Page last updated at 13:32 GMT, Friday, 12 September 2008 14:32 UK

Restrictions put on jail parties

Holloway prison
Inmates at the women's prison include convicted murderers

Restrictions on parties in prisons have been announced after a newspaper published photos of a "horror" theme party at London's Holloway jail.

The pictures, which appeared in the Sun, showed women prisoners in Hallowe'en-style outfits in 2007.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said the party was "completely unacceptable".

A spokeswoman said Justice Secretary Jack Straw had ordered that such events "won't happen again at Holloway or any other prison" in England and Wales.

Fancy dress

"The event last year wasn't justified," the spokeswoman said.

The ban would apply to events which were "out of normal routine and with absolutely no justification," she added.

The pictures show women in fancy dress including vampire, witch and devil costumes. Some are daubed with fake blood.

Inmates at the women's prison in north London include convicted murderers.

But the Ministry of Justice would not confirm the Sun's claim that the party was held in Holloway's Life Sentence Unit.

Brian Caton, general secretary of the Prison Officers Association, said the story did little for the "credibility of either the prison governor, [or] the prison staff".

He told the BBC: "It doesn't do anything as far as I can see on the rehabilitation or the safe custody of prisoners. It just seems to me plainly stupid."

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