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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 February, 2004, 07:26 GMT
Prison's drugs and rat problems
Protest at Wealstun prison
Inmates climbed to the prison roof in June 2003
A West Yorkshire prison has been criticised for being mouldy, damp and infested with rats.

In a report, the Chief Inspector of Prisons, Anne Owers, makes 135 recommendations for improvements to Wealstun jail near Wetherby.

Ms Owers also says inmates told her inspectors that drugs were freely available.

Wealstun is a low security prison with 700 inmates. There was a serious disturbance at the jail in June 2003.

'Difficult period'

The report says in parts of Wealstun there is no alarm system, basic repairs have been neglected and windows are smashed or missing.

"Mould was evident in the toilet and shower areas and the building was damp and totally neglected," the inspectors report.

"In addition, there was considerable evidence that the building was infested with rats."

Director General of the Prison Service Phil Wheatley said the jail had suffered a "difficult period".

On poor living conditions, he said: "It is acknowledged that much work has to be done in this area.

He went on to say that four new accommodation units are to be built.

This will allow the demolition of the units that caused the inspection team greatest concern.

Prison rooftop protest ends
04 Jun 03  |  West Yorkshire

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