Prison is safer for inmates now

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The Doncaster jail where an inmate was found hanged last weekend has been praised by inspectors for making improvements in safety.

HMP Lindholme was visited by prison inspectors before the apparent suicide of the Manchester man, who had been convicted of murdering a woman in a street row over litter.

Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons, publishing the report of an unannounced inspection of Lindholme today, said there had been improvements since the last major inspection and it now provided plenty of purposeful activity.

Lindholme, which opened in 1985 on the former RAF base, is the largest category C training prison in the country and also has responsibility for the adjacent immigration removal centre.

A previous inspection showed significant shortfalls in safety but the latest inspection found a much safer establishment which was ‘busy and purposeful’, although a number of areas were said to require further improvement.

Inspectors said they were pleased to find there was good care for those at risk of self-harm and a robust approach to violence and bullying. Security had also improved, reflected in a reduction in the levels of substance misuse.

Staff-prisoner relationships were positive, 90 per cent of inmates were engaged in some form of purposeful activity and there was a reasonable amount of work and vocational training and good education provision was available.

But inspectors were concerned to find that a combination of limited resources and staff absences had impacted on some aspects of diversity, there remained a need to reinforce the strategic management of resettlement and the quality of catering was poor.

Mr Hardwick said: “Commendably, staff and managers had addressed most of the weaknesses in safety that had concerned us on our previous inspection. The overall picture is one of solid progress.”