HMP Oakwood inmates find it easier to get drugs than soap
- 08 Oct
The UK's largest privately run prison, Oakwood, has found to be failing to tackle drug use or give effective support to inmates.
The prison, run by G4S, opened in April 2012 and houses around 1,600 inmates. A report into the prison has produced findings that Chief Inspector of Prisons, Nick Hardwick says are "unquestionably concerning".
G4S have said that opening a new prison is a challenging operation and they have already taken steps to tackle problems, reports the BBC.
HMP Oakwood also came under fire in July this year due to it being one of two private prisons to receive the Ministry of Justice's lowest rating.
Commenting on the latest report, the Howard League's chief executive, Frances Crook, said: "This private prison has been open for a a year-and-a-half and it is getting worse not better.
"On a payment-by-results model it would be closed because G4S are being paid for it and it is not delivering results."
In the four main test areas, safety, respect, purposeful activity and resettlement, the prison was recorded as either insufficient or poor.
An unannounced visit in June found that illicit drugs "were easily available" and drug usage was high. One in seven of the prisoners said that they had developed a drug problem while at the prison. As well as heroin and a synthetic drug, inspectors found prescribed medication was also in circulation, with severe criticism of the healthcare department in the prison.
HMI Prisons also highlighted that administration of medication was "chaotic". Many inmates missed does, and inspectors found that "tradable" medications were "routinely prescribed" with multiple ways for them to find their way into the prison population.
In response, Mr Petherick, from G4S, said: "We have already taken steps to make improvements, appointing a dedicated taskforce to address problem areas, such as the prevalence of drugs, while providing additional funding where necessary. This is starting to yield results.
"Today we can see a reduction in the amount of drugs entering the establishment, the use of force is reducing and better care, sentence plans and resettlement arrangements for prisoners are being put in place.
"We are also working with the Ministry of Justice and the healthcare and education providers, who do not report to us, to address the issues raised in this report."
HMP Oakwood's rehabilitation work with sex offenders also fell under criticism in the HMI report. Inspectors said that there was no planned approach for addressing the behaviour of those inmates, many of whom "were in denial of their offending".
"A large number of these prisoners were due for release without their offending having been addressed," the report said.
Image source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1431138
- 11 Sep
Prisons told to adjust for older inmates
Ombudsman Nigel Newcomen says prisons will have to take on "care home and even hospice" roles in future, reports the BBC. He said: "It is remarkable that the fastest growing segment of the prison...
- 31 Jul
Charities are best at reducing re-offending
A report by charity thinktank New Philanthropy Capital has found that 28% of charity projects have helped to reduce reoffending compared to 19% of private companies, reports the Guardian.The report...
- 29 Jul
It could become illegal to deny offenders legal aid
It could become illegal to deny prisoners in England and Wales legal aid so that they are able to effectively challenge the conditions they are held under, rules the court of appeal, reports the...
- 08 Jul
Offender’s rehabilitation is delayed by legal aid restrictions
The court of appeal has been told that thousands of prisoners are being prevented from starting rehabilitation due to them being denied legal aid for parole board hearings, reports the...
- 17 Mar
New supported accommodation for ex-offenders in Birmingham
Trident Reach the People Charity's new Reach House has been built to provide 24-hour supported accommodation for young offenders to help support them getting back into the community after their...
- 12 Mar
Staff working with young offenders criticised
A report by three inspection bodies has said that staff aimed at helping reduce re-offending in young offenders are "too often suspicious of each other" reports the BBC.The report, by the Care...
- 19 Sep
Family homes are needed to help offenders re-offending
A study by HM Inspectorate of Prisons, HM Inspectorate of Probation and Ofsted had found that almost one in five prisoners did not know where they would be living once they left jail, reports Inside...
- 16 Sep
Ex-offenders ‘lacking home and job'
An inspection into resettlement provision for adult prisoners had followed 80 offenders after they left prison. Chief Inspector of Prisons Nick Hardwick said that it found the role of a prisoner's...
- 16 May
Offenders placed in prison for a day in a bid to cut re-offending
The Centre for Social Justice has urged the government to look to the US where this approach appears to work. The report has said that a third of people given community sentences re-offended within a...
- 30 Jan
Inspection finds offenders with learning disabilities are not being supported
The inspection looking into the treatment of offenders with learning disabilities within the criminal justice systems was conducted by HM Inspectorate of Probation, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary,...
Revenue Optimisation "We really appreciate the work that Support Solutions did for Home Group in securing significant additional revenue for our supported housing schemes. This really will make a positive difference to the way in which we support our vulnerable tenants". Dave Coope - Home Group