Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 5°C

ESTD 1874 Search

WIN A NEW HYUNDAI i10 - See the EADT on June 8 for full details

Hollesley Bay: Open prison praised in independent report despite criticisms over escaped prisoners

08:55 06 May 2014

HM Prison Hollesley Bay.

HM Prison Hollesley Bay.

Archant

A Suffolk open prison facing scrutiny because a growing number of inmates have gone on the run has been praised for its improved performance in an independent report.

shares

The Independent Monitoring Board described Hollesley Bay, near Woodbridge, as a “well-managed establishment” which provides a “safe, humane and decent environment” for prisoners in its annual report.

David Smith, chairman of the board, said the prison was meeting its target in equipping prisoners with the right tools to facilitate their progress in successfully integrating back in to society.

It comes after drugs, bullying and a prison population crisis were blamed for the number of Hollesley Bay inmates going on the run almost doubling in the past three years.

Last month, the EADT reported how 25 prisoners either absconded or did not return from approved leave in 2012/13, an increase from 13 in 2010/11.

The Ministry of Justice research prompted Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey to pledge to seek answers.

However, the independent report said: “The prison continues to be run in a professional and positive way, providing a range of opportunities for learning, training and work, with all prisoners engaging in purposeful activity unless excused for medical or age reasons.”

All 214 prisoners granted home leave at Christmas and during the New Year celebrations returned in line with their licence conditions, the report found.

“This demonstrates that prisoners are reasonably content with conditions at the prison, its safe and respectful nature and, perhaps, the excellent opportunities available to them at Hollesley Bay,” the report said.

It said 12 inmates absconded in the calendar year of 2013.

However, Mr Smith said that last year between 800 and 1,000 prisoners would have stayed at Hollesley Bay, which can hold up to 434 inmates.

“Twelve is still 12 more than one wishes, but it is down in the 1% region,” he said.

“I am not minimising it in any way. Absconding is wrong and is a crime. Those who feel they can just stroll around and think they will not be brought to justice feel the full force of the law upon them.

“My understanding is that almost all absconders are caught within a short space of time. They are charged and sent to a closed jail.”

The report found 797 prisoners out of 870 (92%) successfully completed an educational course, including bricklaying, plumbing, business enterprise, IT, mathematics and English.

There are also more than 100 placements for voluntary and paid work in the community for Hollesley Bay prisoners. Some obtained full or part-time work upon release following the Paid Working Out scheme.

Work including cleaning, general maintenance and driving is available to more than 300 prisoners each day, while “fine examples” of critical life-saving care was administered by prison staff and prisoners in a “number of instances”, the report said.

However, there were “hints” that bullying or related threats had prompted some prisoners to abscond, while concerns were raised over the incorrect deliveries of pharmacy supplies, a failure to properly utilise horticultural facilities and “unappetising baguettes” at lunch.

Mr Smith added: “We don’t just curl up and say everything is wonderful. We encourage them to make modest, small improvements. These are gauged when we visit almost every week and suggest changes.”

He urged anyone interested in becoming a member of the Independent Monitoring Board to call 01394 412435.

shares

1 comment

  • This subject is obviously a hot potato at the moment but look at the stats. 214 granted Christmas and New Year home leave and all returned to complete their term. The term "absconded" is used a lot but in truth it should really be "failed to return after homeday release". Many prisoners are released on the early release system and then electronically tagged on an evening curfew system. Most of them keep to the curfew, knowing any breach will put them back inside. It is the few that buck the system that make the headlines.

    Report this comment

    The original Victor Meldrew

    Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Suffolk show day 2
Another beautiful day at the Suffolk show

Could a record-breaking Suffolk Show be heading to break even for the first time in years?

Interbreed sheep supreme champion judging

There is no hiding the broad smiles on the faces of the organisers of the Suffolk Show this afternoon.

Emergency services at the scene of the fatal crash near Rougham

A teenager who died following a crash on the A14 near Rougham on Tuesday has been named as John Walsh.

Travellers on St Andrew's long stay car park, Bury St Edmunds.

Travellers have moved onto a Bury St Edmunds town centre car park which is already covered by an injunction to prevent illegal encampments.

The collision on the A14 in Girton

Police have stopped motorists who have been filming or taking pictures of a crash site on the A14 that involved four lorries and a car.

Judging takes place for the Suffolk Agricultural Association and Young Farmers Stockpersons competition, in memory of Charlotte Cobbald.

Young Farmers from across Suffolk and north Essex today took part in a new competition created to celebrate the life of Charlotte Cobbald, who died last year at the age of 17.

Two Rivers Medical Centre

Work to create a £6million state-of-the-art medical centre in Ipswich is set to get under way next month, it has been revealed.

Visitors got to take part in a range of activities in the sports village at the Suffolk Show 2015. The Ipswich Handball Club.

Get active, be active and stay active.

Daryl Fruen with Rocky the continental giant

My best in show by a clear mile had to be Rocky, the award-winning continental giant rabbit.

Library image of a police car.

A five vehicle collision on the A14 is caused severe delays for motorists heading to the Suffolk Show earlier this morning.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages