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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 September, 2004, 14:26 GMT 15:26 UK
Strangeways and its image problem
Strangeways demonstration
The prison was rebuilt after the 25-day riot by prisoners in 1990
Manchester Prison, formerly known as Strangeways, hit the headlines in 1990 when a riot ended after a siege lasting 25 days.

Starting in the chapel, the violence claimed the lives of two men and caused damage put at 66m.

Its then governor spoke of "an explosion of evil" as images of a rooftop protest dominated the news.

Although rebuilt at a cost of 55m and even renamed, to most people the prison will always be known as Strangeways.

In 2000, the then governor John Smith said the jail was no longer a "penal dustbin" which saw inmates locked up for 23 hours a day with no access to sanitation in their cells.

But in 2002 inspectors condemned staffing levels there as "unsafe" following cuts of 30% in the workforce.

Work and training

In a report, the Chief Inspector of Prisons Anne Owers also said some prisoners were kept in "degrading conditions", sharing one-man cells with unscreened toilets.

Built in the Napoleonic era, at the time of the 1990 riot the jail contained 1,647 prisoners in accommodation designed for only 970.

The prison takes people jailed and remanded in custody by courts in the Greater Manchester area.

The current regime, with an operational capacity of 1269, includes both full and part time education classes.

Training and work is provided in the workshops and laundry, farms and gardens and the works departments.

There are courses in anger management, alcohol awareness, improving coping skills and courses for prisoners convicted of sex offences.

Two inmates found dead at prison
04 Sep 04  |  Manchester
Inmate death at Strangeways
02 Jul 03  |  Manchester
Prison staff levels 'unsafe'
30 Jul 02  |  England

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