Yet another damning report on our prison system fro Anne Owers ,Chief Inspector of Prisons. And this time on a newly opened young offenders prison for 15 -18 yr old boys, Cookham Wood Kent.
She found boys hiding in their cells. She found a seriously unsafe and poorly controlled environment with tense relations between boys and staff. Force was being used and more than a third had been physically restrained. The residential units were claustrophobic.Imagine teenagers confined in such conditions. She called for a cap on the numbers of youngsters being held there until a level of safety can be guaranteed.
Pauline Campbell campaigned vigorously on the lack of safety in women's prisons and one year after her death we are confronted with this horrific situation in a boys prison.
Phil Wheatley,director general of the National Offender Management Service says that things are better since the inspection and they will keep the levels of numbers under strict review before any increase I am struggling hard to believe that things will truly improve.