Violence 'significant problem' at HMP Nottingham

Nottingham prison Image copyright PA
Image caption The report is asking the government to urgently address the staff problems

A prison's "very significant problem" with violence has been made worse by a lack of staff, according to a report.

The Independent Monitoring Boards (IMB) said the "overwhelming majority" of issues at HMP Nottingham arose from having "insufficient staff".

Its report records 199 assaults on staff, 457 attacks on prisoners by inmates and 82 fires in 12 months.

A Ministry of Justice (MoJ) spokesman said the government is "committed to transforming prisons".

Image caption Hundreds of attacks on prisoners and staff were recorded during the 12 months examined in the report

Nottingham is a Category B prison with a 1,060 capacity.

The February 2016-2017 report found that five men died in custody during that period, two as a result of self-harm.

Drugs are also an issue and a source of bullying, debt, and health problems.

It was found that there are "inherent risks to prisoners" when they first enter the Perry Road jail, in Sherwood, because of the pressures on reception staff.

Access to education and work activities has been restricted due to staffing shortages, while prisoners whose opportunities were limited "are not being positively prepared for release," the report said.

Shortage of clean clothing was also highlighted, with one inmate having to wear the same outfit for three weeks.

Despite the problems, the report found improvements in the reporting of incidents of discrimination, and said the prison is putting "communications equipment" in cells to help inmates to stay in touch with family.

Keith Jamieson, HMP Nottingham IMB chairman, said "almost every aspect of life in the prison" had been affected by a lack of staff.

He also said the IMB are "concerned" about the impact the shortages have on rehabilitation.

A spokesman for the MoJ claimed staffing has "improved significantly" in the period after the report.

They also said the prison has begun improving education and work facilities, and was working with health colleagues to address mental health provision.

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