Live updates

Prison restaurant 'will help inmates'

The chief executive of the charity behind the new Brixton Prison restaurant says it will give inmates the skills to help them get back into society.

"Everyone that works in The Clink has been through the prison service's security procedures and these men are nearing the end of their sentence.

The sole aim of the charity is to reduce reoffending and we recruit prisoners throughout the prison and train them up over a period of six to 18 months to gain their City and Guilds qualifications in food service and food preparation."

– Chris Moore, chief executive of The Clink Charity

A three-course meal with coffee will cost around £21 a head.

Inmate run restaurant opens at Brixton Prison

A restaurant staffed by inmates at Brixton Prison has opened to the public today.

Brixton Prison Credit: PA

The Clink - run by The Clink Charity, which also has restaurants at HMP High Down in Surrey and HMP Cardiff - aims to train prisoners nearing the end of their sentences.

The serving of alcohol is forbidden on the premises.

A security application form needs to be filled in by diners in advance due to the restaurant being located in the heart of the prison.

Prisoners are not allowed to dine.

In 2012, more than 15,000 people visited The Clink Cymru and The Clink HMP High Down.

Advertisement

Watchdog: Morale so low 'there could be riots'

The Chair of the prison watchdog says morale among staff and prisoners is so low due to cuts that she fears there could be riots. The watchdog says Wormwood Scrubs prison is on a "knife edge" with inmates being locked up for up to 23-and-a-half hours a day.

Wormwood Scrubs Prison Credit: Press Association

The watchdog says there has been a 50% rise in use of force and restraint of prisoners at the Victorian prison.

Wormwood Scrubs 'safe regime' amid challenges

Wormwood Scrubs continues to provide an ordered, safe and decent regime, while coping with a number of operational challenges.

I am very conscious of the pressures staff face and we remain absolutely committed to tackling and reducing violence at Wormwood Scrubs and across the prison estate.

Our more efficient national model for running safe and secure prisons is being introduced at Wormwood Scrubs next month.

This will help maximise opportunities for rehabilitation, with more prisoners engaging in full-time work, while staff will be deployed efficiently so a positive regime is routinely and consistently delivered.

– Michael Spurr, Chief Executive Officer of the National Offender Management Service

Surge in number of staff using force to control prisoners

The report from the Independent Monitoring Board continues:

  • Prisoners spend too long in their cells and their frustration regularly spills into aggressive behaviour
  • There has been a 48% increase in staff using force or restraining measures to control prisoners
  • It comes ahead of cuts by Justice Secretary take effect when the budget will be cut by a further 21%

Source, IMB Wormwood Scrubs

Wormwood Scrubs prison 'on a knife-edge'

A report claims that Wormwood Scrubs prison is 'on a knife-edge', with staff revealing they have "never felt so fearful". Details have been released in the prison's annual report.

David Cameron seen during a trip to Wormwood Scrubs in 2012 Credit: Press Association

One extract of the report by the Independent Monitoring Board says: "Cuts in staff not only negatively affect the Ministry of Justice's key incentive to rehabilitate prisoners. The absence of one or two prison officers due to illness or holidays can have a huge impact on the prison regime."

Advertisement

London prisoners 'scattered all over the country'

Plans to reorganise the prisons system are 'meaningless', the shadow justice secretary said today, after it was unveiled that a network of resettlement jails would introduces as part of a shake-up of the system.

Sadiq Khan MP said:

The idea of resettlement prisons is a good one - prisoners being integrated back into communities where they have family and friends could lead to reduced re-offending and fewer victims of crime.

However, this is another example of reality being very different from rhetoric. These plans amounts to a substantial reorganisation of our prisons system, and it's not clear how it will be funded. Nor is it clear what will happen in London where there is an estimated shortfall of 8,000 places.

These plans beg more questions which Chris Grayling can't answer. Prisoners from London are currently scattered all over the country, many miles from their family and friends, making this policy announcement meaningless for them.

Prisoner resettlement 'step in right direction'

Too many people are being sent to prison when they could be better dealt with in the community, the former Governor of Brixton Prison said today, after the Justice Secretary unveiled a shake-up of the prison estate.

General view of HMP Brixton, London. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Paul McDowell said: "Putting communities at the heart of the criminal justice system through the development of resettlement prisons is a step in the right direction.

"We need to make sure that preparing offenders for their release begins at the earliest point of entry into custody. It is critically important to ensure that offenders are given appropriate support by someone in their own community.

"This is the best place for them re-build relationships with families, deal drug or alcohol problems and get the help they need with mental health issues".

Offenders to 'rehabilitate behind prison walls'

Rehabilitation in the community "must begin behind the prison walls" and follow offenders "out through the gates", Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said today as part of a shake-up of the prison system.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling . Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

"It is little wonder we have such high reoffending rates when you have a prisoner leaving HMP Liverpool, given a travel permit to get them home to the south coast, and then expected to simply get on with it.

"This approach is a significant step forwards in our reforms to tackle reoffending and lays the groundwork for building a genuine nationwide network of 'through the gate' supervision and support for all offenders."

Read more: Resettlement jails unveiled as part of prison shake-up

Load more updates