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  1. ITV Report

Nottingham prison is found to be 'fundamentally unsafe'

HMP Nottingham Photo:

HMP Nottingham has been put into special measures after an inspection earlier this month found that it was 'fundamentally unsafe'. Inspectors recorded serious safety failings, including a significant rise in violence, drugs and assaults.

It's the third inspection in as many years and HMP Nottingham now has one of the worst records in the country, with three consecutive 'poor' safety ratings.

Between the 2016 and 2018, inspectors found that levels of self-harm had risen “very significantly” and eight prisoners were believed to have taken their own lives. Over two-thirds of men said they had felt unsafe in the prison at some time, and more than a third felt unsafe at the time of the inspection.

The Chief Inspector of Prisons, Peter Clarke, has now used a new urgent notification system for the first time to demand that Justice Secretary David Gauke takes action.

It appears that the problems at Nottingham are intractable and that staff there are unable to improve safety despite the fact that this failing increases the vulnerability both of those who are held in the prison and of those who work there... There needs to be an unwavering focus on making the prison safe... If this does not happen, further tragedies and unacceptably high levels of violence will continue to blight HMP Nottingham.

– Peter Clarke, Chief Inspector of Prisons

Mr Clarke also noted that HMP Nottingham did not suffer from staff shortages. However, he pointed out that more than half the staff had less than one year’s experience and this clearly showed in their dealings with prisoners.