The inspection in November 2012 has shown major concerns according to the HM Inspectorate of Prisons the report said.
Nick Hardwick the Chief Inspector of Prisons said much of the jail was unsafe with degrading environment.
He said the managers at the local and national level would have to be clear that the present level of performance was not acceptable and ensure that effective and robust action is taken.
HM Inspectorate of Prisons said 35% of prisoners on the closed side and 42% on the open side said it was easy to get drugs, which was "much higher" than inspectors see in comparable jails.
The areas where improvements were needed managers had very little information or poor quality information and the allocation of activities was inconsistent it added.
There had been 94 reported prisoner-on-prisoner assaults at the closed site in six months before the inspection, which was significantly higher than at other similar jails, the report said.
But the inspectorate also said prisoners were generally positive about relations with staff, disciplinary processes were generally well managed and the quality of learning, skills and work activities was good.
The National Offender Management Service speaking for the prison said that the jail had been through a significant of restructuring and change.
Its chief executive officer, Michael Spurr, said at the time of the inspection the prison's performance was below acceptable standards although the new Governor was working hard to address the deficiencies. And since the inspections the management team was strengthened.
Hewell will receive the external support necessary to ensure it further improves performance and delivers a safe, secure and decent regime for prisoners."
Andrew Neilson, director of campaigns at the Howard League for Penal Reform charity, said the report shows how dirty, dangerous and drug infested prison it was where cleaning materials were difficult to be found but alcohol was so readily available.
Reoffending could not be controlled due to the fact that the prison system was failing under such violent and chaotic environments where self harem was increasing Neilson said.

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