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Improvements seen at Aylesbury Prison, but more to do

The YOI was placed in Special Measures earlier this year.

Published by Dan Gooding at 5:52am 10th September 2019. (Updated at 6:03am 10th September 2019) 3-minute read.

Improvements seen at Aylesbury Prison, but more to do

Facilities are improving and there are fewer serious assaults on staff at Aylesbury Prison.

The latest independent report on the Young Offenders Institute is out  and shows good progress on fixing issues which put it in special measures.

Colin Lambert is from the Independent Monitoring Board. He says staffing is slowly improving, but it'll take time:

"8 or 10 years ago, obviously there was a reduction in prison officer numbers and they have been trying to rebuild those numbers.

"One of the consequences is that about half of prison officers have less than a year of service under their belts."

The IMB say this is concerning when trying to combat assaults and other incidents within the YOI.

However, assaults had fallen in the months leading up to the inspection earlier this year.

Self harm is still a problem amongst inmates, but the IMB say they need to be kept engaged, with jobs and training, to help.

Colin added:

"To us, it's really important that they are in work, in education, in training. They are given opportunities to rehabilitate, essentially.

"We think there is still quite a bit of work to do by the prison."

Earlier this year, the prison was taken from 7 wings down to four, with many inmates moved elsewhere, to try and combat issues the site is facing.

Colin told us this is making a difference, but that there is now a higher-concentration of inmates within those four blocks and that creates its own problems.

The fabric of the prison has been an issue for a long time and this is slowly seeing investment once more.

Need for volunteers

The IMB is volunteer-led, with a team visiting the prison frequently to keep an eye on things are report back to the Ministry of Justice.

They are about to start a recruitment drive in Aylesbury, but you can find out more now here.

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