Hampshire & Isle of Wight

HMP Isle of Wight criticised over safety and rehabilitation

Parkhurst Prison Image copyright PA
Image caption Parkhurst Prison is now part of HMP Isle of Wight, which has been criticised in a new report

Violence at a prison for sex offenders has "risen significantly" since it was last inspected, a new report says.

The Inspectorate of Prisons found more than half of the inmates at HMP Isle of Wight felt unsafe.

It said plans for the release of high-risk inmates were not good enough and raised concerns about poor rehabilitation work at the jail.

The prison service said it recognised "more work was needed" and inmates were now supported by dedicated officers.

Peter Clarke, the chief inspector of prisons, visited the category B facility, which has about 1,000 inmates, in April and May.

He said violence had "risen significantly since the previous inspection", while "safety had deteriorated", and the response of managers was "not good enough".

'Elderly and frail'

The report said most of the inmates were in prison for sex offences, with about half maintaining their innocence.

About 40% of the inmates are over 50 and a "significant proportion" are elderly and sometimes frail.

"Managers need to address the weaknesses in offender management to ensure the prison fulfils its purpose of reducing the risks these long-term prisoners pose, both within the prison and, importantly, when they are eventually released," Mr Clarke added.

Phil Copple, HM Prison and Probation Service director general of prisons, said: "We recognise that more work is needed to make the prison safer.

"Every prisoner now has a dedicated officer giving them personal support and, combined with working closer with probation and local authorities, we expect to see an improvement in arrangements to prepare prisoners for release."

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