Cumbria

Haverigg Prison improves but remains 'shabby'

HMP Haverigg
Image caption HMP Haverigg is a category C male training prison holding 275 inmates

A prison with a troubled past has made improvements but further ones are still needed, the watchdog has found.

HM Inspectorate of Prisons found that although HMP Haverigg in Cumbria had closed some poor quality accommodation, some conditions were still "shabby".

Despite a reduction in violence, 40% of inmates said they felt unsafe at times.

Its long, rural perimeter also made it vulnerable, with contraband such as drugs, mobile phones, and even computer tablets, thrown inside.

At the time of the last inspectors' visit the category C prison had held 654 inmates, but numbers have since more than halved, following a police investigation into two deaths and a sexual assault.

'Evolving threat'

The latest report, following unannounced inspections in March and April, found levels of violence were still too high, and living conditions on some units were "shabby and dirty".

It said that one of the greatest threats to security was phones and drugs, with a "large quantity of banned items thrown over the perimeter fence".

However, it noted that steps were being taken to counteract the "evolving threat", including the cladding of fencing.

The prison was also praised for its education and rehabilitation opportunities.

Peter Clarke, chief inspector of prisons, said: "Haverigg has had a troubled past and there is still much to do at the establishment.

"That said, we recognise the efforts made by the governor and his team not to let that ... define the prison's future.

"We left the establishment feeling confident that with continued support the team at Haverigg will embrace the recommendations made in this report and improvements will continue."

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