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  1. ITV Report

Plans for open prison wing in Jersey

HMP La Moye Credit: ITV Channel TV

An open prison wing could be opened at Jersey's La Moye Prison, to ease convicted criminals back into society and help prevent re-offending.

The new wing is part of the multi-million pound redevelopment of the prison, which is in the midst of a number of improvements. That also includes new education workshops and health facilities.

Inmates would be allowed out during the day, to go and work, and then return to the unit at night and at weekends.

Nick Cameron, Prison Governor Credit: ITV Channel TV

As part of our development plans we want to create essentially a small open prison, so still on the prison location, but where prisoners in the last three months of their sentence would go out into the community.

They'd work, they'd have training positions, they'd come back to the prison at night and at the weekends.

It's all about graduating the journey from high security, to medium, to low, and then the final tail of that would be the post custodial license out in the community.

– Nick Cameron, Prison Governor, HMP La Moye

Proposals for prisoners in Jersey to be released on post-custodial licenses were announced last week.

In conjunction with the prison service, the Home Affairs department wants to introduce licences, which would see convicts released after two thirds of their sentence but with strict conditions.

It is hoped it will help cut the numbers of prisoners who go on to re-offend.

We run a complete prison service on the island, with one prison to do it in, so we have to essentially replicate all types of prison for male prisoners, for female prisoners, for those prisoners who are vulnerable and require protection and we have to do it from remand right through to early conviction to the release and then post release phases of a prison journey, all within our prison estate.

We've now got a plan to do it. We've got the building blocks physically in place for the self-care and we hope with the build of the pre-release unit that we'll actually have that unit to be able to do all this.

We'll have the legal rules with the post-custodial license that we'll be able to manage offenders in the community, so yes, very exciting over the next year to five years.

– Nick Cameron, Prison Governor, HMP La Moye

Jersey's Minister for Home Affairs Constable Len Norman says helping inmates to gain skills is an important part of their rehabilitation and reduces the chances of re-offending.

Access to work, accommodation and support are the most common reasons behind inmates ending up back behind bars.

Prison Governor Chapman has suggested roles in agriculture or hospitality could suit inmates.

Farmer Charlie Gallichan from Woodside Farms in Trinity would welcome a workforce from the prison Credit: ITV Channel TV

Farmer Charlie Gallichan, from Woodside Farms in Trinity, says in principle he would welcome a workforce from the prison, but it would have to be decided on a case by case basis.

I can see the benefits from a community point of view, from integrating people slowly back into society sounds like a good plan. So in theory I can see all the benefits to everybody actually so it's a win-win-win, really, which is always good.

Achieving it might be slightly trickier and of course from our side of it, we're a relatively small family business and clearly we're very pleased to give people a second chance if they've made silly mistakes, but depending on the level of crime, clearly it would be on a case by case basis, but we've love to be able to help if we can.

– Charlie Gallichan, Farmer