'Improved' Lancaster Farms YOI praised by inspector

A youth prison in Lancashire which was criticised in an inspector's report three years ago has been praised for its improvement.

An unannounced inspection in June of Lancaster Farms Young offenders Institution found it is making significant improvements.

But the report by the Chief Inspector of Prisons added that there are still concerns about high levels of violence.

The report praised the prison's work on suicide prevention and self-harm.

'Safer place'

Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons said: "Lancaster Farms has made significant progress since our last visit.

"It is now a safer place, although the continuing levels of violence mean that there is no scope for complacency.

"It is now also a decent place, with a more engaged staff and some improved relationships.

"These are important changes which, together with a step change improvement in the quality of learning and skills, mean that the establishment is in a sound position to re-role to a training function.

"There will be major challenges ahead, not least ensuring adequate health care and resettlement services to meet future needs but, overall, Lancaster Farms is to be congratulated on how far it has already come."

Mr Hardwick also said that there was better access to items such as phones and showers.

He added that some first-night risk assessments were inappropriately put off to the next day.

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