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Last Updated: Friday, 3 October, 2003, 06:59 GMT 07:59 UK
Prison no longer a 'dumping ground'
A jail, once referred to as a "dumping ground for prisoners", is well on its way to becoming an effective training ground for inmates, according to a government report.

Anne Owers, the chief inspector of prisons, said Stafford Prison was becoming an effective training prison, specialising in helping vulnerable prisoners and sex offenders.

Ms Owers' report said this was in stark contrast to the situation three years ago.

Inmates can now learn a variety of new skills from painting and decorating to waste recycling which then enables the prison service to find them a home and a job when they have served their sentence.

Considerable progress

"Stafford has improved even further since its last inspection," said Ms Owers.

"This positive report is a particular accolade for the governor and staff at Stafford because of the scale of change that was required."

Ms Owers described the prison as safe and calm and having "few instances of bullying or self harm".

There has been considerable progress in reducing the supply of drugs into the prison and in addressing drug treatment needs, she said.

But Ms Owers said there were still concerns over poor exercise facilities for prisoners and whether foreign prisoners were getting enough help.


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