Woodhill Prison risks becoming a dangerous place for staff and prisoners alike, due to budget cuts.
That’s the verdict of a new reportwhich gives a behind-the-scenes glimpse of life at the city jail.
It states: ‘The Board is increasingly concerned that the year-on-year increases in cuts and services and facilities may lead to a potential loss of control, making the prison unsafe for both staff and prisoners.’
Though the Cat A prison is praised for passing most national standards, the Independent Monitoring Board report has a list of criticisms.
These include RAZORS for sale in the canteen, ‘kettling’ incidents causing £80,000 of damage to cells, “deeply concerning” delays in counter terrorism and other security checks, and prisoners staying too LONG.
The report reveals there is a number of foreign national prisoners still in the cells long after their sentences have expired. One prisoner is currently nine years over his tariff.
The inspectors also discovered that, despite budget problems, Woodhill has over ordered 700 meals per week – 100 a day – for prisoners. The horse meat scandal caused more cash to be wasted when a whopping £6,000 worth of bought pies and ready-made products had to be thrown away. Kitchen staff now make their own meat pies – and pad them out with lentils to save on the cost.
Persuading prisoners to volunteer in the kitchen is a problem in itself.
The report states: ‘Following an incident with a missing knife in the kitchen towards the end of the reporting year, half the prison kitchen workers were sacked. Since then staff have needed to rebuild numbers and, possibly due to the hot weather, not so many prisoners have applied to work here.’
The prison, which houses some of the most violent inmates in the UK, was praised for its governance, security, low sickness rates and excellent living skills classes,