Tragic death of HMP Chelmsford Prisoner
A HMP Chelmsford prisoner died in hospital on Sunday, he was only 21.
The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman have launched an investigation into the cause of his death.
The last known inmate to die at the prison was a pensioner convicted for a string of disturbing offences in 2017.
Tornado Teams sent to HMP Berwyn sixteen times last year
Specialist riot squads known as ‘Tornado Teams’ were sent into new “Super Prison” Berwyn 16 times last year.
Tornado Teams are units of specially trained officers called into prisons to deal with riots and disturbances. They are taken from the elite of the prison guards throughout the prison estate and given special training by the National Tactical Response Team.
The NTRG operate from two centres and take strategic control of any incident as either a precautionary measure or in response to an incident. The BBC reports similar officers were also sent to Parc Prison, Bridgend 30 times (23 were responses to incidents at height), and Cardiff five times.
Progress made over healthcare concerns at HMP Perth
Inspectors raised serious claims over healthcare provision at HMP Perth in May last year. The report claimed breaches of confidentiality, ineffectiveness in the smoking cessation program and problems retaining a good workforce.
In November the inspectors retuned to the prison to assess progress. The report found that the prison had invested time and effort into improving healthcare provision. However, there was still some way to go before all the challenges were addressed and a good healthcare service was established.
Inspectors said that they would conduct a further visit to the prison in late 2019 to assess further improvements.
Drink Driver Spared Jail because she’s a Woman
In a very controversial move a judge has spared a woman immediate jail because she is a woman.
Judge Sarah Buckingham said: ‘If Miss Parry was a man, there is no question it would have been straight down the stairs, because this is a shocking case of dangerous driving against a background of two previous convictions for excess alcohol”.
Victoria Parry, 30 was 3 times over the legal limit when she smashed into three vehicles and then ploughed into a ditch where her car burst into flames. Other motorists who ran to the rescue dragged her from the wreckage. An off duty police inspector, who helped pull her from the wreckage smelled alcohol on her. Parry told the officer, “I shouldn’t be driving”.
Parry had two previous convictions for drink driving, admitted dangerous driving. In 2015 she had been banned for driving for three years due to excessive alcohol offence.
Judge Sarah Buckingham did not minimize the seriousness of the offence and said Parry, “richly deserved an immediate custodial sentence of 18 months”. However, Buckingham took into consideration the fact Parry had not been in trouble since the offence in May 2018. She wanted to see if Parry could maintain this sobriety. However, should Parry not comply, the judge would concede that Parry was not worthy of the chance given.
Parry was given a three-month suspended sentence.
The latest prison reform research shows that short custodial services for women do not work and destroy their and their family’s lives. If support to change and rebuild lives can be given on the outside, this both saves the state money and benefits the families involved. There is no doubt drink driving is heinous crime but if custodial sentences do not work something else has to be put in its place. The report does not mention whether Parry was told to join a community service program or alcohol rehabilitation, both of which could ensure she does not re- offend.
I wonder if the sentence would have been different had it been a male judge?