PRISONERS at HMP High Down in Surrey were able to contact victims or potential victims without the fear of being detected, the prisons watchdog warned today.
HM Inspectorate of Prisons said public protection risk assessments to determine whether inmates’ mail and phone calls should be monitored were “not routinely completed for new arrivals” at the Surrey jail.
Inspectors found that “one high-risk prisoner who should have had his letters monitored had been missed over recent weeks and there was evidence of him regularly contacting a vulnerable person in the community.”
Levels of violence had increased at the jail since the last inspection in 2015, which chief inspector of prisons Peter Clarke said was largely due to “the ready availability of illicit drugs.”
But he said his greatest concern was about the lack of purposeful activity for prisoners, which was directly related to the uncertainty over the prison’s future.
The report said that there had been plans to make High Down, currently a category-B prison, a category-C training prison this year.
But Mr Clarke said that when he asked “if this was definitely going to happen and what the plans were to enable it to do so, no-one could give me a clear answer. They simply did not know.
“This, I was told, was because they had not been given any more detail by Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service. This was extraordinary.”
Mr Clarke said the prison’s senior leadership needed to be given clarity over the future of the jail so that they could focus on introducing “a better regime that allows more prisoners out of their cells to gain access to education and work.”
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.