A Lancashire prison has been rated as “very unsafe” and violent in a damning inspection.
Drugs worth around £40,000 and 350 litres of illicitly-brewed alcohol were also found at HMP Garth in Ulnes Walton, over Christmas.
Inspectors said conditions had gone into “steep decline”, noting: #
l Violence had increased substantially with many incidents linked to drugs, gangs and debt.
l Assaults on staff had increased and around 85 prisoners were held separately because of safety fears.
l Living conditions were poor in the segregation unit.
l Access to many health services was inadequate.
However, it was found Garth had made progress in rehabilitating its 800 male prisoners, mostly convicted of violent or sexual offences.
Michael Spurr, chief executive of HM Prison Service, said: “An experienced senior management team has been appointed to work alongside a new Governor to help drive progress over the coming months. This will be supported by additional staffing and resources and an improvement plan, which is already in place to address the issues raised in the report.”