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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 August 2006, 14:49 GMT 15:49 UK
Prison needs more work to be done
More work is needed at a West Midlands prison to bring it up to modern standards, inspectors have said.

HMP Featherstone, a training prison near Wolverhampton, remains overcrowded and has a poor environment, said Ann Owers, the chief inspector of prisons.

Other problems included poorly-managed strip searches and too many prisoners being locked in cells during the day.

However, there had been progress at the prison and the governor was trying to improve matters, inspectors said.

Neither we nor the governor are under any illusion as to the amount of work still required to modernise Featherstone
Ann Owers, chief inspector of prisons

There was a greater focus on prisoner safety, with improved induction, anti-bullying and suicide prevention procedures.

The report was published on Tuesday following an unannounced inspection at the category C training prison in March.

Ms Owers said: "Overall we record some progress in this inspection, but neither we nor the governor are under any illusion as to the amount of work still required to modernise Featherstone.

"Not all staff share the governor's sense of direction and he will require considerable support from senior managers to drive through necessary changes."

Phil Wheatley, director general of the Prison Service, said: "I am pleased that the chief inspector has recognised the improvements made at Featherstone since the previous inspection, particularly in anti-bullying and suicide prevention procedures.

"I accept there is more work that needs to be done."

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