Prison pepper spray plan risks inmate safety, rights body says
Use of Pava by prison officers could cause pain and serious injury, UK watchdog says
By Jamie Grierson and Damien Gayle 9 Oct, 2018
The rollout of pepper spray to prison officers across England and Wales puts inmates at risk of inhumane treatment, the head of the UK's human rights watchdog has said.
David Isaac, the chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), said the use of Pava, a synthetic incapacitant pepper spray, to control behaviour in jails could cause pain and serious injury.
Rory Stewart, the prisons minister, announced on Tuesday that money would be spent on arming every officer in adult jails with Pava, after a pilot by the Prison Service.
Isaac said: "We understand that prison officers need methods to protect themselves and other prisoners but such protections must not be at the expense of the basic rights of prisoners. Everyone has the right to live without fear of inhumane treatment, and the use of Pava spray in a detention environment is a way of controlling behaviour that causes pain and can seriously injure."
Can football clubs help stop prisoners reoffending?
"A blessing that landed at my feet" - that's how Andrew describes the football coaching course he enrolled in during his time at Brixton Prison.
By Katie Wright 31 Oct, 2018
the 45-year-old, from north London - whose surname we've chosen not to reveal - was sentenced to five years in jail in 2015 for drug dealing.
Andrew says he was reaching crisis point as his release date neared - until Fulham's course came along.
"I love football, I play it all the time. At my age what a wonderful opportunity, because I couldn't think of a job I could see myself fitting into at this time of my life," he says.
"I'm not really that good at anything. I've got no qualifications. I couldn't see myself sitting in an office. This course was brilliant."
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'I was treated like dirt': Former prison officer reveals how working conditions forced her to leave service
'I was told if you're not happy here, there's the door. There was no support, I'd never been so excited about a job but I came out of it feeling so hateful towards the service'
By May Bulman 30 Aug, 2018
Tess Wale had wanted to become a prison officer for years. At the age of 39, after having children, she was finally able to do the 10-week training course and qualify. On 29 May 2017, she drove to HMP Long Lartin in Worcestershire for her first shift.
The Birmingham resident arrived on her first day to find that nobody was aware it was her start date. She was told to go home. On the second day, she was given a brief induction and sent straight to the wing.
"For my first few days on the wing, I didn't have any protection. I had no baton," she tells The Independent. "I was walking around with inmates who were in there for life for whatever crimes they had committed, without any form of protection."
HMP Lindholme prison officer 'strangled unconscious' by inmate
A prison officer was left unconscious after he was "strangled" by an inmate, a union has said.
By BBC NEWS 12 Oct, 2018
He was one of two officers assaulted in separate attacks at HMP Lindholme in Doncaster on Thursday night, the Prison Officers' Association (POA) said.
The other officer was "punched in the throat" and was recovering at home, POA chairman Mark Fairhurst said.
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) confirmed a worker at the jail was attacked and an inmate had been segregated.
Following the attacks, staff refused to go back into the category C jail and staged a protest.
The POA said one of the officers "was strangled to the point of unconsciousness".
"Despite the seriousness of these unprovoked assaults the prisoners had to be put back in their own cells as the segregation unit was full, emphasising the problems at Lindholme," it said.
Prison officer jailed for smuggling ₤10,000 of drugs
Claire Bennett, 44, also leaked prison intelligence to inmates at HM Young Offender Institution in Aylesbury.
By BBC NEWS 8 Nov, 2018
A prison officer who smuggled in ₤10,000 of drugs has been jailed for six-and-a-half years.
At Aylesbury Crown Court, Bennett, of Hailsham, East Sussex, admitted misconduct in a public office and offences relating to supplying drugs to prisoners.
Thames Valley Police said her conduct "compromised safety" at the prison.
Bennett, of Sandbanks Close, admitted one count of misconduct in a public office, one count of supplying a controlled drug of class B, one count of possessing a controlled drug of class B and one count of conveying a list 'A' prohibited article into/out of a prison.
PC Maureen Moore, from the Thames Valley Police prison investigation team, said the officer's actions "jeopardised the safe running of the wings".
She added: "Bennett knowingly brought drugs into the prison which causes danger and violence to both prisoners and officers alike.
"Her conduct severely compromised the safety of staff and visitors to the prison."
Prisons minister Rory Stewart MP said he was "pleased" to see Bennett receive a "significant sentence".
He added: "Corrupt and criminal activity like this undermines a whole prison and puts our hard-working staff at risk."
Government reveals second new prison in England to be privately run
HMP Glen Parva in Leicestershire and HMP Wellingborough will be built using public capital
By Jamie Grierson 6 Nov, 2018
Two new jails announced by the government are to be privately run, it has emerged, as the role of profit-making prisons comes under increased scrutiny after the crisis at the formerly G4S-operated HMP Birmingham.
In a parliamentary written answer, the prisons minister, Rory Stewart, confirmed that HMP Glen Parva in Leicestershire will be privately run.
the MoJ previously said a new jail - HMP Wellingborough - would be privately run. Both prisons will be built using public capital.
In August, ministers were forced to take the operation of HMP Birmingham away from G4S while public sector officials attempted to restore order to the prison. High levels of violence, drug use and self-harm had prompted the chief inspector of prisons to issue an urgent notification process to the justice secretary. This is the most severe course of action available to the inspector.
The shadow justice secretary, Richard Burgon, who tabled a written question asking if the new prisons would be privately run, said: "Just how bad does it have to get until the government ends its obsession with the private sector running huge swathes of our justice system in order to make a quick profit?
"This summer two flagship justice privatisations ran aground, with HMP Birmingham brought back under public control and the government forced to end the private probation contracts early. But the Tories refuse to learn the lessons.