The Prison Service has vowed to tackle the widespread use of 'legal highs' that has led to safety concerns.
An Independent Monitoring Board report today warned that widespread drug use at Cumbria’s Haverigg Prison is leading to "unprecedented levels of violence, bullying and sexual assault".
A Prison Service spokesperson said: “The Justice Secretary has been clear that the level of violence and self-harm in our prisons is too high, and has taken immediate action to stabilise the estate.
“Since the inspection, HMP Haverigg has recruited more staff with the specialist knowledge and skills to care for the most vulnerable offenders, and closed unsuitable accommodation standing in the way of real reform. There is also a robust drugs strategy in place to stop the flow of dangerous contraband into the prison.
“These are long-standing issues that won’t be resolved overnight, but our wholescale reforms will lay the groundwork to transform our prisons, reduce reoffending and make our communities safer.”
The Prison Service has released a statement saying that public protection is their top priority, after a prisoner escaped from HMP Haverigg.
Dean Walker was noted as unaccounted for on Friday 28th October and the 32-year-old hasn't been seen since.
Police forces across Cumbria, Lancashire and Manchester say they are working together to find Mr Walker.
Police in Cumbria have confirmed that they are continuing to search for a prisoner who they believe has escaped from Haverigg Prison.
Dean Walker, from Manchester, remains unaccounted for after reports of the 32-year-old going missing on 28th October.
Specialist policing resources have been deployed across Cumbria and they're liaising with police in Lancashire and Greater Manchester.
Mr Walker, who was sentenced for robbery, is described as black male, with brown eyes and a shaved head.
Prisoners from Haverigg have been helping to dig out sheep from a farm in west Cumbria- five days on from last week's huge snowfall.
Many farms have lost animals and some are still very badly affected.
Our rural affairs correspondent Tim Backshall reports from Corney Fell: