Hollesley: New governor for Hollesley Bay prison

Bev Bevan.

Bev Bevan. - Credit: Archant

Hollesley Bay open prison is to have a new governor as a result of its merger with former young offenders’ institution Warren Hill.

Following a selection process Bev Bevan, governor of HMP Warren Hill, has been chosen as the new head of the prison, ahead of Declan Moore, the governor of Hollesley Bay.

The Prison Service has confirmed the appointment.

A spokeswoman said: “The merging of Warren Hill and Hollesley Bay prisons into a single establishment will contribute significantly to our plans to make the prison system more effective and efficient for taxpayers.

“The process will be led by Bev Bevan, Governor of HMP Warren Hill, supported by Declan Moore, Governor of HMP Hollesley Bay.”

The Prison Service said it was unable to comment on whether Mr Moore would remain at the prison in the longer term.

February this year saw the arrival of the first new adult inmates at Warren Hill, Hollesley, since the Government announced sweeping changes to the prison system last September.

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Opened in 1982 to house Category C young offenders in closed conditions, Warren Hill was one of several jails chosen by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) for a ‘reroll’ as part of plans to save the taxpayer more than £500m.

The first adult prisoners to arrive at Warren Hill were part of a ‘Therapeutic Community’ previously based at Blundeston near Lowestoft.

Ms Bevan, who took over as governing governor at Warren Hill in 2011, said the reroll would enable the prison to become a Therapeutic Community, where prisoners are challenged in terms of their offending and to work within the boundaries of a community group.

She added it was a challenging environment for prisoners to address the experiences that have impacted on their lives.

Therapeutic Communities are said to have been used successfully at prisons in Buckinghamshire and Staffordshire.

Earlier this month Hollesley Bay open prison came in for criticism before Parliament’s Justice Select Committee from a former inmate whose published prison diaries In It and On It about his time inside the jail.

Jonathan Robinson, a former helicopter pilot, served out a majority of his jail term at Hollesley Bay after being imprisoned for 15 months for theft by employee.

Mr Robinson was qualified as a mentor for the Toe By Toe scheme, which helps illiterate inmates to read and write. He said he was prohibited from mentoring two fellow prisoners in 2011 by the Government-contracted education provider A4e.

After the committee’s session A4e said it was “extremely disappointed” over Mr Robinson’s evidence that it had obstructed the rehabilitation of prisoners at Hollesley Bay.

It added: “A4e has a strong record of delivering education at HMP Hollesley Bay.”