In the constant battle between prison security and criminal gangs supplying contraband to the inmates in prison a new trick was uncovered: dead rats filled with drugs were discovered inside the perimeter fence at HMP Guys Marsh in Dorset.
This is the first time an attempt of this kind has been recorded. Prison officers looking closely at the rats noticed they had stitches along their stomachs and opened the rats up. Inside the carcasses they found five mobile phones, chargers, three SIM cards and drugs including Spice and Cannabis.
Sources suggest the rats were thrown over the perimeter fence by organised criminals and coordinated with a person or persons on the inside who were just waiting to collect the rats. If it wasn’t for the sharp eyes of the officers the rats would have been found and the drugs distributed in the prison.
Prisons Minister, Rory Stewart said “Drugs and mobile phones behind bars put prisoners, prison officers and the public at risk.”
In the past tennis balls and pigeons have been used to smuggle in drugs and other contraband, rats is a new low and shows how desperate the criminals are becoming.
Princess Anne Presents HMP Parc Manager with Prestigious Award.
Hayley Morris, a prison manager at HMP Parc in Bridgend was presented with a prestigious award from the Butler Trust, for her pioneering family –focused work. The awards, now in their 34th year, recognise exceptional work by staff and volunteers throughout the UK prison estate and probation service.
Four hundred prison staff were nominated for the ten awards given out each year. This year they were presented at Saint James’ Palace, by the trust’s patron, the Princess Royal. Over 200 people, including Prisons Minister, Rory Stewart, and Justice Secretary, David Gauke attended the award ceremony.
After the presentation there was afternoon tea in the Palace state rooms where Hayley and her fellow winners were joined by the Princess.
Simon Shepherd, director of the Trust, said: “Behind all the headlines, and hidden from view, is an unsung army of criminal justice workers and volunteers doing difficult, demanding and highly skilled work with some of the most challenging people in society. Our awards are a way of saying a very public thank you to some of the most outstanding of them. This year’s winners are as outstanding as ever.”
HMP Nottingham’s construction course received a boost this week when the Nottinghamshire Police donated much needed hand-tools. The construction course is part of the prisons attempt to rehabilitate prisoners before release.
Nottinghamshire Police work with a number of organisations to donate seized items that have been written off in line with the Police Property Act legislation. The current scheme with the prison was set up in July last year and appears to be successful.
The police received written thank you letters from the prisoners to show their appreciation for the scheme as it has really helped some inmates move on with their lives.
Education Manager for HMP Nottingham Tracey Morley said: “I would also like to take this opportunity to personally thank Nottinghamshire Police for their continued support with the course.
Treatment of BAME Groups in Prison has Deteriorated Considerably Since Last Review.
The author of a major review into the treatment of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups in Britain’s prisons has said things have got “considerably worse” since the review was written in September 2017.
David Lammy conducted the review for the Ministry of Justice, the review found that black people were FOUR times more likely to be in prison than should be expected given their percentage of the total population of the UK. The review clearly showed that BAME groups face bias in parts of the justice system. Lammy recommended that several steps be taken to rectify this failing. This week he thoroughly lambasted the government for not working hard enough to implement the reforms.
After the review the government pledged to “promote better understanding and improve practice.” He said that today 51% of the youth prison population is from BAME backgrounds and thus it would be ludicrous to suggest things had got better. This statistic is shocking when you look at the population as a whole.
These BAME youths are also more likely than white youths to get maximum sentences. Their rate of reoffending is also one of the highest in the system. Clearly, something is going badly wrong in the system for these groups of people.
- The report commented on the lack of diversity in the Judiciary, the lack of transparency in the Gangs Matrix and a shortage of BAME prison governors as reasons contributing to the problem, and accused the government of “complacency” addressing these issues.
- Lord Lammy said it was clear ‘institutionalized Racism was alive and well in Britain’s prisons alongside very poor practice. The review found failings in police forces, courts and prisons. However, the report did point out that lone parenting, school exclusion and low incomes disproportionately affected BAME families and was linked to higher levels of criminality. This needs tackling by other government agencies to give BAME a chance to have an equal start in life and the chance to make a good life for themselves and their communities.
- A government spokesperson said “Over the last 18 months we have undertaken a wide range of positive work on issues such as prison officer diversity and youth disproportionality while new data we are publishing will make sure that race disparities cannot remain hidden.”