Norfolk prison inmates 'detained for too long'

Too many Norfolk prison inmates have been kept beyond their tariff date, an independent body has said.

HMP Wayland Prison, near Thetford, which houses 1009 category C male prisoners, was examined by the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB).

It said prisoners serving indeterminate sentences were often delayed in going before the parole board.

This was because the necessary courses they needed to complete were not offered at the prison.

At the end of June more than 70% of the 93 prisoners had passed their original tariff date, some by two or three years, the report said.

Prisoners 'frustrated'

Prisoners can be given an indeterminate sentence for public protection.

Another concern raised by the board was the change in healthcare provider leading to increased stress and "higher than usual staff turnover and sickness".

Brenda Upton, chairman of Wayland IMB, said: "It is disturbing to have to report that progress towards consideration by the Parole Board has deteriorated to such an extent for so many prisoners, largely because not all the courses they are required to attend can be provided at Wayland.

"There is also invariably a long waiting list for these courses at other establishments."

"The inevitable result of this lack of appropriate resources at Wayland is a growing sense of frustration and resentment among these prisoners."

In November 2009 a surprise Ministry of Justice inspection found an increase in the inmate population of 300 in three years had led to an increase in the use of force.

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