Page last updated at 08:57 GMT, Tuesday, 26 August 2008 09:57 UK

Prisoner resettlement criticised

Nottingham Prison
The city council says it aims to work with prisoners prior to release

A prison watchdog has criticised the way inmates leaving Nottingham Prison are rehoused.

The Gateway Project, run by Nottingham City Council, helps to provide housing for released prisoners.

But the prison's Independent Monitoring Board said it needed to offer inmates assistance earlier in the process.

The city council said it was working with prison authorities over rehousing and aimed to ensure prisoners' needs were addressed prior to release.

The board also said in its annual report that the jail was operating fairly well despite overcrowding.

Emergency beds

"We are concerned that prisoners are not able to arrange their accommodation well in advance of their release," board chairman Julian Ellis said.

"If a prisoner wants to live in a different part of Nottingham to get away from his bad influences in the past - if he doesn't know where he is going to live - he is likely to go back to all his old chums and enter back into his drug-taking and other offending ways."

The report said it was also still concerned about inmates obtaining drugs and mobile phones inside the prison.

A parcel containing drugs with a street value of 1,300 was thrown over the prison wall, Mr Ellis said.

Nottingham City Council said its Nottingham City Supporting People operated a Prison Link service to ensure prisoners' resettlement needs were addressed.

Its homeless prevention officers routinely visited Nottingham Prison to undertake needs assessments of prisoners prior to release, a spokesman said.

"Discussions are currently ongoing with these partners to ensure that emergency bed spaces will always be available to prisoners on release if necessary."


The city council is working with prison authorities over rehousing

Cash shortfall delays prison plan
25 Jan 07 |  Nottinghamshire
Prison wing area could be reused
17 Oct 06 |  Nottinghamshire
Prison criticised in new report
31 Jul 06 |  Nottinghamshire


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