Nottingham

Nottingham lawyers 'not given enough time with prisoners'

Image caption The category B prison is situated just north of the city centre and holds more than 1,000 inmates

Lawyers are not being given enough time to talk to clients held in Nottingham Prison before trial, a partner in a legal firm has said.

Richard Posner, from Bhatia Best, said it was a "knock-on effect from under-staffing". He said Friday afternoon legal visits had been stopped.

A plan to improve the "dangerous" prison was published in February.

The Ministry of Justice denied that prisoners' access to legal advice was being cut.

Image caption Richard Posner said problems meeting prisoners were "a symptom of under-staffing"

Mr Posner said the ending of the Friday afternoon sessions reflected deteriorating conditions over the last "six to nine months" and was "making it more difficult" for prisoners to access their legal rights.

"The whole administration of the criminal justice system relies on us being able to see our clients and take instructions," he said.

"It's right through the whole prison service as far as I'm concerned, and Nottingham appears to be a particularly difficult example."

The Ministry of Justice confirmed one set of visiting sessions had been cut "due to a lack of demand", but said it remained open to reinstating them "if needed".

"It is totally untrue to suggest prisoner access to legal advice is being cut at HMP Nottingham," a spokesman said.

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