Drugs and indiscipline concerns at prison

Drugs, indiscipline, security and healthcare at Ranby Prison are just some of the areas that have received criticism in an annual report.

The Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) highlighted 14 areas of concern following its review into the prison between 1st April 2010 and 31st March 2011.

Only three topics - including workshops and the care and separation unit - were deemed as being areas of provision.

The report said it has ‘grave concerns’ with the mental health issues that exist in the prison and impact greatly on the safety and security of prisoners and staff

The IMB said there were various problems relating to discipline and security and that is has ‘major concerns’ about the volume of drugs entering the prison.

Issues relating the illegal drugs getting through the security system leads the IMB to other significant concerns connected with discipline and the safety of all prisoners.

The IMB once again stressed its concern over the A wing, which does not have clear observation over the ‘spurs’ at night and no in-cell toilets.

It was pleased the B wing being demolished, but felt the movement of prisoners to other wings which entailed ‘doubling up’ left them with some concerns.

Healthcare also continued to be of serious concern for the board.

According to the report there has been no optician or dentist at the prison for a considerable period and as a consequence, prisoners have suffered unnecessary discomfort.

There was also concerns with the difficulties the prison has with transferring prisoners once their transfer has been approved, especially because the preservation of family ties is known to be a fundamental part to a prisoner’s progress towards effective resettlement.

Other concerns raised included issues regarding the chaplaincy, prisoners property and visitors area.

There were more positive feedback about the new educational developments and opportunities provided for prisoners to gain useful qualifications and the use of the library.

The IMB is made up of members of the community and have been appointed by the Secretary of State.

It reports annually to the Secretary of State on how well the prison has met the standards and requirements placed on it and what impact these have on those in its custody.

A Prison Service spokesman said: “We await the report from the Independent Monitoring Board, which will be fully considered by Ministers.”

“We will respond to the board in due course.”

Prison governor Louise Taylor was unavailable for comment this week.

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