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Progress made at Wetherby YOI

We've been given exclusive access to a young offenders unit which two years ago drew damning criticism from prison inspectors who said they "feared for all its inmates."

In 2012 Wetherby Young Offenders Unit was censured for the vulnerability of the young people held there, but a new report shows progress has been made.

Although there's still concerns about group attacks and self-harming, the unit is working with its inmates to improve standards.

Michael Billington reports on the life of teenagers behind bars.

Wetherby prison "manages well" according to report

HMP & Young Offenders Institute Wetherby manages a challenging population well, according to a report by Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons.

The findings come after an unannounced inspection of the Yorkshire young offender institution.

Outcomes for young people were reasonably good or better across all four healthy prison tests: safety, respect, purposeful activity and resettlement.

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Prison staff fear redundancies

Staff have held a protest outside Northallerton Prison which is to close with the loss of almost 200 jobs. The Government wants to close four prisons in total, in favour of two new high capacity 'superjails'.

Staff are being offered relocation, but with the nearest jail over an hour away, it's feared many will have little choice but to choose redundancy. The Union leader held an open meeting early this morning and our correspondent Rachel Bullock was there:

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Statements from POA

Once again the Ministry of Justice has paid lip service to the well-being and stability of the professional men and women working in an overcrowded and violent environment. The POA has worked with this Government in its attempt to save money and stopping wholesale privatisation, but prison closures will do nothing for the morale of prison officers. The Government claim to have around 4,000 space headroom, this is only spin and not accurate.

– POA General Secretary Steve Gillan

The announcement today is short sighted and will have a significant impact on the public sector prison service. Prison officers and their families will once again face the uncertainly of where they will be working in the future. The Government prison closure policy is cuts driven and does nothing for the rehabilitation revolution. These prisons have played a pivotal role in the criminal justice system and this announcement is an absolute disgrace.

– POA chairman Peter McParlin

POA condemns prison closures

Anger over closure of four prisons Credit: PA

The POA has condemned the announcement by the Secretary of State for Justice that he intends to close four prisons - including one in Northallerton, North Yorkshire.

It says the prison service is in crisis, with staffing levels and morale at an all-time low and that the closures come "at a time when 20,000 prisoners are being held in an overcrowded prison estate, alongside the unacceptable level of violence and serious assults."

North Yorkshire prison to close

The Government has announced that HM Prison Northallerton is one of four prisons due to close, as it confirms plans to build two new "super" jails in England and Wales.

Northallerton - a male Young Offenders Institution - will close along with Blundeston in Suffolk, Dorchester in West Dorset, and Reading. The announcement was made as the MoJ confirmed plans to build a 2,000-place new prison in Wrexham, North Wales.

Deputy Chief Inspector of Prisons: lack of treatment programme for sex offenders at HMP Moorland 'significant omission'

A prison that houses hundreds of sex offenders has been criticised by inspectors for failing to run programmes to tackle their behaviour.

HMP Moorland was the scene of riots in 2010 and almost a third of the inmates are sex offenders. But according to today's Inspector of Prisons report, no treatment programme is available for them and "too many" of the criminals are released without completing one.

The Deputy Chie Inspector of Prisons, Martin Lomas, says the lack of treatment programme is a 'significant omission.'

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