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.
Prison officers across England, Scotland and Wales have returned to work after their walkout over changes to their retirement age.
The potential damage and distress that could have been caused by this serious data breach is obvious.
Disclosing this information not only had the potential to put the prisoners at risk, but also risked the welfare of their families through the release of their home addresses.
– ICO Deputy Commissioner and director of data protection David Smith
Fortunately it appears that the fall-out from this breach was contained, but we cannot ignore the fact that this breach was caused by a clear lack of management oversight of a relatively new member of staff.
Furthermore the prison service failed to have procedures in place to spot the original mistakes.
It is only due to the honesty of a member of the public that the disclosures were uncovered as early as they were and that it was still possible to contain the breach.
The Ministry of Justice is to be fined £140,000 by the data watchdog after the personal details of all 1,182 prisoners at a jail were mistakenly emailed to inmates' families.
A spreadsheet containing sensitive information including names, ethnicity, addresses, sentence length, release dates and details of the offences by all inmates at HMP Cardiff was sent to three families, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) said.
The breach was only discovered when one of the recipients contacted the prison on August 2, 2011 to report they had received an email from the prison clerk about an upcoming visit, which included the file.
The ICO found there was a clear lack of management oversight at the prison, with the clerk working unsupervised despite only having worked at the prison for two months and having limited experience and training.
Female prisoners at Europe's largest prison for women have been exposed to "intimidation and abuse" by a private security firm which forced them to travel in vans with male inmates.
A surprise inspection at HMP Holloway found joint-venture firm Serco-Wincanton transferring female inmates to the jail in vehicles with men for long periods without a privacy screen.
The male prisoners got out first, leaving the female inmates in the "grubby" vehicle, because reception areas in men's prisons have a fixed cut-off time, HM Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) said.
Director of the Prison Reform Trust, Juliet Lyon, warned Serco-Wincanton had risked the safety and wellbeing women who had suffered sexual violence:
"It's time to call a halt to transporting women, many of whom have been victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence, with men in prison vans where too often they are subject to long delays and intimidation."
A member of prison staff who used vinegar-drenched chips to smuggle cannabis into HMP Wormwood Scrubs has been jailed for four years.
Jason Paul Singh, 24, of Totteridge Road, High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire pleaded guilty yesterday to supplying drugs into the prison estate.
Isleworth Crown Court heard how on the evening of September 10 this year, Singh went to work with 50 grams of cannabis wrapped in cellophane in his rucksack.
The smell of cannabis was so strong that Singh went to a fish and chip shop and bought a bag of chips which he smothered with vinegar.
The inspection of HMP Oakwood by HMI Prisons found a number of concerns with the prison for category C inmates.
The inspection found too many prisoners felt unsafe and there was clear evidence of drug and alcohol use.
Prisoners were unable to access basic facilities, such as cleaning materials and kit, the report said, while staff-prisoner relationships were not respectful.
Healthcare provision was "very poor", inspectors said, which resulted in the Care Quality Commission hitting the healthcare provider with a regulatory enforcement notice, it added.
Jerry Petherick, managing director for G4S Custodial and Detention Services, said: "The mobilisation of any prison is a complex and challenging operation but the size and scale of Oakwood - the largest prison in the country - made this even more acute.
"As well as the logistical hurdles in new establishments, prisoners test the regime as well as the members of staff, who may be new to prison life.
"We have already taken steps to make improvements, appointing a dedicated task-force to address problem areas, such as the prevalence of drugs, while providing additional funding where necessary. This is starting to yield results."
– Sadiq Khan MP, Labour’s Shadow Justice Secretary
This is a shocking inspection report of this G4S run prison. It raises huge questions whether Oakwood prison should have been allowed to open and take prisoners when it did. There is a strong suspicion that Oakwood prison was rushed into service against the advice of officials and experts, putting safety at risk.
The biggest prison in the country, HMP Oakwood, has been slammed by inspectors.
HMP Oakwood, which can hold 1,600 prisoners, had inexperienced staff and high levels of violence and self-harm, said HM Inspectorate of Prisons following a surprise visit.
The report found that the prison, known as "Jokewood", needs to address its approach to the near-300 sex offenders it holds, many of whom were due for release without their offending having been addressed.
G4S, which runs the prison, says it has already taken steps to make improvements.
– Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary
It's outrageous that offenders who commit some truly horrific crimes in this country are automatically released from prison halfway through their custodial sentence, regardless of their behaviour, attitude and engagement in their own rehabilitation.
This Government is on the side of people who play by the rules and want to get on. We need to teach criminals a lesson; you will be punished for your crime and you must earn your release, it is not an automatic right.
Prisoners' automatic release halfway through their sentences is being axed and they will have to "earn" their early release.
Child rapists and terrorists will no longer be automatically released at the halfway point of their prison sentence, under the proposals unveiled by the Justice Secretary Chris Grayling.
In addition, criminals who receive an Extended Determinate Sentence - where the offender receives a custodial sentence plus a further extended period of licence - will no longer be released automatically two-thirds of the way into their custodial sentence.
Primary legislation, which will be brought forward in the new year, is required for the new changes, which are expected to affect around 600 criminals a year.