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Inmates ‘pushed into drug actions’ in a violent London jail, warns watchdog


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nmates in a London jail say it’s laborious to keep away from being pushed into drug-related actions and that they’re afraid of gang assaults regardless of “promising” reforms to chop violence, a watchdog says in the present day.  

The Unbiased Monitoring Board for Wormwood Scrubs says that the issues are attributable to the “simple availability” of illicit substances throughout the jail which the set up of a physique scanner and different know-how has but to halt.  It says that different encouraging measures taken by the jail together with the everlasting stationing inside a police officer to pursue investigations and an anti-knife crime scheme for inmates.  But it surely warns that 40 per cent of inmates have reported feeling unsafe due to gang exercise and issues of debt and in addition discloses that an rising variety of assaults at the moment are happening in showers and different locations past the view of  CCTV.  

The findings come within the board’s annual report on the west London jail, which homes round 1,00O prisoners starting from younger males to a handful of inmates aged over 70.  

It says that there have been greater than 500 violent incidents, together with 452 assaults, through the 12 months lined by its report’with a decline in clashes later within the interval when coronavirus restrictions had been in place.  

The board says that it hopes that the downward momentum could be maintained and praises initiatives  to scale back violence and the introduction of recent airport type safety know-how to attempt to detect medicine being smuggled in. Employees numbers have additionally elevated.  

However the board says that regardless of this the “simple availability of medicine throughout the jail stays a critical situation” and “is a driver for violence, intimidation and gang-related exercise on the wings.”

Its report provides: “Prisoners have advised the Board that it’s troublesome to keep away from being pushed into drug-related actions, and that they’re afraid of drug-related gang violence.”

It additionally quotes a survey which discovered that “40% of prisoners .. mentioned that they felt unsafe or fairly unsafe.”’with “gang-related points and debt”’ the principle causes of violence.  

“As in earlier years, prisoners advised the Board that they’re afraid of weapons and violence on the wings, and that violence could be laborious to keep away from,” the report provides.  

“The Board is anxious that an rising variety of prisoner-on-prisoner assaults are in cells and different areas, corresponding to showers, away from CCTV.”

Wormwood Scrubs was one among ten jails nationwide included in a violence and drug discount undertaking arrange by the previous prisons minister Rory Stewart. Issues at most declined through the undertaking’s operation however rose at Wormwood Scrubs. Immediately’s report expresses optimism, nevertheless, that a few of the measures may result in enhancements over the approaching months, though it emphasises that it’s too quickly to say whether or not this would be the case.  



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