Inspection praises county’s open prison

Kirkham Prison
Kirkham Prison
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An open prison which holds 630 offenders has been described as “a very effective prison”, but concerns were raised about drug use by inmates.

HMP Kirkham, where nearly a quarter of the inmates are either life sentence prisoners or subject to indeterminate sentences for public protection, was found to be successfully addressing the complex needs of some prisoners, following an unannounced inspection.

Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons, said inspectors found Kirkham was a safe prison with few incidents of violence or self-harm, the prison delivered some good drug intervention work, prisoners had excellent access to facilities and services, with purposeful activity available to all.

He said: “Across the range of our healthy prison tests we found outcomes to be reasonably good or better, and the prison was successfully addressing some complex needs. Although some structures required attention, staff and managers exhibited a confidence, competence and sense of purpose that was equipping prisoners well through their transition from imprisonment to resettlement.”

However, inspectors were concerned to find drug use was higher than usually seen in open prisons and said the number of prisoners subject to segregation had increased significantly.

Michael Spurr, Chief Executive Officer of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), said the jail would look to address areas of concern.

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