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Last Updated: Friday, 3 December, 2004, 06:21 GMT
Resettlement jail 'not effective'
Standford Hill Prison
The Chief Inspector of Prisons said the findings were "disappointing"
A resettlement prison in Kent is not effective and does not offer inmates worthwhile skills, a report has found.

Standford Hill in Sheerness was also criticised for the activities offered to prisoners in the report which came after an unannounced inspection.

But the government inspectors did find "significant" progress had been made in safety and respect - issues found to be failing in a previous inspection.

The Chief Inspector of Prisons said the results were "disappointing".

Curriculum narrow

"The last inspection recorded failings in may areas of safety, respect, purposeful activity and resettlement, "said Anne Owers.

"This inspection commends the significant progress made in the areas of safety and respect.

"However, it is disappointing there has not been sufficient progress in relation to activities and resettlement - the two areas that are central to Sandford Hill's role.

"The prison still failed to offer worthwhile skills or meaningful work to the majority of prisoners," she said.

Areas underachieving

Education had improved slightly but attendance was poor and the curriculum narrow, said Mrs Owers.

"Most of the resettlement areas inspected were underachieving and needed close managerial attention," she said.

Praise was given in the report for good suicide and anti-bullying systems and the healthcare provision was deemed excellent.

Phil Wheatley, director general of the prison service, said the prison was already working to improve activities and resettlement and a review of education and training was under way.

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