Prison ‘too harsh’ on inmates, says report

Prison guards have been told to issue convicts with free condoms and call them by their first names, for fear of being ‘too harsh’ on inmates.

A report by Her Majesty’s Inspector of Prisons also said prisoners at Bullingdon Prison in Oxfordshire should be served their evening meals later in the day, to stop them feeling hungry overnight.

 

The Prison Officers’ Association reacted angrily to the recommendations, drawn up after an inspection in January.

 

Glynn Travis, spokesman for the POA said: “I don’t think we can keep control of violent prisoners by calling them by their first name.”

 

Among 200 recommendations made to improve the running of the prison, was the suggestion that complaints about prison food should be dealt with more quickly.

 

The report added that inmates should be allowed to choose whether they are addressed by their first name, or surname and title.

 

It recommended that more prisoners should be given gym inductions, and suggested inmates be given more time outside their cells, and have anonymous access to condoms.

 

Among other issues raised by inmates were cramped conditions in shared cells, mundane training and lack of space in the library.

 

Mr Travis added: “Rather than criticise officers for their use of force, the inspectors should look at the underlying problems

 

“There is more and more violence at prisons because of a lack of staff. There are major problems with overcrowding and prisoners who shouldn’t be there.”

 

Bullingdon’s governor, Phil Taylor, denied his prison was too tough on inmates.

 

He said: “Sanctions are in place for those prisoners who break rules – I don’t think we’re too hard on them. I think we have a balanced approach, which helps protect the public and reduces reoffending.

 

“I don’t believe our prison is a soft option either. I have seen draconian prisons and very liberal prisons and we’re somewhere in the middle. We welcome the inspectors’ report.”

source: http://www.worldpress.org/feed.cfm?http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2503119/Prison-too-harsh-on-inmates-says-report.html

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