Page last updated at 00:51 GMT, Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Progress at HMP Liverpool 'has stalled' says watchdog

HMP Liverpool
Key issues still need to be tackled at the jail, the report found

Drugs, violence and bullying are still rife at HMP Liverpool despite its attempts to improve, an inspection by a prison watchdog has revealed.

Progress at the Walton jail, which has been blighted by strikes by staff and complaints from inmates, has "stalled".

HM Inspectorate of Prisons said it "was a better prison than four years ago" but areas still needed tackling.

Government body the National Offender Management Service said "good work had been done by a large number of staff".

Dame Anne Owers, Chief Inspector of Prisons who compiled the report, said HMP Liverpool had worked hard to prevent the entry of drugs but prisoners still said they were too readily available.

Connected to this were problems of violence and bullying, while reception and first night procedures were not working effectively.

More than half the prisoners said they had felt unsafe in the prison and there was a "glaring gap" in the absence of effective drug or alcohol treatment.

The role of staff in supporting prisoners and tackling inappropriate behaviour was also underdeveloped.

'Still more to do'

However, the segregation unit was well run and use of force was low and well monitored.

The prison was much cleaner and better kept than at earlier inspections, although some cells were unfit for use and the quality of much of the education and some workshops was "commendable".

Dame Anne said: "This inspection confirmed that Liverpool remained a better prison than it was four years ago, but it also showed that further hoped-for progress had not yet been achieved.

Officers on a picket line outside HMP Liverpool
Staff at HMP Liverpool staged two days of unofficial strike action

"Simply maintaining standards in a prison with a transitory population, exacerbated by overcrowding drafts from the West Midlands, is not easy and has required considerable effort.

"However, some of the key issues identified at the last inspection had still not been tackled."

Phil Wheatley, director general of the National Offender Management Service, added: "I am pleased that the chief inspector recognises the improvements made at HMP Liverpool despite the large and transitory population it holds.

"This progress is a result of the leadership of the governor and good work done by a large number of staff at the prison.

"The chief inspector rightly highlights that in spite of the progress made there is still more to do and we are committed to further improve the prison within the resources available."

The large prison, which has more than 1,000 inmates, was thrown into turmoil in November when hundreds of prison officers staged two days of unofficial strike action over claims of bullying from senior managers.

Print Sponsor

Prison officers' strike is over
18 Nov 09 |  Merseyside
Prison officers' strike spreads
18 Nov 09 |  Merseyside
Jail staff in unofficial walkout
17 Nov 09 |  Merseyside
Merseyside prisoners freed early
29 Jun 07 |  Merseyside
Two deaths in three days at jail
15 Jun 05 |  Merseyside

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific