A new report has been published which describes Ranby Prison in Nottinghamshire as being in severe crisis with untcontrollable violence and intimidation.
This year there have already been four suicides including very significantly two lifers. That is very disturbing, two lifers who have already spent a good few years in prison including earlier in their sentences at least in one or more of the dispersal system prisons. For them to end up taking their lives in a category C prison defies belief.
At least 15 years ago Ranby was being described to me as Beirut and the bed leg capital of the prison system. Bed legs being the weapon of choice for assaulting other prisoners. Obviously things haven’t changed, indeed they have become a great deal worse.
The problem, as throughout the whole prison system, is primarily staffing levels. Cuts have been made so deep that there are just not enough staff to adequately police the prison which also means that activities are being curtailed.
It is just not possible to reduce staff numbers when the prison population is constantly rising.
Ranby is a case in point. Compared to many other prisons it is on a very large site with numerous buildings to control. Staff just cannot be everywhere and where they are in situ there are far too few for them to be effective.
It is known nationally that Ranby is the drugs capital of the prison system and while piece meal attempts are being made to reduce the drug supply nowhere near enough is being done to control it. rugs dogs need to be ever present monitoring not only visitors but also staff. They shold be on the gates twenty four hours a day and when ANYONE is found to be trafficking drugs into the prison they must be prosecuted and the courts encouraged to give harsh sentences. Remove as much drugs as is possible from Ranby and the prison will change oernight.
Likewise with the violent incidents. The perpretators should no be subject to prison discipline which is weak to say the least but MUST in each and every case be taken to outside courts and to back this up new laws must be introduced creating a new offence of prison assault which in turn must carry significant penalties. At the end of the day seven days remission, which is typical of a prison penalty, counts as nothing to a man serving years inside.
Mr Grayling please wake up, things are only going to get worse. Listen to the professionals those working in the field, not a bunch of civil servants who have probably never even seen the inside of a prison. And reverse what you are doing to destroy the probation service, or face total chaos
throughout the whole penal system!!!