Page last updated at 12:48 GMT, Friday, 26 September 2008 13:48 UK

'Inmates improve' in 42m prison

Prisoners leave Victoria Road
Inmates moved from Victoria Road last month.

Young offenders on the Isle of Man are better behaved since their move to the new 41.7m prison, its governor says.

Inmates finally moved to Jurby prison last month after a dispute over prison officers' relocation expenses delayed the population transfer.

The Department of Home Affairs has said staff and prisoners are now settling in well to their new surroundings.

Its 5.2m (17ft) perimeter wall has also reduced the number of drugs getting into the prison, officials claim.

The government say the new building offered a better workplace for officers and more chances of rehabilitation for offenders.

Public tours

Prison governor Alison Gomme said: "Members of staff have shown great professionalism and I have also been encouraged by how well the prisoners have settled in - particularly the young offenders who have been more organised and co-operative since arriving at Jurby.

"The working environment is a marked improvement on Victoria Road, the cells are more hygienic and prisoners now have more opportunities to make positive changes to their personal circumstances in terms of education and rehabilitation."

An education programme is being run in the prison by Isle of Man College in a bid to improve literacy and numeracy of inmates.

Authorities hope the programme will boost their job prospects upon release and reduce the chance of re-offending.

The new prison has 138 cells and was officially opened in April 2008, although inmates did not move until 14 August.

Now it has closed, public tours are to take place of the island's old 19th Century jail in Douglas.

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