HMP Littlehey: Sex offenders 'missing out on rehab' before release

HMP Littlehey Image copyright Chris Morgan/Geograph
Image caption About 98% of HMP Littlehey inmates are sex offenders

Inmates at Europe's largest jail for sex offenders are not given access to adequate rehabilitation programmes prior to release, a report has found.

Category C HMP Littlehey in Cambridgeshire has more than 1,000 inmates and 98% are sex offenders.

A "woefully small amount of men" are able to access a programme to help them reduce their risk, the report said.

Most prisoners move into supervised accommodation with strict licence conditions, the Prison Service said.

HMP Littlehey's independent monitoring board found a "significant" group of inmates missed out on a rehabilitation programme because they were classed as being at low risk of re-offending.

The "majority of the population will be released without being challenged, or increasing their own understanding, about their sexual offence, the factors leading up to it or what they need to do to reduce their risk of serious harm", the report said.

"Littlehey is the largest prison for men convicted of sexual offences, in Europe, with just under 50% of its population being 50 years and over.

"Therefore, with these facts the expectation is that Littlehey would be a leader of both managing imprisonment for men convicted of sexual offences and for OAPs. Sadly, this is not the case."

Cold showers

The annual report, published this month, also highlighted overcrowding in cells, plumbing issues and unreliable laundry services.

A Prison Service spokesman said: "Prisoners at HMP Littlehey are carefully assessed before being provided with the most suitable treatment to reduce their risk of committing further sexual offences.

"The majority of prisoners released from HMP Littlehey go into supervised accommodation and are subject to strict licence conditions."

The publicist Max Clifford was an inmate at the jail, serving eight years for indecent assault before his death in 2017.

An inquest heard he had complained about unheated prison cells and cold showers "every day" before his death.

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