Page last updated at 08:00 GMT, Wednesday, 2 April 2008 09:00 UK

Inmates not receiving reform help

HMP Gloucester
Staff prisoner relations at the prison are generally good

Prisoners at HMP Gloucester are not being given the support needed to reform because money is being diverted to building extra prison places.

A new report into the running of the jail awarded it the "most improved prison" status in 2007.

But the Independent Monitoring Board also highlighted a number of concerns.

The report said: "Prisoners are failing to receive the facilities to reform because of funding being diverted to the building of extra prison places."

It also points out young offenders are continuing to be housed there despite the prison not having suitable activities for them.

Mental health

The report goes on to highlight a "log-jam" whereby prisoners have to stay too long at the prison "with its limited facilities" rather than transferring elsewhere to start on programmes for their rehabilitation.

IMB Chair Mary Robinson said: "HMP Gloucester is run efficiently by a dedicated staff.

"Staff prisoner relations are generally good and the Board has been particularly pleased to note that black and ethnic minority prisoners give positive feedback to questions about their treatment.

"There was a very professional response to the emergency situation caused by the floods in July 2007."

The prison is also praised for the way staff treat inmates "humanely and fairly".

Buy it also points to the high number of inmates with mental health issues. More than 300 referrals were made to the mental health "in-reach" team during 2007.

It goes on to say: "Prisoners who have been assessed as requiring psychiatric admission to hospital are frequently denied access because of a lack of places".

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