Prison report is positive

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A NORTH East prison which houses some of the country’s most serious offenders has improved significantly according to its latest inspection.

The assessment follows an unannounced check on HMP Frankland by the HM Inspectorate of Prisons.

The report by the organisation’s chief inspector of prisons, Nick Hardwick, states the last visit identified some concerns, principally safety.

It said the new inspection found outcomes were now reasonable against all four of the inspectorate’s tests of a healthy prison – safety, respect, purposeful activity and resettlement.

Frankland, on the outskirts of Durham, is the largest high security prison in England and Wales, holding more than 800 of the most serious offenders in the system.

Inspectors say they are pleased to have found a host of improvements.

These include safety, good security procedures, work to help challenging prisoners avoid segregation, better staff-prisoner relationships, well-managed diversity and less tension between Muslims and other prisoners, with black and minority ethnic prisoners reporting a similar experience to white prisoners.

They found inmates also had a reasonable amount of time out their cells and sufficient activities.

However, inspectors had concerns suggesting more be done to reduce violence and challenge bullying behaviour, some abuse of prescribed medication, overstretched mental health provision and demand for offending behaviour programmes outstripping supply.