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Prison inmates take over wing of HMP Northumberland

More than 50 inmates reportedly took over part of HMP Northumberland in Acklington overnight. There were no reports of injuries, but officers at the prison confirmed a "disturbance" had taken place over several hours.

A spokesman for Sodexo, which has managed the prison since December, said: "We can confirm there was a disturbance at HMP Northumberland.

"It was confined to part of one wing of the prison and has now been resolved. We will carry out an investigation into this incident."


Around The House: news and views from Westminster at 11:35pm tonight

Political debate from Westminster at 11:35pm Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

The North East's newest MP Emma Lewell-Buck describes her first few days at Westminster, in tonight's edition of Around The House.

As the Member of Parliament for South Shields, she is stepping into the role previously filled by David Miliband.

She is joined in the studio by the Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald, who was elected six months ago. Both MPs talk about their aims and experiences with Helen Ford.

Also, we question the Hexham MP Guy Opperman about prison reform.

Plus, we consider the future of our region in Europe with a panel of MPs: Redcar's Ian Swales, North West Durham's Pat Glass and the Carlisle representative John Stevenson.

Join Helen and guests at 11:35pm tonight

Around The House: Guy Opperman praises plans to tackle re-offending

On Around The House, Helen Ford talks to former barrister Guy Opperman about the Government's latest plans for all offenders to receive a year's supervision when they leave prison. The proposals also address the problem of drug addiction.

The Conservative MP for Hexham has recently visited Brixton Prison and says it's essential to break the cycle of crime:

You can watch the full interview on Around The House, tonight - Thursday 16th May - at 11.35pm

The benefits of women in parliament - from the region's newest MP

The new MP for South Shields hopes her election will encourage young women to take an interest in politics.

Emma Lewell-Buck has just taken up her seat in parliament, replacing David Miliband.

Ms Lewell-Buck says she is proud to be the constituency's first woman MP and hopes it will inspire the girls and women she met on the campaign trail.

She spoke to Helen Ford for our political programme Around the House. Watch an extract here:


Criticism of court's custody suites in North East

Women and children detainees awaiting trial were found to be held too closely to men during an initial wave of inspections of custody suites in courts in the north east, a report has said today.

According to HM Inspectorate of Prisons, there was "widespread confusion" about the separation of men, women and juveniles.

In some courts the report also found that pregnant women had to sit on hard benches for several hours and that there was limited provision for those with disabilities.

The HMIP report covered four Crown Courts and 12 magistrates' courts in Cleveland, Durham and Northumbria under a new programme of inspections of court custody. Custody operations are contracted out.

"Improvements to buildings will require capital spends, but there is much that can be done to improve matters in the short term, especially if court managers focus on the custody suites as an integral part of their role in running the courts."

– Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons

Report finds 'deplorable' conditions in region's custody facilities

An inspection of cells at North East courts has found some detainees are being kept in 'deplorable' conditions.

The criticism follows an official inspections of custody facilities at magistrates and crown courts.

The report singled out Newcastle magistrates court as having problems with rot, damp and graffiti in cells.

Sunderland magistrates and Newcastle's two Crown Court buildings were also cricised for poor conditions in their cells.

The Courts and Tribunals Service says a programme of improvement works will be complete by the end of the financial year.