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Wednesday, 16 October, 2002, 16:07 GMT 17:07 UK
Youth prison 'unsafe and overcrowded'
Huntercombe Young Offenders Institution
Huntercombe was called unsafe and overcrowded
A youth prison in south Oxfordshire has been heavily criticised by government inspectors.

Huntercombe Young Offenders Institution has been described as unsafe and overcrowded by the Prison Inspectorate

The report advised reducing the number of inmates at the establishment from about 360 to fewer than 200.

Officials at Huntercombe say improvements have been made since the inspection visit around a year ago.

Huge changes

The prison used to take 18 to 20-year-olds but now deals exclusively with under 17s.

David Waplington, the area manager for juvenile prisons, admits the change has caused some problems.

"Nobody expected the magnitude of the changes.

"We thought that Huntercombe, which is a very experienced establishment, would be able to respond," he said.


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