A PRIVATE prison has become the first women’s jail in years to be declared unsafe.
In a damning report published today, HM Inspectorate of Prisons found that safety at HMP Peterborough was “not sufficiently good.”
Inmates felt intimidated by verbal bullying and anti-social behaviour, inspectors found. There was too much use of force and strip searches.
Safety was classified “reasonably good” at the previous inspection in 2014, but matters had gotten worse when inspectors returned in September.
HMP Peterborough is run by outsourcing giant Sodexo. It is the only prison in England and Wales to hold men and women on the same site.
There have been increasing numbers of violent incidents as the number of prison guards has been cut. So far the focus has been on men’s prisons.
Inspectors raised concerns that instability on the male side was affecting Peterborough’s ability to focus sufficiently on the relatively more settled female prison.
Chief Inspector of Prisons Peter Clarke said his team’s safety verdict was “far more negative” than before.
“We were particularly concerned about safety and this is the first women’s prison in several years to have been assessed as ‘not sufficiently good’ in this area,” he said.
Labour shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon MP said: “Inspectors have raised serious concerns so we need the government to give us assurances that profit is not being put before women prisoners’ safety.”
HM Prison & Probation Service chief executive Michael Spurr insisted Sodexo has responded “swiftly and positively” to the inspection report.
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.