[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 November, 2003, 21:01 GMT
Prison has race problems
A high security prison near Worcestershire has "no clear direction on race relations," according to the chief inspector of prisons.

Anne Owers said Long Lartin prison, near Evesham, Worcestershire - one of five Category A prisons in England and Wales - was generally safe for inmates and offered good staff-prisoner relations and reoffending work.

But this "masked some serious deficiencies" in areas such as race relations.

Race monitoring data was unreliable, while inspectors detected "underlying tension" among prisoners and a lack of confidence among staff and managers.

These are deficits we would criticise in a hard-pressed local prison - they are difficult to excuse in the best-resourced and most stable part of the prison estate.
Anne Owers, chief inspector of prisons

Although 28% of Long Lartin's prisoners were black or Asian, there was "no clear direction or strategy" on race relations.

Ms Owers also said only a quarter of the activity spaces for prisoners had been filled which meant many prisoners who should have been working were locked up.

"These are deficits we would criticise in a hard-pressed local prison - they are difficult to excuse in the best-resourced and most stable part of the prison estate," she said.

Ms Owers praised the well-developed suicide and self-harm prevention policies, reintegration and public protection work and "excellent" offending behaviour programmes.

The drug treatment team, however, was overloaded and understaffed with eight out of 10 inmates claiming it was easy to get hold of drugs in the jail.

Making 86 recommendations for improvement, Ms Owers said: "Overall, Long Lartin was a safe and comfortable prison for its staff and most of its prisoners, which is no mean achievement given the nature of its prisoner population."


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific