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£35m expansion for Bridgend's Parc Prison

This artist's impression sets out a number of developments at Parc Prison. Credit: G4S

£35m is being spent on expanding Parc Prison in Bridgend.

The jail's capacity will be increased by 387 prisoner places, to reach 1,723.

A new houseblock will be built, as well an industrial workshop, education building, visitor centre and gatehouse. The work will also include a 350-space car park, extended perimeter walls and security fencing.

G4S, which runs the prison for the Ministry of Justice, says 78 new jobs are expected to be created, including 43 prison custody officer positions.

Preparatory construction work has already started, and the work is expected to be completed ready for extra prisoners to arrive by December 2014.

Yesterday, the chosen location for a new 2,000-inmate super prison was announced as the former Firestone factory site in Wrexham.


Prison: Changes have been made

G4S, the security company which manages Parc Prison on behalf of the Ministry of Justice, says that there's been a 'fundamental review' of the way vulnerable prisoners are cared for since Shaun Beasley's death.

At the time of Shaun Beasley's death, healthcare services were provided by an external contractor. Due to our concerns regarding inadequate provision, arrangements were already in place to bring these services in house and this occurred shortly after Shaun Beasley's death. A fundamental review of the care of vulnerable prisoners was implemented. Significant changes have been taken place to improve the care given to vulnerable prisoners and those at risk. The Coroner has confirmed she is satisfied that the changes made since August 2010 were suitable and correct.

– Janet Wallsgrove, Director of HMP & YOI Parc

Prison healthcare provider: 'Care fell below our high standards'

The company running healthcare at HMP Parc at the time of Shaun Beasley's death, Primecare - Forensic Medical Services, says it recognises the care provided 'fell below our high standards.' It sends its 'sincerest condolences' to Mr Beasley's family and friends.

We have carefully reviewed what happened to identify what went wrong and recognise that the care provided to Mr Beasley fell below our high standards. As a result we put in place a number of measures to improve safety including better communication systems between healthcare and custody staff, improved recruitment, staffing levels and training, and a focus on better record-keeping. We are deeply sorry that the care that Mr Beasley received was not up to the required standards. Our services have improved greatly since this tragic incident in 2010.

– Sarah Campbell, Operations Director for Primecare’s secure health services

Family: 'Prison failed' Shaun Beasley

Shaun Beasley's family say the inquest's verdict confirms their judgement that he had been 'let down'. In a statement, they said 'he was highly vulnerable and suffered from serious mental ill health. He had a history of self-harm and had made several serious suicide attempts.'

They say, on the night of his death, Mr Beasley phoned to say he could not cope. His sister immediately called the prison to tell them of his state of mind. He was already on half-hour observations, but that was not increased and he was found hanging in his cell shortly after midnight.

We would like to thank the Coroner and the jury for a very thorough investigation. We hope that this verdict will help us to move on from this very terrible time in our lives. The verdict has confirmed what we have always felt; we have always felt that Shaun had been let down and it is very important to us that there has been public recognition of this.

– Donna Ridgely, Shaun Beasley's sister

The family is pleased that changes have been made that will hopefully avoid anyone having to go through this tragedy in the future. This very sad case has brought to light problems which need to be addressed as a matter of urgency. Despite the family alerting the prison to their concerns for Shaun’s safety and wellbeing, the prison failed in their duty of care. In cases where prisons are run by private companies, there need to be strict protocols and procedures in place to ensure that safety is put first and incidents like this are prevented as far as possible.

– Stephen Webber, family solicitor


Prisoner took own life - contributed to by neglect

A man who was found hanged in his cell at Parc Prison, near Bridgend, in August 2010 took his own life "in circumstances contributed to by neglect", an inquest jury has ruled today.

The inquest at Aberdare Coroner's Court heard how Shaun Beasley, who was 29, was known to have a history of self-harm, paranoia and depression, and was placed on a healthcare wing of the prison where he could be checked every half an hour.

Reformed prisoner: "My eyes have now been opened"

30-year-old Gavin Williams had spent 15 years in and out of custody, culminating in being incarcerated at HMP Parc in July 2010.

Despite his claims to never having picked up a paintbrush before his time in jail, the Invisible Walls project helped him nurture a talent for art.

His murals became a distinctive feature on the walls of the prison, and after his release, Gavin started his own painting business.

"My eyes have now been opened to the damage coming to places like that do to families" he says.

"Having that guilt has made me more determined to be more successful in my life and not to go back to the same place".