HMP Wymott inmates were left without heating or drying facilities

Prisoners at a Lancashire jail were left without heating and drying facilities over part of the winter, it has emerged.

Tuesday, 12th January 2021, 4:46 pm

The Ministry of Justice says the heating issue, which affected three wings at the prison, was fixed in November, but a new dryer has not yet arrived.

A Prison Service spokesman said: “A heating issue affecting three wings was repaired in November, and electric heaters and additional blankets were given to any prisoner who needed them.

He added: “A replacement clothes drier will arrive this week.”

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HMP Wymott

Staff at HMP Wymott are already facing tough conditions as inmates are restricted to their cells.

Their response came after the son of a prisoner raised concerns.

Steven Lee Draper was jailed in 1999 for murdering a police officer in Salford.

Frances Crook, Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “As the Howard League explained in its recent letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, too many people in prison are being held in unsafe conditions while a maintenance backlog has been allowed to grow longer and longer.

Steven Draper, who murdered a policeman, is among inmates who were affected

“At a time when prisons are trying to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and temperatures are close to freezing, it is imperative that these reports from Wymott are investigated and acted upon.”

More than 1,100 men live at Wymott across 11 units - six of those are reserved for men convicted of a sex offence.

Its facilities include a sports hall, exercise equipment, weight room, assault course and outdoor sports field.

Steven Draper’s son, Ben, claimed the heating had been broken since his dad’s arrival at the jail in September and the dryers have been broken for over a month.

He added: "He’s been letting me know over a prison phone.

“The living conditions are horrible. They have to dry their wet clothes in a cold cell and are locked up for 23 hours a day.

“It’s getting him down, he’s been in prison over 21 years.

“It’s affecting people’s mental health badly.

“I heard some prisoners have said they will be taking things into their own hands as it’s causing a mess or fights.”

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