With 81% behind bars for non-violent crimes, more support for female prisoners is needed, the new justice minister tells Daybreak.
The Justice Secretary is to unveil changes to the system of privileges in jail with the aim of ensuring that perks are actively earned.
John Massey escaped from Pentonville prison yesterday evening. The public are urged not to approach him, but to call 999 if they see him.
A convicted killer jailed for life for raping a disabled woman has absconded from a mental health centre.
Police have launched a manhunt after Samuel Lee, 44, failed to return from an authorised trip from the John Howard Centre in Hackney on Thursday.
He is serving a life sentence for snatching and raping a 31-year-old cerebral palsy sufferer in London in 2000.
In 1989, he was jailed for manslaughter after he stabbed a man to death.
Police are warning the public not to approach Lee, who they warned could turn "violent".
Lee, who is black, of stocky build and 5ft 9ins tall, suffers from Schizotypal disorder which is a mild form of Schizophrenia.
Two prisoners who went missing from a prison in South Yorkshire have been arrested, police said.
Doncaster prison absconders located and arrested http://t.co/roY4LO54cp
Damien Burns and Dean Jackson absconded from category D Hatfield Prison on Tuesday.
Two more prisoners have gone on the run from an open prison, Cheshire police have said. The pair are the latest in a string of inmates who have escaped from prisons in recent weeks.
Anthony Peloe, 43, who was serving an indeterminate sentence for possessing firearms with intent to cause harm, and John Arnold, 30, a convicted robber, absconded from Thorn Cross open prison in Warrington, Cheshire, on Tuesday morning.
Public should not approach the prisoners, police said. "My advice to any member of the public who sees them is not to approach them, but to immediately ring police on 999," Superintendent Martin Cleworth of Warrington police said.
Two other prisoners, Damien Burns, 39, and Dean Jackson, 27, are missing from the category D Hatfield Prison, the police revealed on Tuesday.
Prisons Minister Jeremy Wright has said the current system for allowing prisoners out on temporary licence is "too lax", after a murderer and a robber failed to return to their prison in Liverpool.
Wright said he will make "major changes" to address the shortfalls in the system.
He said: "There will shortly be significant restrictions on who is granted temporary release – which from now on must be earnt – tightening up of monitoring arrangements and abolishing any leave without a clear link to rehabilitation."
More than 50 inmates reportedly took over part of a prison wing. The incident broke out at HMP Northumberland in Morpeth at around 7.30pm yesterday.
Prison Officers Association general secretary Steve Gillan told the BBC that there was a stand-off. He said last night: "We do not know what has sparked this major incident, but I do know that 50 plus inmates have taken over a wing," he said.
"We have teams from other establishments trained to deal with riots on their way. There is concerted indiscipline and our officers will try to contain it."
A spokesman for Sodexo, which operates the prison, said the situation has now been resolved and an investigation is due to be carried out into the incident.
Inmates are reported to have taken over part of a prison wing. Officials at HMP Northumberland confirmed a "disturbance" was under way, but dismissed as "speculation" the suggestion of a stand-off between inmates and guards.
A spokesman for Sodexo, which operates the prison, said: "We can confirm there is a disturbance at HMP Northumberland.
"It is confined to part of one wing of the prison and we are working to resolve the situation as quickly as possible."
The incident has been ongoing since around 7.30pm. The Sodexo spokesman added: "It is not quite resolved yet."
Prison guards found a mobile phone hidden in a box of hollowed out Weetabix.
Several of the breakfast cereal biscuits had been cut through the middle leaving a hollow where the phone was stashed.
The phone and doctored cereal were then carefully repackaged before being sent to a prisoner.
Inmates are not allowed mobile phones in prison and must use public payphones.
Prison staff should receive specific training on how to support women, a report has suggested, after it was claimed women prisoners are "vulnerable to abuse".
Chris Sheffield, chair of the Commission on Sex in Prison, said:
Women in prison are particularly vulnerable and more likely than men to have a history of being a victim of violence or sexual abuse.
It is important that policies recognise these differences and are developed in order to protect the vulnerable.
It is equally important that staff in women's prisons receive specific training on working with women.
Women prisoners are "vulnerable" to abuse in prison with some coerced into sex with staff in return for favours such as cigarettes or alcohol, campaigners have warned.
The findings are published in the second briefing paper from the Commission on Sex in Prison, which was established by the Howard League.
The report suggests prison staff need training and guidance on how to support women, recognise bullying and identify relationships between prisoners.