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Concern over 'weak' public protection at Suffolk prison

PUBLISHED: 00:00 05 March 2019 | UPDATED: 13:05 05 March 2019

Government inspectors have raised concerns about Hollesley Bay Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Government inspectors have raised concerns about Hollesley Bay Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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Inspectors have raised concerns about public protection at Hollesley Bay.

Hollesley Bay's latest inspectorate report has been released Picture: LUCY TAYLORHollesley Bay's latest inspectorate report has been released Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

The newly released report, while deeming the prison generally very safe, raised concerns about offenders who have been allowed into the community without restrictions.

Around 20% of the jail’s population were deemed high risk, about 10% had been 
assessed as presenting a medium or high risk to children and more than half (58%) had been convicted of a violent or drug-related offence.

Inspectors noted that prisoners who had potentially posed a 
risk to children had not been promptly assessed. While on site, the report noted that eight inmates continue to have risk assessments outstanding.

Of the eight men, two had already been allowed to stay overnight with family members when released on temporary licence.

Another man had not had his contact restrictions applied several months after being deemed as presenting a continuing risk to children and had spent time on temporary release.

The report recommended that multidisciplinary meetings be held to discuss a prisoner’s suitability to return to open conditions.

Overall the report described the public protection measures in place at the prison as “weak systematically”.

Chief inspector of prisons Peter Clarke said: “Of concern, and in contrast to much that was happening in the prison, public protection work was not good enough.”

As well as raising concerns about public protection, inspectors were also worried about drug misuse at the prison.

In particular the report noted that there were problems with cannabis, cocaine and steroids at the prison.

Of those interviewed during 
the visit, more than a third (37%) said it was easy to get drugs.

Michael Spurr, chief executive of Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service, said: “I welcome the Inspectorate’s positive assessment of Hollesley Bay as an effective open prison, doing impressive work to prepare men for resettlement, often after lengthy periods in custody.

“The new governor will 
develop this work further and the prison has already taken steps to improve public protection and implement the report’s recommendations.”

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